Teaching Patience to Children

We have all observed children having temper tantrums. It could be someone’s child that is waiting in line at the grocery store, or it could be in your own home when your child needs something “right this minute.” In a world where convenience is all around and instant gratification is just a click of a button, how do we teach our children to be patient?

1. Set Realistic Timelines for Appropriate Ages – Do not ask a two year old to wait for a toy over a long period of time. Start small and build up time. Try to keep the time frame within your child’s comprehension. Use an egg or sand timer when your child in not old enough to read time and explain when the bell rings or when all the sand reached the bottom that you are able to fulfill the demand.

2. Don’t Jump with Every Demand – It is very easy to give into your child’s wants right away, but overtime it can become overwhelming or interrupt important situations. Would it not be nice on your next phone call that your child sees you are busy and waits until you are off the phone! It will be hard in the start, but very rewarding for both of you in the end.

3. Make Learning Patience Fun – Involve children in activities that make learning patience fun. Think of making cookies or plant seeds in your garden. Your child will love waiting to see those yummy cookies bake or watch that seed turn into beautiful flowers.

4. Keep Promises – A child needs to trust your word. If you promise on taking your child to the park after lunch, do not start another task such as cleaning the car after lunch and prolonging when it is time to go to the park. Stay true to your word.

5. Reward – Reward good behaviour. When your child notices that you are talking to a neighbour and waits for help until after your conversation is over, tell your child how great they did and how proud you are of them.

6. Turn off Electronics – Video and computer games give your child instant engagement. Try bringing out a board game that involve all players to take turns. Games such as Monopoly teach children patience by waiting for their turn.