How to Be More Patient with Kids
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Patience as a parent is a topic that has been really, really heavy on my mind.
The lack of patience can have such a negative impact on children. It can make them feel they are a bother. It can make them think they have to shrink.
It's the same feeling that you would have if the person that's supposed to love you unconditionally is easily irritated by things that you do.
I don't say any of this to make you feel guilty. I'm a mother too, and I too lose my patience. I say it as a way to help us all collectively as mothers to raise our level of tolerance.
Imagine days and days of being in that kind of relationship (because after all that's what we have with our children, a relationship, a parent/child relationship but still a relationship) can change the path of the kind of person you become, the kind of relationship you have with others.
As a parent, I know that we're always multi-tasking. In my own life, my work involves supporting, teaching, and coaching others. In parenting, I'm mothering four kids, all in various grades, while also having a relationship with my partner, friendships, and a relationship with myself, filling my own vessel.
Maybe you work outside the home or remotely. You're using your brain in a completely different way than you do at home. You're having discussions and working on other tasks than the ones you do as a parent.p>
(Read related article: Natural Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety)
You come home at the end of a work day, and this includes remote work too, and now you're supposed to turn into parent-mode and turn off the day that just finished and move into what I call "second shift".
And if you're a stay-at-home parent, your day might look different than the parent that works for someone else, but in many ways, it's more challenging, as your brain in on parent-mode nonstop.
So, it's been on my mind, thinking of positive ways and mindful ways to be aware of patience's importance. Because sure, it's easy to just say "be patient." But, we know that it goes out the window when you feel you're on your last fuse.
Instead, here are three ways to use consciousnesses, mindfulness and awareness when it comes to patience.
1. Set Your Intention for Being Patient
When you wake up for the day, set your intentions. Remind yourself of what you're grateful for, remind yourself of who you love and who loves you, determine what you want to accomplish today, and how you will achieve it. Set the intention for patience with this affirmation (that you can change as you need to for your parenting each day):
"Today, I am patient. When my kids ask me questions at the end of a long day, I'm patient when my child is upset. I'm patient and calm with my child. Today I breathe through my uncomfortable feelings and I am a patient parent."
I've written before about the power of setting intentions. We are what we strive to be. Setting intentions is a powerful way to begin the day.
2. Take a moment in between daily transitions to be in the moment.
With each shift (change, transition) that you make throughout the day, take a moment to do breathe work and place yourself in the moment. Often, the lack of patience you comes from having your mind in the previous work you just did or the person you were just with or in the future (the things we still need to accomplish that day), instead of genuinely being in the now and in the moment we are experiencing.
What would happen if we were in the moment?
Be mindful that the moment you are in is all that matters. Put your phone away, remind yourself that the things you have to do or the people you have to respond to can wait. While at times we feel that we must put our mind into what we're doing next or what we just finished doing, the truth is that it all can wait.
Make a mental note that it's on your "back log" and you'll put your mind into it once you leave the moment you're in right now.
3. Remind Yourself of Your Purpose as a Parent
This is big one. WStill, as parents we want to raise children who are kind, empathetic, understanding, secure, confident, capable of good communication skills, and healthy relationships in their lives.
How do we accomplish raising kind children? By being that. By showing them that.
Of course we aren't going to be perfect and that's good! Because part of having relationships is that sometimes they don't go so well. We need to be able to navigate that in a healthy well.
When we mess up, we get to show our kids, "Here is how we healthily navigate this". Here's what we do when things don't go well, and I mess up or you mess up. Here's how we use kindness, empathy, understanding, and communication to navigate our relationship. When we mess up, we get to show our kids, "Here is how we healthily navigate this". Here's what we do when things don't go well, and I mess up or you mess up. Here's how we use kindness, empathy, understanding, and communication to navigate our relationship.
Because part of learning how to have healthy relationships is by showing them how to navigate when things don't go well, when the relationship is having a hard time.
Remind yourself, "My children watch me. They will repeat the good and the bad and I am serving a purpose by being mindful of that."
I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below let me know your tip for more patience in parenting.