Being a kid can be difficult – they have so much on their plate! Not only are they learning all about the world around them, but they are learning how to interact with it.
This can all be very overwhelming, and the last thing anyone needs when they’re trying to learn something is someone not being patient with them. Losing it with your kids is a common practice for many. Learning the steps to bulletproof your patience with your kids is a skill.
Children are little people, and a lack of patience can lead them to feel like they might not be good enough, and can actually have the opposite effect; being impatient with a child may result in a child that is reluctant to do anything, for fear of doing it wrong.
They might feel a lot of anxiety about asking for help, for example, preventing them from starting the task or activity.
A lot of the way they learn how to interact with the world starts with the way that they, themselves, are being interacted with. They learn to treat others based on how we treat them – so an impatient parent may lead to an impatient child.
It’s hard for a child to learn to do something that isn’t demonstrated for them first – that’s why “do as I say, not as I do” seldom works out as a piece of advice for young children.
Being patient with your child won’t just lead them to adopt good manners, however – it’ll also make them happier in general. A patient parent will help to allow a child to feel understood, by taking out some of those extra hurdles that they might have had to jump through otherwise.
That’s not to say that patient parenting is easy, however.
We all know that children like to test our patience as parents at the best of times.
Whether that is by repeatedly asking for something that is out of your ability to give them, nagging you for something whilst you are busy, or simply not doing what you are asking them to do, it can definitely get difficult to remain calm and understanding – after all, it doesn’t feel like they’re being calm and understanding of you, does it?
If you’d like to hone patience and good attributes in your child, practicing patient parenting is a sure-fire way to allow this to happen in a way that helps you to understand your child better – and, as a result, helps your child to better understand you.
Stop Losing It With Your Kids: 10 Steps To Bulletproof Your Patience
Step One: They Don’t Mean To Be Frustrating – Remember That They Are Just Kids
If you find that your child is really testing your patience, the first step we would encourage all parents to do is to keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that they don’t mean to be frustrating you – they’re just being kids!
A lot of the time, actions that we would perceive as purposely annoying as adults don’t appear the same way to children. For example, a child that is repeatedly trying to get your attention whilst you are busy isn’t necessarily trying to specifically distract you from the task at hand.
The child might feel in need of something – whether that’s attention, entertainment of another kind, or the source of what it is they are asking you for.
If you find that your child is really upset and they’re expressing it in the form of a tantrum, this can be quite frustrating to deal with. On these occasions, it’s easy to lose your temper, especially if you have things that you need to do.
It’s in these situations, however, that it is most important that you remember that they are kids. They might be reacting this way because they don’t quite know how to express what is upsetting them, or they feel uncomfortable or misunderstood.
It is easy to lose it with your kids but it is important to bulletproof your patience.
Remember that if they are acting like this, they’re really upset themselves, and if you choose to get upset you aren’t demonstrating how to handle feeling that way productively.
If you decide to yell at your child, there’s a chance they’ll see this as an acceptable response to feeling frustrated, and yell at you in return.
Step Two: Talk In A Way That Your Child Can Understand You
It’s easy to assume that you’ve already got this step covered by using simple words and concepts that are easy to understand – but there’s some extra stuff that you can do to really make your communication with your children effective.
It’s all well and good giving your child a long monologue as to why they shouldn’t do something, but this is unlikely to keep their attention for very long and can cause you to come across as unfair, leading them not to follow your advice and perhaps argue against it instead.
It is easy to lose it with your kids but it is important to bulletproof your patience.
Luckily, you have the option of explaining things in a way that they can understand you better.
By speaking in a nice tone of voice, and helping them to understand how doing what you’ve asked can work out nicely for everyone, you can help them to understand that you aren’t just someone that tells them to do things because you feel like it – you actually have a reason.
It’s important to be firm but fair; make it clear that something needs to be done, however, be understanding about any difficulties your child might face whilst doing it.
Sometimes, a little explanation and some caring words can go a long way in making your communication with your child effective.
Step Three: Try To See Things From Their Point Of View
As we’ve already said – being a child can be difficult. The world is brand-new, and there’s so much to learn! Having so much to take in all at once can be really overwhelming, and it can make some concepts that might seem easy to us adults, hard to grasp for a child.
Tantrums or outbursts can happen as a result of being overwhelmed in this way. To a child, it might not make sense that they can’t do a certain activity.
Of course, a lack of understanding doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to do it. It does mean that being patient with them whilst explaining these concepts is incredibly important, however.
Put yourself in their shoes. Have they had a hard day? Did they have enough sleep? Has something potentially distressing happened to them (for example, have they fallen out with a sibling?)?
You can take these things into consideration when attempting to help them to understand why they shouldn’t be doing a certain activity. It is easy to lose it with your kids but it is important to bulletproof your patience to look at alternative ways to resolve the situation.
Step Four: Work Out What Frustrates You
In order to control your anger around your children and look at steps you can take to bulletproof your patience, you first need to understand what makes you angry or frustrated, to begin with.
By understanding what might cause you to feel this way, you can put things into place to help you to recognize your feelings, and control them so that they don’t come out or affect your parenting.
If your child talks back or has outbursts that you know are likely to frustrate you when your child starts to get frustrated you can prepare yourself for this to happen.
Firstly, take a few deep breaths when you notice that this is about to happen. Remind yourself that they are probably feeling overwhelmed, and this behavior isn’t there to hurt you intentionally.
Take the time to calm down, so that you have a level head when interacting with your child. By recognizing what frustrates you, you can remind yourself not to give this emotion power, and not allow it to get in the way of your parenting.
Step Five: Take A Breath Or A Break – Whatever Works
It might be that simply reminding yourself that your child has the ability to frustrate you is not enough to keep those negative feelings at bay – especially if your child is particularly relentless with their tantrums and outbursts.
In these instances, the best thing to do in order to bulletproof your patience might be to walk away from that situation for a moment. You can inform your child as to why this is – in fact, we would recommend that you do so.
Explaining that you are taking a break from the situation because you are feeling frustrated will help them to learn that they can also do the same as a way of dealing with negative feelings.
Rather than taking them out on whatever party your child feels is causing those feelings, they can instead take a few moments to reflect on those feelings so that they can address them more productively.
Taking a few minutes away from the situation can also help you to calm down, and it gives you the room to use some of the other techniques mentioned within this article.
It might not always be possible to stay patient enough to do all of these things straight away – but after a minute or two to calm down, a lot of these steps can be a breeze.
This is great news – a break for you when things might be getting a little too much, and modeling a productive way of stepping away from an argument so as not to cause any damage. Two birds with one stone!
Step Six: Allow Your Child A Break If They Need One Too
Sometimes, nothing can get addressed unless both parties are in the mood to address it – believe it or not, the same logic can also apply to a situation between a parent and a child.
If trying to explain something to your child doesn’t work, no matter how you word it, it might be that you need to stop for just a minute, and come back from it. It is easy to lose it with your kids but it is important to bulletproof your patience.
Ask your child if they need a minute to think about what you have just said so that they can process it properly.
You may find that after a couple of moments to think about their actions, they are able to understand things better, as there aren’t any extra emotions being added to the situation.
This also allows them to recognize their own emotional boundaries, and if something is starting to frustrate them, they can ask for a moment or two of space and leave the argument in order to prevent that from happening.
It’s important not to allow them to walk away from the issue altogether, however – you don’t want them to use this technique in order to avoid learning something important.
Make sure to tell them that you’ll give them a set amount of time to cool off before checking on them, as this will ensure that they don’t get distracted by something else without addressing the issue.
Step Seven: Pick Your Battles
Not every argument is worth it, especially when it comes to children.
A lot of the things that children might frustrate you over aren’t even problems when you’ve put a little time in between yourself and the event.
Try to keep this in mind whenever you find yourself getting frustrated with your child – is what they’ve done really worth that amount of emotion?
Of course, parenting is one of the most difficult things you can do, and it can be incredibly frustrating even at the best of times – but having to use this amount of emotional energy all of the time is sure to take its toll – on both you and your child.
It is not hard to lose it with your kids in these situations, but it is so worth taking the steps needed to bulletproof your patience and move forward positively.
If you and your children are surrounded by these feelings of frustration all of the time, it can always feel like a negative environment, and it makes the journey to that emotion a lot faster than it would if you are all happy or calm a lot of the time instead.
Achieving this with children can be done by utilizing patience, and a lot of it – and one of the things that you can do to always ensure that you are doing so is by assessing whether the thing you are upset about is going to cause them danger, stack up over time, or get in the way of what needs to be done immediately.
You should absolutely always educate your child if what they are doing is unsafe or unkind, however, outside of these circumstances, there may be a little bit of wiggle room.
Consistency is incredibly important to kids, so if it’s something specific, like bedtime, try not to move out of this space too often.
If you’re trying to get your child into the bath and you know that getting them into bed that night will also be difficult, you can choose to forego the bath until the next morning – you don’t need to let them know that you’ve made that decision, but you do get the opportunity to cut yourself some slack by doing so.
Step Eight: Apologize If You Are In The Wrong
By apologizing when you are in the wrong, you are also helping your child to see that even adults can make mistakes, and as long as you handle that mistake responsibly and learn from it, it doesn’t have to be a problem.
By apologizing to your child when you are wrong, you are also helping them to understand what a positive relationship feels like, helping them to avoid ending up in relationships that don’t hold the same values in the future.
It also gives your child the knowledge that you will own up to your mistakes, and it helps them to feel like they don’t need to make it their job to call you out if you mess things up – if they can trust that you will do it, they won’t feel as desperate to get you to see their point of view. They’ll know that you get it.
Step Nine: Make What You’re Asking Of Them As Clear As Possible
It can be difficult for adults to understand what other adults are asking, so imagine what it can sometimes be like for a child!
Ensuring that you’re talking to them in terms that they can understand, by using simple sentences, short words, and easy to understand concepts can help your child to take what you are saying on board, and will help the both of you to stay calm and communicate with each other effectively.
If your child is struggling to understand what you are telling them, ask them which part they don’t understand, in a patient way.
By giving them the space to explain their problems to you, you help yourself to be in a better position to help them address those problems – whilst also allowing you to ensure that your child understands you.
Step Ten: Understand That Kids Will Be Kids
Unfortunately, there are some things that we, as parents, just don’t have control over – and our children’s boisterous behavior might be one of them.
What we can control, or try to control, is our ability to stop losing it with our kids, and the steps we can take to bulletproof our patience.
It’s hard to understand that this confidence that might frustrate you so much on a daily basis is exactly what you need to hone in on to ensure that your child is a happy, independent individual – but that’s exactly what you need to do.
Having to hear the same joke on repeat, or having to deal with outbursts every five minutes might drive you a little insane. But it’s these things they can really rely on their parents for – who else is going to act surprised every time they reel off the same punchline to the same joke?
And who else is going to have the patience through their outbursts and tantrums, ready to offer a hand and a hug, unconditionally, at a moment’s notice?
That’s why they have you. It’s these things that allow you to truly be that special person your child needs in their life. For the final time, being a child can be overwhelming – but you’re in the perfect position to make their growing-up journey just a little less difficult.
So, if you are looking for ways in which you can stop losing it with your kids, then our definitive guide to 10 steps you can take to bulletproof your patience is a great way to start being more patient. Follow these simple steps to make life more harmonious for you and your kids.