Want To Become A More Patient Parent? Here's How
How to become a patient parent: Deep breaths. Tally marks. Pretend someone's watching. What would mom do? How does this help? Take a break. Teach.
The road to becoming a patient parent is hard, but it's also important and possible.
How to become a patient parent: some life-changing strategies
Ask yourself “why?”
It’s hard to believe but most kids don’t just act up because they are defiant by nature or “out of control.” Most kids are acting up for a reason and we have to ask ourselves why.
At the end of the day, you are dealing with kids and not adults. Young children’s brains are still developing and will not be fully formed until they are closer to 25. So some things will take time, but with time comes maturity and with maturity comes more understanding.
Refuel your body and mind.
Bob Marley wasn’t kidding when he said, “a hungry man is an angry man.” So eat something or hydrate yourself before dealing with your child’s behaviour. Nourishing your body and mind before dealing with your child will instantly lighten your mood. It will also help you to approach discipline in a calmer, more constructive and creative way.
This works best if you do it before the frustrating situation comes up. When you’re alone and in a quiet place. Visualize how you want to react the next time your child does something that typically gets you mad. How do you handle the situation? How do you look? What do you say? How does your child react? How does it help your relationship with your child? Think about all these things, visualize the perfect situation, and then try to actually make that happen when the situation comes up. This is how to become a patient parent.
How to become a patient parent requires some self honesty
Take time for yourself.
It’s probably not the best time to deal with your child’s behaviour if you’ve had a tough day at work or experiencing other stress in your life. So if you’ve had a bad day (or week), take the time to do something that will help you to feel better; whether it's getting a new hairstyle, exercising, or going out with friends. Taking time out for your mental health will give you perspective and make it possible for you to be a more patient parent.
Get help when you need it.
If you find yourself in a very difficult place with your child, talk to your child’s pediatrician. Studies show that behavioural therapy for kids really works and is most effective when kids are young. So if you need professional help, get it. It could be life-changing.
Count to 10.
This one really works. When you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry, stop. Count slowly to 10 (you can do this in your head). When you’re done, most of the initial impulse to yell will go away. Alternatively, if you count out loud to 10, your kids will learn quickly that this is a good sign to run away. This is how to become a patient parent.
This works very well in conjunction with the above tip. Count to 10, and then take three slow, deep breaths. Feel the frustration draining out of you with each breath.
Say a prayer.
Don’t forget to pray if you believe in the power of prayer. Ask God for the ability to be a more loving, supportive and more patient parent and he will give it to you.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that no one is perfect, that we should be enjoying this time with our kids, and that life should be fun — and funny. Smile, laugh, be happy. It doesn’t always work, but it’s good to remind yourself of this now and then.
Bonus tip: just love. Instead of reacting with anger, teach yourself to react with love. Your child spills something or has a messy room or breaks your family heirloom? Yells at you or gets in trouble at school? React with love. It’s the best solution.
Some other tips you could try:
- Pretend someone is watching
- what would your mum do
- Ask if your anger will help the situation