5 Practical Ways To Teach Children Patience

5 Practical Ways To Teach Children Patience Cover Image

Patience as a skill is important – in adults and well as kids. However, teaching your child patience can be a strenuous task, but with these 5 effective ways, you are sure make it a pleasant experience for the both you and your child! Read on to know more.

Patience is a principle that everyone must learn at some point in their lives. And, it’s a skill that can help children learn to wait on things, even if they get annoyed of the prospect. However, patience can do wonders when children can make rational choices, have self-control, and develop better critical thinking skills.

So, how can you teach patience to your children?

Here are 5 practical methods to effectively teach children patience:

1. Start Small

First and foremost, as a parent, you have to understand that most young children won’t understand the concept of patience right away. However, when they start going to nursery, they’ll need to learn some form of patience. 

Therefore, be sure to start small when teaching patience to your child. For example, when your toddler asks for a snack, a drink, or a toy, say “Yes, I’ll help you!” Afterwards, move slowly, while having your child see that you’re fulfilling their request, despite them seeing that that request wasn’t as quick as they had hoped. 

Once you fulfill their request, say “Thank you for waiting patiently!” Be consistent with these small steps and, eventually, your child will catch on.


2. Waiting Vs. Instant Gratification

Now, the “wait a little longer” method should come after using the “moving slowly” method. The “wait a little longer” method implies that you’ll fulfill a child’s request (a toy or a snack, for example) right after you finish one thing first. Now, the first task can be 10 to 15 seconds, or longer at 2 to 5 minutes, just as long as you honor your child’s request afterwards. Once you honor their request, tell them “Thank you for waiting!” Also, make it a habit to praise your child for waiting patiently, and in doing this method, so that they can see how important it is to be patient.


3. Understand When Children Find It Hard Waiting Patiently

Sometimes, your child might become distraught from having to be patient for something. That’s understandable, but don’t that against them. If they get cranky after a while, acknowledge their frustration. Don’t get cranky with them, or else they’ll see through your method of trying to teach them patience. Besides, it’s never good seeing a parent and a child both angry.

Just take a deep breath, and then hug your child. Hugging your child should make them feel better. Besides, hugging is more of a reason to be patient. 


4. Patience As Playtime

Your child will learn to take turns at some point. However, taking turns is an excellent way for your child to practice patience. 

Think about the toys that your child has. If they have a ball, then throw a ball with them. At some point or another, hold the ball for a few seconds before throwing it back to them. Or, if they have dolls, have them simulate a scene – like a doctor visit, for example. Here, your child can demonstrate the waiting period and the outcome. (Maybe then they’ll see how important it is to wait for something like a doctor visit.)

So, you see, patience doesn’t have to be as boring as it may sound. This leads to the final point…


5. Games/Activities That Teach Children Patience While Waiting

Finally, patience can be fun, if you think about it. In fact, many games can either take your child’s mind off of waiting, or they teach them patience. 

Consider playing these games with your child, as you wait for something with them:

  • Candyland
  • Connect 4
  • Headbanz
  • I Spy
  • Tic Tac Toe, etc.

Playing these types of board games, along with more active games, with your child can help them learn self-control and the concept of taking turns. 


Conclusion

As you can see, patience doesn’t have to be boring to teach your child. In fact, teaching patience to your child can be a pleasant experience for the both of you.

As a recap, there are practical ways in teaching your child patience, including:

  • Taking small steps
  • Gradually moving on to having your child wait longer
  • Considering how your child might or might not be handling wait times
  • Making patience playtime, AND
  • Considering more advanced games that can directly teach them patience.

By keeping these 5 practical ways in mind, you’ll be able to effectively teach your children patience, and they can use that going down the road.

About the Guest Author

Elizabeth Hines is a writer and psychology tutor at Academized. As a content writer, she writes articles on topics in psychology and childcare.

Featured image credit: Freepik

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