Patience is the one virtue attributed to all parents. And it is that patience which we parents have with our children that provides us with the experience to teach the same to our children in hope that they will someday do the same with their children.
The challenge in being patient is to continue to set aside those things, which easily get in the way of our ability to stay calm. For each of us, we need to determine what are the things that beset us. It may only be that we have skipped breakfast, and so we are hungry. Parents can become lonely if you find yourself retreating from hobbies or self-care. This is the time to get the children outside with you to do a neighborhood clean-up project. This activity not only relieves stress, but also builds a sense of community; and it teaches our children to think beyond their own homes. Let’s get the children to bed on time. Why? Because we, as parents also need that REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep when muscles, such as our brains, do their healing. REM sleep only happens during uninterrupted sleep. Thus, getting to bed on time as part of a healthy routine is equally important for parents as for our children.
None of us are perfect, and thank God we are not expected to be perfect, so forgive yourself when you are irritable, nervous, making snap decisions, or are having difficulty dealing with a difficult child. And know that all parents go through the same challenges. We all must stop periodically and reassess what is keeping us from feeling emphatic in these times of challenge. I recently wrote an article on Kindness. It is the building of patience that leads to the strength of our kindness, which leads to the quality of love that we share with our children and the community around us.
What is patience? When Tommy is upset, we find by listening that this game broke. This listening skill is the result of listening for the information within the emotions. Being aware of our tone of voice is part of being patient. Not all children react the same way to the same tone, so we need to not only be aware of our tone, but then adjust it accordingly. A firm but kind tone is what Sally needs, but Tommy responds better to a soft tone. There may be many children, but one family. Consider the rhythm of the voice. When we are rushing, the voice rhythm can display anxiety. Take a deep breath, slow your mind down, remember that things will be okay and then let your children help you tackle the tasks to keep the home life flowing in a peaceful, positive manner.