The next time you yourself behave with impatience, stop, own it, and use it as an opportunity to show your kids a big attitude change in action. For example, you're waiting in line in a restaurant, you're stuck in traffic, you want to use the phone at home, or your computer is taking forever to download; instead of getting all hot and puffy, yelling at the machine, or pacing up and down, use your Assault of the Deadly Impatient Bug as a teachable moment. First, acknowledge to your kid that you nearly succumbed but are still able to regain your patience.Talk out what's going on in your head and share with them your efforts: "I'm really impatient, I need to take a deep breath. I'll go sort the laundry until this darn computer is done downloading. How am I doing? Do I deserve a gold star, or do you think I need more work on being patient?"The more your kid sees you admit your impatient attitude and model healthy ways to beat it, the more likely she is to try it herself. Your child needs to recognize that not only is patience a virtue but it is also a more practical, healthier way to get things done. So repeat this emergency attitude Rx as many times as necessary.
Impatient kids want things now. They hate to wait, want everything done instantly (and done in their favor), and really aren't concerned about somebody else's feelings and needs. After all, it's their inner clocks that are ticking, and as far as they are concerned, everyone else's watches should be set to comply with their time demands.
Standing in line with these kids can be absolute torture. They can't understand why they have to wait: it's an inconven ience to their schedule. Heaven help you if the waiter is late, the movie won't start, the airplane is stuck on the runway, the computer is slow downloading, or the game is postponed. Everyone pays the price and must endure the kid's tirades, despite the fact that everyone else is probably inconvenienced as well.
Make no mistake: impatient kids have an attitude, plain and simple, and there are two prime causes.We've become a sprint-paced, instant-message, microwave society that wants things immediately.We have also made the mistake of giving in straight away to our kids and trying to satisfy their whims, wishes, and wants instantly.
Patience is a very important virtue that puts us in harmony with other people and the natural rhythm of events. Patience teaches us to be sensitive to others and more aware of what's going on around us. It boosts character, improves our relationships, is better for them in the long run, and ultimately makes us happier. Let's just make sure our kids recognize this. The first step is to curb their impatient attitudes and replace them with the virtues of patience, self-discipline, and serenity.
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