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How could you ever find that speck of patience in a world full of rage?
Anger, frustration, confusion, and irritation, are only a few of the MANY emotions we go through as parents while raising our little ones. I am no exception to this at all.
It’s so hard to have patience when your kid is the class clown and you were the quiet one that didn’t talk much.
Growing up, and even to this day, I prayed for the Lord to give me patience. It seems to be that one thing that everyone struggles with, some more than others, but everyone has their breaking point.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV)
8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride.
I decided to do some research and come up with a list of things, we as parents, can do to help us handle these situations that cause us this horrible loss of something so precious, PATIENCE. These are things that I work on myself and probably need to do more of lately, so this is not one of those “yea right” list. 🙂 I hate those!
Alright, so this list includes the TOP 6 ways to have more patience with your kids from my research and personal experiences:
Pick Your Battles –
Not everything you and your kid bump heads about are that serious. Just like in your adult interactions, you don’t get upset to the nines when that person does not agree with you on how to do something. Some issues that arise during the day should have a scale of importance. Everyone is different on this so you should think about this pertained to your own situation. Example: I shouldn’t be stressing out about my kid wanting to wear her rain boots on a nice sunny day outside compared to her taking a permanent marker to my wall. Yes, things get more serious than a marker in my house but that’s just what came to mind. 🙂
Take a time out, for yourself that is-
Sometimes us as mommies and daddies need to take a moment and just walk away from the whole situation. Having a moment to clear your head and have a clear train of thought is a lot better than just saying or doing something in the heat of the moment. Most of the time, that is something you will regret later after the situation is come and gone. I have been there a few times and looking back on the situation I sit and think “man, I should have approached that differently or done this differently”. It’s a horrible feeling and sometimes I have to just keep my mouth shut and think of something else. If you find yourself in that situation where you just can’t take what is going on that is causing your blood to boil, like my kid hitting the button on her toy car over and over and over…, take a moment to go to another room and gaze out the window, go out on the front porch and get a breather (make sure the kids are safe first), lock yourself in the closet bathroom; where ever your safe space is that you can go to, clear your thoughts, and start over.
Me, myself, and I time-
YES, even you need to take care of yourself. I feel like all I do all day is take care of everyone else in the house and of course the house itself. I sit and think, “what about me?”. Yes! We deserve our time too! For me this is a hard balance because as I am home handling both kids, their messes, cooking, doing laundry, playing, making sure the baby gets a nap, baths and even making hubby’s lunch; my husband is working hard at work (he has a physically demanding job doing contracting work) so I can stay home with the kids. So, my me time is sometimes on his day off maybe a Friday or Saturday and I get to sleep in later than normal. WHICH IS AWESOME! Or it may be at night after he gets off, while the kids are still up, he takes over with the kids. I get to take my time in the shower to shave or just stand there in the hot water, just because I can. Whatever or however you find time for yourself, do it! You deserve it! Call up a friend and have a coffee while a family member or friend keeps the kids. Maybe drop them off at an hourly daycare and go shopping. Whatever it is make sure you put yourself first, if you can’t be there for yourself how are you going to be there for your kids?
Explain to your toddler what you expect out of them instead of assuming they know –
I learned this one the hard way, multiple times. For me this is more referenced to going out in public, when we go to the grocery store or to her gymnastics classes, etc. I set the expectations before we enter the place or even leave the house. When we use to leave the house, and go places I would just do it as normal, get the stuff and go. Well as Lily got older it started to get more complicated, she threw fits if she didn’t get something she wanted at the store or even not paying attention in gymnastics class. I always left frustrated, confused and no patience left for the rest of the day. So just like any good parent, I googled it… well you know concerned, didn’t know what to do type parent. I found a little article that talked about setting expectations and that exactly what I started doing. When we went to the grocery store, for example, I would explain that we would need to use the bathroom before we go and when we get there we will only be getting groceries and no toys (cause that’s always the question “can we go look at toys?”). Sometimes I only go in for a few things, and have to explain what we are going in for, and that we won’t be walking the whole store. In the car, on the way to gymnastics, I would explain that she needed to make sure she paid attention in class and to take her time, etc. These things I would do right before we entered these places because as parents we know that are kids are very forgetful, almost short term memory loss sometimes. Bless ‘em.
Okay Okay, I admit it, this is one I still struggle with. I don’t wake up until the kids wake up so at night it’s the only time I get to myself. I hate waking up early, and I probably should to help manage my patience, so I can get a head start. But if you hate mornings, as much as I do, you will understand that sometimes waking up early comes with grouchiness. We all know getting 7 to 8 hours a night is the recommended amount of sleep we should all get, but we all know whether that is enough for ourselves. As for me I need more… did I mention I love sleep. Sorry mom if I ever gave up naps. I recall taking naps on my parent’s bed after school a lot when I was younger so I’m not sure if I fought them or not. On the other hand, my husband can get 5 hours of sleep, get up for work, and just go, go, go all day. He is the opposite of me, straight morning person, doesn’t need much sleep, and can go on fumes. Yes, he does like his occasional naps, who doesn’t, but it’s not always required for him to get to the end of his day. Take away: Get the sleep YOU need not what you can fit into your schedule.
With this generation of technology, it’s easy to get caught up in the social media, or random google searches, or even the binge watching. This is something we ALL struggle with, unless you are super awesome and never thought for one second about picking up your phone or turning on the TV while spending time with your kids during the day. *DEEP BREATH* Then high five to you cause that is not me. I have caught myself with my face in my tablet looking at Facebook or Pinterest while my daughter is asking me to play or do something, and I don’t even notice until minutes later when she took on a different approach, like bothering the snot out of me until I looked up… At that point I am caught off guard and irritation has sky rocketed and I simply am getting mad at my kid for getting my attention to play with her. Now how crazy does that sound? You may not realize it, until someone points it out to you, that you have your face shoved in a device while your little one, or even big one, is pleading for your attention. I can’t say I am not on my phone, tablet, or TV, but I try to not be so consumed with it that I miss out on my kids.
I truly hope you can take these 6 steps to have more patience with your kids into consideration the next time your blood is boiling and all you see is RED. We all go through it so don’t be too hard on yourself!
I love each and every one of yawl!
Share some of your ideas with me on how you keep your patience until the end of the day.