“Patience” and “preschoolers” may seem like oil and water at times. Patience is just not something that we are born with. That is what makes teaching patience all the more important! So, let’s dive in to some practical ways to practice patience with your preschooler.
Look in the Mirror
Before you can teach something to your child, you must first have a good grip on it yourself. Patience is no different. As adults, we live in a world of meetings, and deadlines, and rushing about our days. But, children, free from those obligations, do not process time constraints quite the same way as we do. Because of this, we can sometimes be impatient with them! So, before you can teach your child how to be patient, think, “Do I model patience for my child?” Do you wait as your child struggles to get on her shoes, or do you rush her out the door? Do you complain about the morning traffic, or do you calmly drive her to school? Is your life constantly run by the next deadline, or do you schedule times to relax as a family? All of these are things to consider when you think about how you model patience to your child.
Patience by Definition
An easy way to explain to a preschooler what patience is is to say, “Patience is waiting with a good attitude.” We all know that small children do not like to wait! And, they make sure everyone knows it! “Are we there yet?” and “I’m tired of waiting!” are never fun things to hear your child say! So, be prepared! Before you go on that long trip, think of ways to help keep your child occupied so they can pass the time more peacefully. When you know you will be sitting in a waiting room, tell your child ahead of time how you expect them to act in there. You do not need to keep your child entertained every second of the day. In fact, doing so will not help them learn to be patient. But, set guidelines and enforce them. For example, “We are going to the dentist today. Mommy needs you to sit quietly in a chair while we wait for our turn.”
Praise Their Successes
Everyone likes to be acknowledged for a job well done. Tackling something as hard as patience is definitely something we need to praise in our children. When you see your child sitting quietly at the doctor’s office waiting for their name to be called, let them know that you noticed. When he waits patiently in line at the checkout at the store, point it out to him (and maybe get him a treat once in a while). By pointing out to children that they are doing something right, even when they don’t realize they are doing it, you solidify the concept of patience to them and make it sound like it is an achievable goal after all!
If you enjoyed these tips, you’ll want to check out our previous blog on Pumpkin Recipes With Your Preschooler!
Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Spring Kuykendahl located in Spring, 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.