Take the Extra Minutes: How to Build Patience into Your Day

Patience is a virtue. We tell our kids this all the time. But, as grown-ups, we don’t always put it into practice. Often, when parents begin to lose their patience it’s because they have somewhere to be and their little one isn’t doing what they need to do to get out the door. If you’ve found yourself stressed, angry, and raising your voice at your toddler, consider simply starting your routine earlier to make sure you don’t end up losing your patience.

When little kids drag their feet they usually don’t do so because they want to make their parents mad. Often, their slower than ideal movement is completely developmentally appropriate. Cognitively, young kids need more time than grownups to process what needs to be done and in what order they should do it: putting on shoes, gathering belongings, and eating breakfast are all big activities for little minds. Physically, kids also usually need more time than adults to complete activities– zipping a zipper, using a spoon, and tying shoes are just harder for kids than for grownups.

Once parents understand that kids simply can’t go faster than they are, they start to realize that raising their voice and losing their patience isn’t productive.

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When you have tasks that need to be completed and you can’t speed them up, the only solution is to give yourself (and your kids) more time. Consider changing up your routine in a positive manner by getting up and starting your day earlier than you do now. Sometimes, all you need to do to give yourself the time is set your alarm earlier by 10-15 minutes.

So parents, as tough as it can be to get up earlier, cutting out the last few minutes of morning sleep can change your whole day. When you have the time you need to let your kids be kids you can take a deep breath and keep a smile on your face — and a smile and laughter in the morning can change the mood of the whole day. 

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Take the Extra Minutes: How to Build Patience into Your Day

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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