“Patience, purity and perseverance are three essentials to success and above all love”Swami Vivekananda
In this article, we will focus on the first essential, that is, patience. It not only helps us in achieving our goals and dreams but also makes us a better person. Let’s take a look at three of the best techniques to teach our young ones to be more patient.
Why is ‘Patience’ necessary for a child?
Better Learning Skills
Patience and Learning always complement each other. A patient child is better at learning and understanding things, academic as well as non-academic, better than an impatient or agitated child. Patience not only helps a child in being a better student but also when he/she is taking important decisions in life.
Better Attitude & Behaviour
Patient child tends to be more well-behaved and polite than impatient children. They tend to listen more, have greater self control and have more compassion towards others too. These qualities help them in making friends easier and have healthier relationships as adults.
Better at Handling Challenging Situations
When a child has a higher level of patience, he/she is able to stay calmer and think with a lot more logic and rationality when dealing with difficult situations or problems. They handle themselves better when things do not go as per their expectations.
Better at Emotion-Logic Balance
Patience helps children, or for that matter adults, to maintain a healthy balance between emotions and logical reasoning. It keeps them from being overemotional or outright apathetic. One can say that they grow up to follow their heart but take their brain with them.
Better at Managing Stress
When a child is able to handle difficult situations better, make logical decisions/choices and maintain emotion-logic balance, they tend to lead a healthier and a happier life while keeping their stress levels much lower. As they grow older, they get wiser and are able to prevent several psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks and many more.
Healthier Lifestyle and Lesser Health Problems
When your mind is happy, you tend to stay away from other diseases like asthma, heart problems, sleep apnea, electrolyte imbalance and many other such problems that are attracted by psychological illnesses.
Teaching the Children to be Patient
Here are the top 3 techniques that you can use when teaching your child to be more patient:
Start by looking for opportunities in your child’s day to day life to make him/her wait for something (s)he wants. A couple of minutes is more than enough to start with. The child will quickly learn the concept of waiting and being patient once you start. Once they learn about waiting, you can start slowly increasing the waiting time to increase their level of patience.
Lead by Example
The best way to teach your child about patience, or for that matter anything, is to lead by an example. Children always try to mimic their parents and when they see you showing patience, they start learning to be more patient. Your behaviour as their parent affects a lot when it comes to teaching them about patience, perseverance, good values and many other important things.
Anticipatory Waiting for Delayed Gratification
In simpler words, make them wait for a while before giving them what they have asked for. For instance, we often reward the children with candy when they successfully carry out a task or simply because they are being good. Instead of handing the child their reward right away, make them wait for, say, 15 minutes or more, before handing them the treat. Doing this will enable your child to be more patient when waiting for his/her reward. Moreover, they will learn that the longer they wait, the sweeter their reward tastes. Similarly, when they ask you to play with them, tell them to wait while you carry out an activity or complete your task at hand.
Acknowledge Patient Behaviour
Patience is a skill. When your child shows patience, acknowledge them. Rewarding the young ones’ patience will only encourage them to work on it harder and do it more. For instance, if you take your child to the grocery shopping and (s)he waits patiently in the line at the counter, you can always buy them a candy bar or a lollipop after you’re done billing. Do note that this will be a lot more effective if you promise them a treat beforehand and buy it from another shop after a set waiting period.
Enjoy Slow Activities
Slow-moving activities like board games or crafts that require patience help the children in developing a higher level of patience. As the child grows older, you can carry out more and more advanced activities. Doing this will make the process of learning to be patient a whole lot more fun and engaging, allowing the children to think of waiting as interesting instead of boring. Manage your child’s screen time and avoid giving them your smartphone as it often makes the children impatient and impulsive.
Turn Waiting into a Game
Games like ‘I Spy’ are perfect when waiting. They not only keep the children from wandering off and feel irritated but also helps in building their creativity and observation skills.
Teaching the children to be more patient is tricky and can be difficult, however there are ways to make things a tad bit easier. It’s important to understand that teaching values like patience is a lengthy process and cannot be achieved overnight. As parents, we also need to understand that every child is unique and has his/her own personality, thus, every child will take their own time to develop, physically as well as psychologically. Moreover, there will be children who can learn to be more patient than others. All that matters in the end is they lead a healthy and a happy life.