How to teach patience? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 07-07-2009, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Its not "discipline" per se, but kinda...

I have a very bright, very intense 4-almost-5 yr old who is a great kid. He really "gets" when we explain things, he's thoughtful and cares for others.

But, we are having a problem with patience. Now, I'm not asking a whole lot- to let me use the bathroom before I make him lunch. For him to wait until I am off the phone before I find his other shoe. I'm talking patience of 1-10 minutes while he is in a place where he could easily entertain himself- at home with toys, in the car, whatever and they are always wants, never needs. He is not whiney about it or mean or even unpleasantly demanding, just... asks contunually and always seems to want something. "Mommy can you tie this? Mommy can I have a granola bar? Mommy...". I set things up so he can do much on his own, but he obviously still needs me and I am home all day taking care of him, so we are always kind of chatting. And I don't mind doing the things he asks, just sometimes I need a minute before I get to it. I know that him not having a firm sense of time contributes to it (he cannot really estimate how long "5 minutes" is...) but I don't make him wait long for things and I try to give him answers of how long things will take in more concrete terms (let me start the dishwasher and let the dog out. Then we can go to the playground...). But, it's kind of continual. And, the bottom line is sometimes he has to wait.

He also does not easily wait to get involved. If we are making jam, he wants to start smushing the fruit before I've finished washing it. If we are starting the clothes washer, he's pushing the buttons before I've added the soap... *sigh*

None of these things he does with a mean spirit or any negativity. He is excited about life and is an intense kid who is always thinking and moving. But the continual asking and drive to "do" before I've set things up are making me feel pressured all day (even though that is obviously not his intention and I know it is me, just hearing "NOW, Mommy?" does it to me) and then I start to get upset and I'm really tired by the end of the day because I feel like I'm being driven. If I could get him to ease up a bit, we would both be happier.

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#2 of 2 Old 07-08-2009, 06:02 AM
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my first answer is that patience is just learned...through living and learning. he has to wait for some things and that is the way of life..not much to really teach as parents (i cant get a yogurt unless i can go to the bathroom first type of thing...eventually they learn that some things cant happen immediately...actually most things cant).

after reading your description, though..i wonder if maybe relaxing yourself would help. i often allow my 3 yo to set the tone for us without realizing that im doing it. i just want to get his needs met so i can do xyz and i react to him....which sets up this cascade of effects. Im not saying you are doing this...but maybe slow down a bit (a bit more than your usual slow) and discuss things more...not in the "after this we will do that" but about the present..."i need to go to the bathroom..." or "we have to let the dog out...what do you think she is going to do outside today"...something kind of silly but not crazy silly if that makes sense.

discussing the laundry and what you are doing...if he tries to push teh buttons before hand, try playful parenting with him....silly, what needs to be done before that gets done?

i find if i slow down my pace, the 3 yo will slow down his. i find trying to get too much done in my day leads my toddler to expect a lot to be done at a fast pace for him. not saying its anyone's fault...its the way life is sometimes, but when i slow down, i realize it doesn't really have to be that way.
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