Children hate waiting. They can stand in line with you for only a few minutes before getting into trouble. Never bring them to the DMV!
Waiting, unfortunately, is a hard fact of life and our kids need to learn to be patient. Whether we’re waiting for help, waiting our turn, or waiting for a colleague or customer to get their ducks in a row, the ability to wait patiently or (better yet) use that time wisely will help your child get ahead in life.
Here are some tips to teach your children patience.
1. Model patience wherever you can – This is the hardest step, but it has to come first. You can’t expect your kids to behave a certain way unless you behave that way yourself. You have to wait calmly without showing your internal frustration. Instead of melting down when something doesn’t go right, resort to humor and laughs. Don’t complain about the problem, verbalize solutions.
2. Use timers – Telling your kids you’ll help them “in a minute” is meaningless and vague. Is it one minute, or twenty? Or do you forget about it after a while? Children need to learn delayed gratification, but you have to eventually offer that gratification. Give hard timers on when you’ll be there or when they can have dessert or how long they can play outside.
3. Play activities that teach patience – These days, we are overexposed to gadgets and screens that offer instant entertainment. There’s no “delay” in “delayed gratification.” You can help your kids learn patience by setting them up with projects and games that take time, like arts and crafts, board games, and gardening. These activities will teach them to strive for a reward later.
4. Acknowledge everyone’s feelings – It can be tough for a little kid to sit there bored, impatient and frustrated. The longer he waits, the harder the waiting is to bear. With a calm voice, eye contact and stress-free body language, talk about how tough waiting can be. Let your child be heard so they understand they aren’t alone struggling with boredom.
5. Develop coping skills – In many cases, we don’t have any choice but to wait. Teach your children to cope with these moments of inactivity by entertaining themselves in simple ways. They can play simple games like “I Spy” or tell each other silly stories. It’s also a great time for one-on-one conversations without distractions. Teaching strong conversational skills is also important.
Of course, if you knowyou’ll be somewhere where you’ll have to wait, it’s great to bring something along to occupy the kids.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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