Does your preschooler’s impatience exhaust you more often than you’d like to admit? As much as we love our little ones, it can be hard to “Keep Calm and Carry On” when it seems they constantly need us. Before you get overwhelmed, take a moment to R.E.S.T.!
Remember your child’s attention span is equal to approximately four minutes times their age. So a three-year-old has roughly a 12-minute ability to concentrate on something. Is it possible that your child’s impatience is an age-appropriate result of losing focus over time? If so, take a moment to listen to your child and redirect them.
Encourage your child by validating their feelings, but not their impatience. Try saying something like, “I know you don’t want to eat dinner because you’re excited to go trick-or-treating tonight. Before we can put on your ghost costume, we have to eat dinner so you’ll have the energy to walk the neighborhood.”
Speak “time” to a child in an age-appropriate way. When you find yourself needing 20 uninterrupted minutes to make a phone call, tell your preschooler you are going to let them have some independent time listening to four (age-appropriate) songs while your talk on the phone. They will likely understand the concept of “four songs” than the concept of “20 minutes.”
Thank your children when they show patience. Say something like, “I really appreciated it when you listened to your songs on your own and let me talk on the phone. Now that I’m finished, would you like to read a book together?”
When you R.E.S.T. by understanding your child’s ability to focus, listening to their feelings, communicating in ways they understand, and affirming their ability to wait, you and your child will grow in patience.
If you enjoyed these tips, you’ll want to check out our blog on Homework and Preschoolers!
Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Bella Terra located in Richmond, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.