5 Tips to Be a More Patient Parent
In general, patience is not a strong point of the modern day parent. Perhaps patience is not something particularly widespread. The stress to which we are subjected, the competitiveness of our environment, the rush, the high expectations put on us and which we put on our children, and the uncertainty about what will happen in the future, it all irritates us.
If we add that children are, by definition, exasperating, we face a situation that is difficult to master, though not impossible. Children can drive you crazy, but it is in their nature to do so. But letting yourself get carried away and losing control is up to you as the parent.
Maintaining control is the key to being a more patient parent. Control — or, rather, self-control — helps you set boundaries and manage the circumstances, understand them and make smarter decisions.
Let’s be honest about this, it is difficult. Children challenge their parents’ patience, in a fight to see who will come out on top. And if you lose control, you lose the game. It’s in your hands if you’ll be able to maintain your position on the score board.
1. Take a break
When you are tired, you need some time to recharge your batteries. In this situation, you are not in the right conditions to make healthy, intelligent and rational decisions. Any strong emotion will block your thoughts.
Therefore, don’t make decisions when you are tired, and don’t let yourself get carried away by the situation. Your kids should know that you are tired and that you need a moment alone to yourself. Don’t try to play the role of a mother or a father during these moments either. Don’t check homework or try to control anything. Wait until you are more rested.
2. Count to ten and start over
If the situation gets out of hand with your kids and you lose your cool, count to ten and take deep breaths. You have to “reboot” your mind. You can’t keep going on as is. You can also ask your child for a “time out” in which each one of you will go somewhere separately for a bit before continuing. You need to calm down.
Take deep breaths and exhale slowly, consciously. Do this several times, counting to ten. This type of breathing will help you calm down. You will probably sigh due to the prolonged exhalation, and this is a natural way of helping us eliminate stress.
3. Be patient with yourself
Sometimes as a parent you can demand too much from yourself, and you want to be perfect. That puts pressure on you and when you see that you are failing, you become even more exasperated. We get angry with ourselves for not being as we would like or not knowing how to handle the situation.
But you are human. If you recognize your limitations, you will also find ways to overcome them. And you will apply this same thing to the relationship with your children. Be more patient with yourself in order to be more patient with them.
4. Don’t act like a child
Children do not have the ability to reason things out. They don’t have the self-control that we adults do. And you know this. Behaving like a child does not put you any closer to their way of understanding things, and it also doesn’t help you make yourself understood.
Assume your role as the adult, your role as the parent, redefine your concept of discipline. Children are irrational, but you must act differently. And if you cannot, you must learn to do so.
5. Rehearse patient behaviors
Many parents are used to losing their temper, because they don’t know how to speak any other way. Therefore, you must practice. Imagine certain moments, place yourself in the situation, analyze past moments and think about how you could have done things differently.
Think about what triggers your loss of control, and don’t contemplate losing your patience as an option. Instead, imagine how the situation would move forward with you maintaining your cool and control over it and over how you feel. You have to train your brain to trigger the reactions that you seek.