Because patience is not an innate virtue, young children must be taught the art of waiting for what they want. Because you are more experienced in knowing whatÂ’s best for your child, youÂ’re more qualified to control when he can do what he wants to do and what conditions must be met before he does it. Explain these conditions clearly.
Because patience is not an innate virtue, young children must be taught the art of waiting for what they want. Because you are more experienced in knowing what’s best for your child, you’re more qualified to control when he can do what he wants to do and what conditions must be met before he does it. Explain these conditions clearly.
Also, show him how having patience pays off in your life, too. Your child is discovering that the world will not always revolve around his desires. It’s not too soon for him to start learning how to cope with this often frustrating fact of life.
Here are some tips to prevent the problem:
Provide a menu of activities from which your child may choose.
Set up conditions that must be satisfied before your child gets his own way, and provide him with suggestions for activities he can do while he’s waiting for what he wants.
Reward even the slightest sign of patience by telling your child how glad you are he waited. Define patience if you think he might not be familiar with the word. This teaches your child that he does have the ability to put off his wants, even though he doesn’t know it yet. It also helps him feel good about himself, because you feel good about his behavior.
Remain as calm as you can.
If your child protests waiting or not having things his own way, remind yourself that he’s learning a valuable lesson for living: the art of patience. By seeing you be patient, he’ll soon learn that demanding doesn’t get his wants satisfied as quickly as getting the job done.
If your child is screaming, “I want ice cream! I want ice cream!” simply state the conditions he must meet in order to satisfy his wants. Be positive. Say, “When you’ve picked up your toys then you can have ice cream.”
Avoid a flat “No.”
Whenever it’s possible and safe, tell your child how he can have his own way. Avoid making him feel that his desires will never be satisfied. Sometimes, you may need to say no to your child (when he wants to play with a match, for instance). At those times, try to offer alternative toys to satisfy his wishes and to foster a sense of compromise and flexibility.
Don’t demand that your child do something “now.”
Demanding that your child immediately do what you want contradicts the lesson you’re trying to teach. If you don’t want him to demand instant results, don’t do it yourself.
Don’t reward impatience.
Don’t give in to your child’s desires every time he wants his own way. Although it may be tempting to do so in order to avoid a battle or a tantrum, constantly giving in only reinforces his impatient behavior and fails to teach him patience.
Make sure your child knows it’s not his demanding that got his wants fulfilled.
Though your child may moan and groan throughout the waiting time, make sure he knows that you’re getting in the care because you’re ready and your jobs are done, not because he wailed his way out the door.