Patience can be a difficult skill to nurture. If the only way you console your child is to give in to their needs, it can be easy to avoid the concept of patience. Yet might work against your child the older they get. As an adult, it’s much easier to apply patience because we have more self-control. The same cannot be said for toddlers and children.
That’s why at Keren’s Nursery we encourage patience early on, to nurture better relationships and rounded, happy children.
Read on to find out more.
Tips To Teach Children Patience
When it comes to patience, children generally need a bit of guidance. The concept of time is different for children than it is for adults, making the act of waiting all the more challenging for a toddler. In fact, many children tend to feel uncomfortable when waiting which is why they may act out. They simply need to be taught how to be patient as it does not come naturally.
1. Start Practising In Small Ways
To start, it’s best to introduce the concept of patience in small ways. This might include asking your child to stay calm for one minute before they can watch their favourite TV show. Over time, increase this amount by 30 seconds in order to test their patience for longer periods.
An even better way to encourage patience is to use a tangible tool such as a timer so children can see how long they have to wait. This can get them used to the concept and may make it easier to be patient by having a prompt for them to focus on.
2. Avoid Instant Gratification
In a world where instant gratification is easily achieved through social media and the Internet, it’s important that we try to avoid it with our children as much as possible so they learn valuable life skills. This step may be tricky at first but it can really help your child to build character and patience.
As an example of how to avoid instant gratification, if your child or toddler wants a snack you could tell them that they need to complete another task first, requiring them to wait a number of minutes before fulfilling their request. This will allow them to practise self-control and get used to having to be patient. Be sure to encourage your child and praise them for waiting as a form of positive reinforcement.
3. Practice With Games
If the above steps have not seemed to work it could be worth resorting to games. Family-friendly board games can be a great way of teaching your child how to wait their turn. When playing, you could explain what is happening. For instance, you could mention ‘It’s my turn now so you need to wait, but it will be your turn after’. This way, your child should be able to focus on the game and begin to practise patience in a natural environment without even realising it.
4. Get Social
When playing with others, children are likely to have to be patient and take turns naturally. Getting a buddy involved by organising a play date or even taking your child to the park can be a great way for them to see patience in real time. They may have to wait for their turn on the swing or be patient when a friend is trying to explain something. The same goes for nurseries and childcare establishments – encouraging your child to mingle with others can really help them to develop vital skills including communication, creativity, and empathy, as well as patience.
5. Stay Positive
Finally, you should always try to keep a positive attitude. Children often pick up on our emotions more than we might realise. As a result, if you get angry or agitated with your child when they are trying to practise patience, this can reflect negatively on the concept. Instead, try to remain calm and praise them for waiting in their day-to-day activities. The more they learn how to be patient, the more likely they are to practice it on their own and become adept at doing so.