Patience is hard. We know in our heads that it’s the right thing, but it’s hard to incorporate the attribute in our daily actions, especially with our children. With our patience getting tested every day, how can we make sure that it “never runs out?” How do we create a habit of choosing patience instead of a short temper? Here are 6 tips that can help lead you into becoming a patient parent:
1. Discern why you’re feeling frustrated and angry. Oftentimes, frustration can build up from various people and events throughout the day. Without pinpointing the exact reason for anger, the last person to pop the balloon inevitably becomes the receiver of all of the pent up anger. To avoid this mistake, know exactly the root of your frustration and dismiss all external factors.
2. Take time to cool down. Of course, in order to discern what’s churning in our chests, we must set aside time. Too often, we act and speak with haste, not bothering to process the true meaning of our words. If we truly want our words to accurately reflect our heart, we must seek a solitary environment where we can think clearly and not act hastily.
3. Ask questions and be a good listener. No parenting (and no relationship for that matter) will be fruitful if one does all of the talking. As much as you’d like to get your point across, it’s more effective if you take the time to listen. Understanding why your child did the action or said the statement will not only provide you context but will also enable you to better teach your child.
4. Swallow your pride. Having done a wrong is not the only situation where pride must be dismissed. Approach every conversation with a humble heart no matter if you’re in the right or wrong. This will automatically activate listening ears and an understanding attitude.
5. Begin and end every lecture with love. Many parents often forget the reason for discipline. It’s not to let out anger or to even correct your kids. Correction should follow as the result; however, the root of all discipline should be love. If you discipline your children because you love them and want to guide them on the right path, let them know. Preface your lecture with love. Listen to what they have to say. Let them know what they did wrong and what they can better do next time to avoid the mistake. Then, end with love. This way, your child doesn’t feel unfairly judged but understands that your corrections come from a desire to help them get better.
6. Remind yourself of the need to exhibit a good model for your kids to follow. Children definitely get influenced by their parents; thus, providing a good example is all the more important. We cannot expect our children to become patient individuals if we ourselves do not act like it. Therefore, let’s exercise patience with the goal of seeing our children do the same with us and with the rest of society. Patience is hard, but it’s possible. Good parenting is hard, but it’s possible. A new day brings different challenges, but it also invites opportunities to exhibit patience. If you choose the latter, you’ll find yourself creating a better living environment not only for your children but for yourself.
By Abigail Choe