Ever worry that your children will grow restless in the following places and scenarios?:
- In line at the grocery store?
- In a car on a road trip?
- At the doctor’s office waiting to be seen?
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then it’s important to note that not everything will work out in your favor. With that said, while children should know that not everything will work out the way they want it, they should also know how to practice patience. Not only is a good ability to be patient a good character trait, but it’s also an essential skill to have in life generally.
Here are 8 ways to teach your kids patience, to help them build good character:
- Take Baby Steps
“When teaching your child patience for the first time, start small and short,” says Maya McDonald, a business writer at Revieweal and UK Services Reviews. “In other words, have your child practice patience in small doses, and don’t get angry at them for not catching on quickly. As they grow older, then you can expect them to wait longer for something.”
- Practice Positivity
As mentioned before, you can’t get angry at a young child for not catching on to being patient – patience takes time to learn, just like any other skill. Therefore, it’s important to stay positive on your end, so that you can show them that patience is a positive thing, not something that should be dreaded or feared.
- Reinforce Self-Control
When a child grows impatient, they’ll start to become antsy, and might have a slew of questions to ask you – that’s understandable. However, there’s a way that you can curb their anxious demeanor – self-control.
Children can practice self-control by telling them to calm down and wait before you fulfill their request. When they regain self-control, they’ll be less likely to act out.
- Practice Purposeful Delays
Instant gratification, unfortunately, is everywhere. However, that doesn’t mean that your child should follow suit.
Instead, teach your child that waiting is important. Use purposeful delays, meaning that you can pick a random time to have them wait for no reason other than to have your child practice waiting.
- Practice Taking Turns
Children love to have fun. So, why not have them play games that require them to wait turns?
Teach your kids patience by playing games that require taking turns. Or, you can take them to a park or a place of leisure to show how they must wait their turn on, say, a swing, a slide, etc. If they happen to struggle with taking turns the first time, then keep on teaching it by making more frequent trips to the park or leisurely place.
- Show Visual Representation
Countdowns are also fun. If your child is struggling to wait for something, then have a timer or clock that they can see, and point out the time when something will happen or arrive, depending on the situation. Plus, you can use flash cards to show your child how close you are to a destination, or when dinner will be ready, etc.
- Share Information
When children ask questions, don’t cut them off with a sharp reply, or get angry at them in general. Instead, answer them with information. If you know about how long something will take, provide the number of hours or minutes to them, or compare it to something relatable to help them understand like “Christmas is 5 sleeps away” or “The theme park is about one car nap away.”
- Reinforce Patience With Older Kids
“With older kids, teaching patience doesn’t stop there,” says Summer Wong, a communications manager UK Top Writers and Elite assignment help. “You must still hold true to your rules on being patient. For example, if your child asks for a loan of $20, then say that they’ll earn it once the time is right, and they’ve done some useful things around the house. So, as they learn to be patient, they’re also learning to earn something rather than just receive.”
While no one is perfect, nor is anyone born with good character, children must still learn and practice patience wherever they go. Teach your kids patience even if it takes weeks, months, or years to get it right – it’s worth the wait (for parents) – just take it slow, and allow your child to thrive in practicing a skill that’s needed in the long run.
Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at Big Assignments and Essay writer. She is also a contributing writer for online publications, such as Boom essays. As a marketing writer, she blogs about the latest trends in online advertising and social media influencers.