Every night I pray that the next day I’ll have a little more patience. I wake up feeling like I can handle anything, but then my son decides he wants to grab my cup of water and and spills it onto the table where a book I was reading is sitting. I fly out of my seat yanking the book and other items affected by the water off of the table and yell at my son to sit down! And there it is…the start of another day where I’m lacking patience with my child.
It’s a roller-coaster, and at the end of the day, I seriously question my parenting. Do I yell too much? Am I not patient enough? How can I calmly deal with my rambunctious and curious three year old that doesn’t require yelling? I always told myself that when I became a parent that I’d do everything I could to be patient, loving and speak in a calm matter when my child was testing me. Man, did I underestimate this whole parenting thing.
Here are 7 ways to become a more patient parent.
Take a Breath and Count to 10
By taking a deep breath and counting to ten out loud, it focuses you to think about something besides the trigger. Once you’ve done this, start again.
See the Child’s Point of View
Oftentimes we only see our point of view and rarely see our child’s. When I put myself in my son’s shoes, it suddenly becomes easier to see that his spilling his lunch was merely an accident. Other times my son has tried helping with something like bringing me a glass of water that resulted in the glass of water ending up all over the floor. In a situation like this, my anger might shadow the fact that he was only trying to be nice. Slow down and really take in their point of view.
Redirect Your Child
If your child is constantly doing something that you’ve asked them to stop doing, sometimes all it takes is a redirect from you. What we should be doing is pointing our child to another activity after explaining to them calmly why they shouldn’t be doing what you’ve asked them to stop doing.
Practice Being more Patient
Whenever you find yourself losing your patience, it’s important to take a step back and practice being more patient. I know it sounds silly, but it’s not-I promise! Writing down a list of ways you can start being more patient with your child is a start, and the more you practice, the better you’ll become at being patient. Practice counting to ten, taking a deep breath and removing yourself from the situation until you’ve collected yourself.
One Hour from Now
One thing I’ve tried doing lately is asking myself “In one hour from this moment, will this even matter? It is worth getting all worked up about?” Probably not.
Lower Your Voice
I am the worst at raising my voice. Once I’ve asked my son to stop doing something and he continues to do it, I resort to raising my voice. What needs to be done, rather than raising my voice, is stopping to think about what I’m saying and how it will be relayed in a way that teaches him something. The way we react to our children and their actions is about staying calm, cool and collected. Instead of lashing out, practice the way you choose to communicate.
Learn from Other Parents
I’ve learned a lot from other parents as they’ve more than likely already been through a similar situation or are currently dealing with some of the same issues in this current season. Listen and learn from them. There are tons of great mom groups out there that are always willing to chime in with parenting tips and advice, and they’ll be happy to help you on your journey to becoming a more patient parent.
Although none of us are perfect parents, we can certainly try our best at becoming a more patient parent by being mindful of our child’s point of view, being more calm and strive for new ways to communicate effectively with our child rather than just resorting to yelling at them.