New York City 291 300x199 POSITIVE PARENTING:  HAVING PATIENCEAs I’m getting older I find that my perspective on patience has changed.   I no longer think it’s a crime that I  move slower.  If I can’t complete all the goals I’ve set for one day, I put them on a list for another day.  Patience is my ability or inability to deal with time.  I watch sports and patience plays an important role on
every team’s agenda. Patience is waiting for the play to develop.

Anyone who has young children knows that dealing with them can be very stressful.  By practicing patience I feel that I can relieve this stress.   I understand that everything I do with my 5 year old moves at a slower pace.  Having 3 other kids has taught me that this is normal.  I’ve done many things to try to speed up this process  but it has only increased my stress.  I found that, just like in sports, good planning is the prerequisite for patience.  I have to wait for the play to develop by giving enough time for it to develop.  I’ve learned over the years that I must anticipate what my kids will do (or not do).

For example, going to the bathroom.  My kids seemed always amazed that I know exactly when they have to go.  It’s not so much that I know as it is that I don’t like to wait until they tell me they have to go. The rule is my kids must go to the bathroom (or at least try) before we go out. I know that when they speak up it’s already too late and this can turn into an extremely difficult situation when I’m doing 55 miles an hour on
the highway.

Another example is when I take him to school.  I’ve developed a routine that I use every day that begins the night before.  I use this time to get his clothes ready, get his snack ready, check homework, and see if there are any notes from his school.  I also make sure that I’m ready for the next day.  I get up at 5am ( I start cooking breakfast at about 6am) and get him up around 6:30.  This gives me more than enough time to get him ready and have him at school on time. When things move a little different, I’m  able  to be patient because I’ve factored in the time to get things done.

My 15 year old lives with his mom.  I get him every other week and it never fails that he makes me wait ( sometimes  a 1/2 hour) before he comes downstairs.  When I first began getting him I never had this problem but I guess he’s getting slower at his old age ( or waiting until the last minute to get ready).    In order to keep my wait shorter and my stress lower, I call him when I leave my house and every 15 minutes so that by the time I get there, he’s ready.  I practice patience because I know what to expect.

The key to patience is planning.  By having an idea of what to expect and by keeping in mind that everything moves slower with my kids I’m able to keep my stress to a reasonable level.

I’d like to know how you practice patience.  Please leave a comment.  You can also receive these posts when I publish them by subscribing to my blog.

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I LOVE BEING A DAD!

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