Yesterday, my middle child celebrated his 100 days of school. He was so proud of the project he prepared on his own in celebration of this day! By applying his Math knowledge, he arranged 100 bottle lids into groups of ten where he could easily count the number needed. As I made him pose for a memory picture, it struck me that not only he has grown so fast, but 100 days of this school year have elapsed. It felt like yesterday when we accompanied him to his Grade One class. He was my little baby who used to tug at my feet to help him remove his socks. Everything seems to be moving way too fast, too speedy.
Then my thoughts went even further in reflection and I realized that as we are moving fast forward in life, we are also losing an essential attribute in our daily routine; and that is patience!
We feel we don’t have the patience while driving, or when the internet is slow, or when we tend to multiple issues at the same time. With all the media and the expansion of technology things are indeed moving at a very high speed that we cannot really wait for results to come out. We want everything to be completed in a short period of time! To be honest with you, the idea by itself freaked me out. How could I make my children understand what patience is. How can I make them appreciate it? How can they understand the importance of being patient humans as they grow into mature adults?
After giving it a lot of consideration, I came out with four basic points which we usually apply and I think these steps help a lot in exercising patience successfully.
Children are watching the way we act more than they are listening to what we say. That is why, if we as parents are not patient with our children, or our house helper, or with any other adult, they will obviously follow into our steps and become impatient beings. Practicing our patience with our children makes them appreciate time and learn how to use it conveniently. It also makes them feel secure and protected by parents who provide them with time and tolerance in dealing with issues.
Reduce Screen Exposure:
It has been scientifically proven that early exposure to screens is harmful for children not only physically but also mentally. When a child is nailed in front of the screen for hours, his/her body is not being active. Moreover, the speed in which the images move on the screen are way faster than the movement in reality. Hence the boredom and hyperactivity result once the child is seated in a classroom. If a child gets used to the idea of accomplishing things just by pressing on a button, then being patient in real life would be far-fetched for his/her sight.
Learning to Not Hurry:
Talking with our children about the importance of acquiring patience is essential. We always try to have them face real life situations where they need to understand the importance of resilience. So they know that things need time to ripen, just like a fruit. Highlighting these points with them helps instinctively restore this information and use it sometime later in life. Moreover, they should acquire the fact that they need to work hard to achieve their goals.
Every Wednesday I have the twins unconsciously practice their patience as we wait for their brothers to finish their music lessons. It is of course easier to take an Ipad and have them watch nursery rhymes while I sit and relax for 30 minutes, but fortunately I don’t. In fact, I tell them that while waiting for the boys we can scribble, identify pictures of animals and things, mold play dough, and enjoy a healthy snack. Honestly, it is tiring to stay voluntarily active and keep them quietly occupied for 30 minutes, but I am certain it will pay back. I know that I am training them to be able to wait while knowing how to beneficially enjoy their time.
In this steadfast lifestyle we follow, as a mom of five I sometimes feel I am out of breath. We are always on the run with many errands to do and abundant obligations to cover. Having written down what I usually do with my children, eased my worries and made me want to work harder on my inner self. I not only want to continue being the patient mom that I am, but I also want to have it embedded in every breath I take. After all it is always beneficial to press pause for a while and patiently observe yourself. Take it all in one at a time, step by step.
I would like to know about your ways of practicing patience in your lives and how you train your little ones on attaining it.