You know the drill… It’s time to leave for school in 5 minutes, and one kid can’t find one of his shoes for the 4th day in a row, two of the others are fighting over who gets the last Pop Tart, and somebody just spilled the gallon of milk all over the kitchen floor. Ahhh!
As parents, we’ve all had those days when the very last thing we had enough of was… patience. Yet, it was the one thing we needed most.
Well, while there’s no magic pill to give you unlimited patience, if you’re a parent who regularly, or even daily, feels like pulling your hair out (or the hair of your kids. lol), here are 5 practical ways to start every day as a more patient parent:
1. Wake up on time. Let’s admit that sometimes many of our problems are self-inflicted. We’re daily frazzled because we’re daily rushed. If what we’re doing hasn’t worked yet, what makes us think it will work if we continue doing it exactly the same way? That’s the definition of insanity – “doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.” If our wake up time, our routine, or our ability to be punctual isn’t working, nothing will change unless we do. So change things up by actually going to bed on time and getting up on time (or maybe getting up earlier).
2. Spend time alone with God. Yes, this may mean having to get up that much earlier, but the payoff can be huge. Especially for the parent who prioritizes even just a few minutes of quietness alone with God before the short people wake up and the crazy kicks in.
3. Pray for your family and with your family. Have enough wiggle room in your schedule to stop and pray together, even if it’s short. Because prayer changes things, and the best way to help your kids believe it is to do it. And, it gives your family a moment together of peace and quiet before the rest of the day. 🙂
4. Catch yourself in the moment. Most parents don’t always realize they’re even being impatient with their kids because their snappiness, harshness, or yelling becomes so routine. Practice catching yourself in the moment being impatient, and then start making course corrections.
5. Be in control of your tone. The exact same things said in a different tone of voice can make all the difference between patience or impatience, and between a positive or negative response. Impatience is seen and heard most often by your kids from your tone more than anything else. So be in control of your tone. Your tone can create calm or chaos, tension or trust, help or hurt, but it’s all up to you.
Patience as a parent doesn’t usually come naturally. It requires lots of work, lots of walking in the Spirit, and lots of love (and for some… lots of coffee).
However, these things will definitely help if you actually do them. So, which one do you need to start implementing into your daily routine to become a more patient parent for your kids?