Start a Patience Extension Plan for your family. Make a commitment to take every opportunity to show your kids the value of patience in your daily family life, whenever you're stuck, or when you've experienced something that's taking a long time. For example:
"It's going to take a while for Mom to finish blow drying her hair, so sit down here and talk to me, Peter, while we wait.We'll be going as soon as she gets out of the bathroom."
"I see there's a long line here; you must be really busy here tonight at this restaurant. Thanks for letting us wait until there's a window table." "Let's celebrate, kids. I've been working on that account for eighteen months, and they finally signed up with us just today."
"It took me three weeks to read that book, but I felt so inspired by the time I got to the end."
Take a pledge to cultivate patience as a family. You might start by discussing what things are fueling impatience and then find ways to create less stress so you have more time to enjoy each other—for example:
• Reduce one thing on your weekly schedule.
• Take the phone off the hook for an hour each night and let the answering machine do its magic.
• Set a moratorium on unnecessary errands.
• Turn the TV off for a half-hour at a certain time.
• Add ten minutes after dinner as family time or find a time each night when all family members can be together for even a brief time.
Then during those added minutes, take that uninterrupted, unstressed time to enjoy each other and listen patiently.
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