The Key to Being Patient with kids
June 2, 2015  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

You´ve surely lost your temper with your kids more than once. But you are no exception. Children have that way of exasperating parents even though we know we shouldn’t be impatient. Sometimes, we even tend to lose our cool when kids can´t make up their mind. So we decide for them, take away the little independence they have and in the end, they become used to having adults solve their problems. Like a hobby, the good news is that we can learn to be patient. Just follow these tips.

Count to 10: It seems obvious and it truly works but we rarely do it. When you´re frustrated with your kids because they´re taking too long or they´ve been up to “no good”, stop for a minute and count to 10. While you do, take three deep, slow breaths. That initial impulse you had to scream at them will have passed.

Control your negativity: The worst thing you can do when you lose your patience is place yourself at the same level as your child. You are the adult and you are the one who can show them that things don´t get solved by screaming or getting mad or angry. We must learn to identify our feelings before they carry us away. Have a pen and paper handy to jot down the things that make you react. This way you´ll learn to see where your impulses come from and look for an alternative.

Someone´s watching: When we have visitors or other family members at home, we usually behave differently when we react to something our children do. Why not try imagining they are there next time you get flustered?

What would mom do? Some mothers are the most patient people in the world although they too, also have their down moments. If your mother fits this description, think of her next time things get out of control and ask yourself what would she have done?  Your more practical side will surely flourish. If your mother isn’t patient, you can think of someone you admire for the way they react to adversity.


What will we get out of this? Screaming and getting angry only makes you feel worse and kids will learn and associate misbehaviour with fear. Do you really want this for your family? Before losing your temper, think about the consequences first: What will we gain if I react like this?

Walk: if you feel incapable of controlling yourself, why not take a walk? Anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes will calm you down and you can re think what happened and how you´re going to deal with it.

Teach them: Children aren’t perfect. They need to learn how to behave and you are their master. You must be patient to teach them how to become patient. Even if that means repeating something over and over again. None of us are born knowing and we surely didn’t do things right the first time.

Visualize: Next time you have some minutes to yourself, think of a situation in the past that made you lose your patience. Ask yourself the following questions: What did I do? What did I say? How did I react? Did I help him understand? Then think of what you can do next time to correct your behaviour.

Firm but understanding: If your son or daughter spill the juice or haven’t cleaned up their messy room… Be firm, let them know what needs to get done and talk about it with respect and in a way they will understand. And remember you need to listen to what they have to say.

What do you do to be patient with your children?  

Photo Credits: Claus Rebler 

Photo Credits: Aaron Gilson


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