Patience is difficult for preschoolers. Teaching patience can be even more difficult for the parent. Try the following tips for helping your little one learn to wait.
Use an object.
When you tell your child to wait for something and they begin to pout, tell them “We are practicing patience”. Then count slowly with them to five. If they interrupt the counting, take a deep breath and say, “That wasn’t patient. Let’s try again” and begin counting from one. When they are able to be this patient, you can begin using objects to increase their level of patience.
On a warm day, if you are outside, give your child a piece of ice. Tell them when the ice melts, they can have what they asked for. If you have a small sand hourglass timer that is often found in board games, put it on the table for the child to see. Instruct your child that they must wait until the sand runs out before attaining what they are requesting. When your child learns that not everything is instantaneous, patience will be much easier for them to comprehend.
We have conditioned ourselves to never have a moment without a distraction. The best way to teach our children patience is to verbally and physically demonstrate patience to them. While sitting in a waiting room help them to imagine creating a picture on a blank wall. Show them that being patient can give you the time to be creative. For example, have your child imagine a picture of a playground on that wall, what would be in the picture? Ask them to describe each item in detail.
Use the word patient as you encourage patiently listening to each other as you take turns imagining items. Remember that teaching your child patience is also teaching yourself patience. As they become agitated, you must keep your calm. It is nearly impossible for an impatient parent to teach a child patience.
If you enjoyed these tips, you’ll want to check out our blog on Preschoolers and Pumpkin Recipes!
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