boy waiting for food

Character Building: Teaching Your Child the Value of Patience

How do you teach patience to your children if you don’t have it? Let’s admit it; we lose patience most of the time because we are stressed and tired. Your child is not stressed and tired, so why are they screaming for their toys? They don’t have a concept of time just yet. They don’t understand that handing their toys to them takes time. This is an idea acquired through practice and discipline. Your kid doesn’t get born knowing the difference between instant gratification, patience, and perseverance.

Begin with colouring books for toddlers. Teach your child how to colour inside the lines of an object. They may find it frustrating since they don’t have good motor control yet. They’ll eventually get so tired that they’ll doodle in and around the object with no regard for the lines. This is a sign of impatience. You must explain to them the concept of controlling their impatience and frustration.

Delay Gratification

Child learning

Remember that your child doesn’t understand the concept of waiting. When you ignore them when they ask for a toy, they don’t understand that you’re finishing what you’re doing before giving them what they want. Instead of ignoring their pleas, stop what you’re doing and look them in the eye. Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to understand words—even if they aren’t speaking yet. Tell them to give you five seconds to finish what you’re doing.

Once you are done, pick up the toy that they want. Instead of giving the toy to them, turn around as if you have forgotten something. At this time, they have already stopped pleading. They are simply anticipating you handing them the toy. After a couple of seconds, turn back around and give the toy to them. Do this several times each day, increasing the seconds you make them wait each time.

Reward Your Child

When your child has learned how to wait a few seconds for something they want, reward them with words and actions. Tell them that they have been a good child. Hug and kiss them because they’ve been patient. Sometimes, give them an extra cookie for being good. They will learn that when they wait, they receive a compliment and sometimes an extra chocolate chip cookie. The reward system still exists because it works.

Keep Your Promises

If your child listens and waits for you to give them their toys, do not ever break your promise. Give them what you have promised at the agreed-upon time. Don’t promise something you aren’t willing to give just so that they’ll leave you alone. Your child understands that. You are teaching them the wrong values by lying to them. Besides, the next time you do this, they won’t believe you anymore. They’ll get more anxious, frustrated, and impatient.

Why is patience important for your child to learn? A lot of the things that you’re dealing with now require patience. No one goes through life getting what they want at the exact moment they want it. It’s not even a concept of delayed gratification. That’s just how the world works. Whether it’s your career or personal relationships, you’d have to be patient to get what you’re working for. Learning this at an early age will equip your child with the skills they need to survive in such a tough world.

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