Raise your hand if you struggle with patience as a mom? If your hand is not up right now- I don’t believe you. We all lose our patience with our kids sometimes! Patience is so hard!
I’ve asked nearly 3,000 parents, “What is the biggest struggle right now for you as a parent?”So so so many answers included the words patient or patience. The stuggle is real. Patience is hard.
So where do we begin making this easier for us moms? Let’s start by looking at the word patient itself. According to dictionary.com, patient means “bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like.”
Oh man, we know too well what provocation and annoyance can look like in the daily life of a mom. How about kids who just don’t listen?!
But what does fortitude and calm look like in our reactions?
When your child has a major overreaction to something small, what types of things do you find yourself saying to them? Any of these mom-isms sound familiar?
- You can only control your own behavior.
- Does this size of your problem match the size of your reaction?
- Take some deep breaths.
- Was that worth getting so upset over?
- You need to chill out. Go to your calming spot.
- Pause and think before you react.
Now think about the last few times you faced provocation and annoyance as our definition put it. Did you model any of these? Did you pause before you reacted? Did you take deep breaths? Did you walk away to your calming spot? Probably not. It’s okay- you’re human. We all lose our patience and overreact. You’re in good company here.
But in the name of doing better next time, of modeling self-regulation for our kids, what strategy are you willing to start practicing and demonstrating?
If we want our kids to pause and consider their options before reacting, are we willing to model that first?
If we want our kids to breathe before spouting off a retort, are we willing to breathe first?
When you find your patience dwindling, pause for a second. Tell yourself that this is a teachable moment. Then start narrating your thoughts to your kids so they can watch and learn from your example. Try these:
- I’m losing my patience. I need to change something before I lose my cool.
- I’m feeling frustrated. I’m going to try taking deep breaths before I say anything else.
- I’m at a 4. Before I end up at a 5, I’m going to try going out back to breathe some fresh air. (Referencing the 5 point scale as a way to talk about emotions.)
- My child’s behavior is making me feel frustrated. But the only person whose behavior I can control is my own. I need to think about my choices before I lose my cool.
Your big takeaways today:
- It’s okay to find yourself feeling impatient as a mom. This means you’re human.
- If we want our kids to learn to manage their own behavior, we must first model self-control, self-regulation, and self-management strategies ourselves.
- Narrate your internal thoughts to model for your kids. Feel your patience waning, teachable moment time!
We can do hard things, mama- even finding ways to keep our cool! You got this!