Why patience is important an aspect of parenting?

Patience today has become a scarce commodity. It has become very difficult to be at either the receiving or the Giving end of it. Being patient means, that we have to take a step back from being ourselves and try to understand others from their perspective. Patience is an absolute necessity to make sure that you and your child can have good communication and an effective parent-child relationship.

Being a parent, in itself requires various skills that one needs to develop and practice. We at Sherwood High believe that, Patience is one of those very important skills of parenting.

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As parents, we need to be very patient with our children because, it is when they are young that they need our patience the most. It is only human, to lose patience very easily. In this blog, we’ll be reading how we can handle stressful situation and discuss issues with our children with patience and help understand our children better. We’re going to be concentrating on toddler and preschool behavior on this post, and we’ll put a separate post for adolescence and teenagers.

Patience requires understanding others:

As parents we need to detach ourselves from our own need and situation, and be more mindful about the child. If your child is crying or throwing a tantrum, it’s important that we put our needs or work aside to look into, why the child is crying and how to calm the child down.  The whole situation with the lock-down and work from home has taught us a different level of patience.  We might be in an important meeting call or doing something really busy on a deadline, but that is not something that the Child would understand. Most children throw tantrums just to get our attention, so patiently trying to calm them down, will only help resolve the tantrum sooner and you could get back to your work quickly and in peace.

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Set example by modeling patience:

Children imitate what they see, and when we behave with patience, we teach empathy, respect, security, and self-esteem to our children. We completely understand that it is not at all easy to tackle temper tantrums. Sometimes it gets really frustrating and they get on your nerves, but as parents we need to keep calm. When we drop our busy schedule and look into the child’s well-being, we are teaching patience to the child by setting an example.  So it is this patience that can serve as a reminder to us, that it is normal for children to make mistakes; because they are still learning, discovering and developing their distinctive characteristics and traits.

Anger and Nagging never works:

As parents of little children one might find themselves mostly at their wits end. Children can get really upset when play time is over, and  the tears and wails that follow really make parents want to punish them. This is true for all children, they want to play longer and cannot accept the fun to end. Being upset over something is natural and it’s completely normal but when your child throws tantrums and screams, it pushes a lot of parents to resort to harsh methods of discipline. Believe us when we say this, being forceful with your child never works. Instead of yelling at them to stop crying or giving them a lecture, simply communicating peacefully and maintaining your cool can get them to calm down.

Likewise, it is just natural to nag repetitively, about certain things that need improvement in a child’s behavior. This nagging does not usually work, because instead of giving a sense of responsibility to the child, it only encourages them to depend on us more.

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Parenting Consciously:

We are not just being parents; we are a mentor and an adult model to our children. There could be numerous reasons as to why we lose our patience. As adults we have a lot of responsibilities, from house chores to job roles, so when something that we plan does not work out and something unexpected happens, it causes frustration which eventually leads to impatience and anger toward the child. This will only have an adverse effect on the child.  We can override our reactive behavior and anger related outbursts by being conscious. This can help you be available for your child when they need you.

Do not pay heed to what others think about your parenting: 

In most cases when we are out in the public or when we have more people in the family, it becomes easy for parents to panic. When a child is having a bout or a fit, others around us tend to get easily annoyed and pass judgmental looks. It is important for us to disregard and not pay conscious mind to what others think about your parenting skills. Trust that you are a good parent and address your own situation rather than reflecting on what others think.

Behaving patiently doesn’t mean we can be taken for granted:

It is important to reprimand children when they are being incorrigible. All parents’ end goal is to raise and nurture a good child, who will grow up to be a great person. So, we cannot spoil our child by letting them do everything to their will.  It is important for us to teach our children through patience the ‘right attitude’ to ensure that our children learn important and valuable lessons in life.

Teach them that patient behavior is rewarding:

Children generally come demanding things! So when we explain the reasons as to why it is not possible to fulfill the request immediately rather than yelling at them about it, we are helping the child learn how to be patient. When we pay attention to their tantrums and match our explanation to the child maturity level and age, children learn how to be patient.

While we looked at the importance of being patient, we understand that it is still very difficult in practical application. There are many contradicting opinions about dealing with children related issues, tantrums and the like. There are many schools of thought; that believe, we should let children cry and that it can be healthy for them, but some strongly oppose this. Some believe, it is better to ignore children’s tantrums, while others say it would make them feel undervalued.

So let us tell you tried and tested methods; one thing that is believed to work is, practicing relaxation techniques. This generally prepares us for patience when the children are testing it to the fullest. Spending a few minutes, of quiet time, can relax our body and mind. Do anything that interests you and relaxes you, take a nap, listen to music, read a book or even break a leg, if it helps you get the frustration of the tiring day out!

We can also teach this relaxation skill to our children. Cultivate the habit of reading/ listening to stories. Stories play a major part in developing a child’s imaginative abilities. Children are generally impatient by nature i.e. they have short attention spans, but they also love dreaming and imagining things. So when we sit with them and train them in making use of that imagination as a technique to relax and be patient, then our child can be prepared for the tough times ahead.

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