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Patience and Parenting

Updated on March 7, 2016

If you are a parent and if you think you do not have parenting skills, just relax. Your child may not be as bad as you think. He expects attention. He expects to be heard. But you can fulfill these expectations only if you are patient. Your patience will make him understand that you are valuing him. On the contrary, if you become impatient with him, you will be creating stress not only for yourself but for the child as well. Your child may get frustrated also.


Many people who are yet to become parents may think that they will not commit the mistakes you or other parents are committing. It is easy for them to comment or think like this because they are yet to set foot on the parental path.


But they have to understand that parenting is not as easy as they assume. The reality is children will certainly exasperate parents. Not only that, children have their own minds. However reasonable you are in understanding and accommodating them, they are likely to behave like the urchins from the book "Oliver Twist." This means children are not always, entirely controllable even if you follow the so-called 'right parenting' methods. If you are an idealistic parent, this fact may make you uneasy and anxious as if you are struck by a seismic shock.


But whatever may be the situation you may face, you cannot justify abusing the child. This again means parental boundaries have been set by fair parameters though you may think that these parameters are tough. But if you respect these boundaries, your child will be happier and will feel more secure. So, you can expect better behavior also from him. Of course, you have to add right doses of ingredients like love and affection to your parenting methods.


Benefits you will derive by adopting patience


Children consider their parents as their role models and so, when you adopt patience, they learn to be patient and to respect and empathize. They will feel a sense of security and you can impart good self-esteem in them also.


So, if you adopt patience and listen to what your child tells you, he will realize that you are giving due importance to him. You also show that you have belief in him, are empathizing with him and are compassionate towards his feelings. But you should be sincere while listening to him. This is known as "active listening" and the basis of this kind of listening is patience. Active listening imparts qualities like empathy, compassion, and confidence in your child.


Parenting with patience will curb reactive behavior in you


Many parents commit the mistake of displaying reactive behaviors. If you commit this mistake also, you may not be available for your child during times of need. But the good news is you can consciously CHOOSE HOW TO BEHAVE with your child. It is by being patient and not showing your stress to him you can accomplish this aim. In due course of time, he will also learn to be proactive and grow up as an adult with a healthy mind.


Be a role model


Children are called 'social learners' because they see others, experience things and learn. Their behaviors and attitudes are governed by the environment in which they live also. They imitate what they see. Remember you are their role model. For example, if you actively listen to others, your child will also learn that behavior. If you make eye contact with your kid while talking, you will not only be lowering his frustration but will be giving a message that you are always with him. Your child will soon learn to be patient like you. He will gradually acquire the ability to develop good relationships with others.


Experts have come out with a few suggestions that may help you learn the knack of parenting with patience. Let us have a look.


1) Give yourself regular breaks


Regular breaks will help you in "refueling" yourself. A break can make you think with the right perspective and so, you will be making rational decisions. On the other hand, impatience and anger, being strong emotions, will not allow you to make the right decisions. Studies reveal that an angered mind takes about 30 minutes to calm down completely. But some people feel that they calm down within about 10 minutes. But this is only fake calmness because these folks may lose the calmness again almost instantaneously. This means they are still in a physiologically 'wound-up' mood. They have not provided their body with the chance or the time to calm.


But if there is no one else to look after your child when you are angry and impatient, try deliberately to shift your focus. The second tip may help you do so easily.


2) Count up to ten and repeat this again and again


If you are very much exasperated with your child, count up to 10 and repeat this exercise again and again till you calm down completely. Focusing on your breathing may also help. You should especially extend and lengthen your the out-breath for de-stressing yourself.


3) Be patient and considerate towards yourself


Remember you are also human and so, you should be considerate towards yourself. This means that thinking that a good parent will not get mad is a delusion. So, there is no necessity to feel guilty.


4) Have a 'macro' view


Children do not wilfully ignore reality and behave as they do. So, it is wrong to expect that they will behave like grown-up adults. In fact, children may not care about what others think. So, if your child screams in the supermarket shop, you have to realize that he has not acquired the ability to reason. Even biological experts have researched and found that the brain's prefrontal lobes do not fully get 'wired in' till people attain 21. Therefore, if your child is sometimes out and out unreasonable, it is quite common. Though this can never be an excuse for his behavior, you must keep reminding yourself of this fact.


5) Rehearse as many times as possible for acquiring patience


Understand the triggers that force you to snap and burst with anger. Then, keep imagining that you are not becoming impatient and are remaining calm and composed whatever may be the situation. By repeating this exercise, you will be training your brain appropriately so you will automatically tend to remain calm even when your child exasperates you with his behavior.


To summarize, you have to practice patience in order to do parenting with patience.


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