Parenting comes with its share of difficulties. I think the most commonly ignored phrase these days is “mom needs a minute alone!” Kids require so much attention and energy. It can be rather difficult to keep up with all their needs. Frustration is inevitable. Snapiness will happen. Ultimately we all want to be able to have the patience to be the best parents we can be to our kids. But it can be hard sometimes to have that patience.
Ultimately you may end up in a place where you feel guilty for yelling when you were frustrated. Or for responding in a way that you didn’t mean or want to. This can lead to feeling not good enough and disappointed in yourself. You are not alone in this. In fact, all parents feel this way from time to time. And in some points of life, maybe more stressors are happening, we feel this more than other times.
Whether it’s your child refusing to eat their dinner or get dressed. Or you are rushing out of the house and they refuse to listen to what needs to get done. Or maybe it’s the constant fights your two kids have with one another. All of this can lead to limited patience. The feeling that you are on overload and you just don’t have it in you.
The truth is that there is a lot you can do to be more patient with your kids. You just have to be ready to commit to some new strategies and ways of thinking, communicating, and taking care of you!
Here are 4 tips to being more patient with your kids
Tip One for being more patient with your kids: Identify your desire for patience as an intention. And know why you want it!
What does it mean to have your desire for patience set as an intention? It means really being conscious of wanting this to be your reality. It is reminding yourself of this as often as possible! I like to write down my intentions and visions on a daily basis (I do miss days but definitely pick back up!). This helps me keep it at the forefront of my mind. Patience with my kids is definitely one of the intentions I remind myself about.
Another big part of it is knowing WHY you want this patience in your life with your kids. Do you want to be able to raise them to have their own ability to regulate? Are you wanting to encourage independence in them? Do you know that when you are patient you are proud of yourself? Why is this something you are needing to change?
In child therapy in Simi Valley, ca we work from a systemic perspective meaning we make sure to help parents grow. We know that when you are in a place where you are proud of yourself your child will only benefit. Increasing self awareness, setting up intentions, and knowing why you are making a change are all essential ways to help you be the parent you want to be.
Tip Two for more patience with your kids: Practice breathing before responding.
There is something about breathing that gets your mind to slow down and just gives you the gift of more patience. The difficulty is remembering to breathe before responding. This is another intention to set for yourself and it does take practice. On the surface it may seem like a simple tool but the truth is most of us struggle to slow down in the moment.
Breathing is a signal to yourself that “you are taking a second for you.” That you have control to slow things down. Oxygen goes into your brain and helps you settle things down. In general, breathing is helpful in moments of frustration and anxiety and is useful in all parts of your life. But kids do require that extra patience sometimes and lots of breathing!
In online therapy in Los Angeles we work with our clients on practicing breathing as a means to slow down. We help you recognize your triggers and develop strategies to gain more control over your responses with your kids.
Tip Three for being more patient with your kids: Self-care as priority
As parents we often focus on everyone else and tend to forget ourselves. The reality is that without taking care of you you won’t be able to have the space to take care of others in your life. What do you do for self-care? Are you consistent? Is it enough? There are so many ways to take care of yourself but the trick is to make sure it’s consistent and rejuvenating.
Do you meditate? Do you exercise regularly? How about reading a good book? What’s your self-care practice? Self care shouldn’t be something you have last on the list. It needs to be in the schedule and as permanent as anything else you would do for others including your kids. You need to make you as important if not the most important part of your life. When you do so, you will have so much more ability to be the parent you want to be to your kids. And will have a lot more patience for the hard moments!
Tip Four for more patience with your kids: Make sure your marriage is a priority
Your marriage needs to be a priority for you. When you put your marriage on the backburner you are setting yourself for a lot of difficulty ahead. In many ways your marriage needs to be prioritized over your kids. Hear me out. When you feel connected and supported and ultimately that you have a partner in life everything else becomes easier.
In marriage counseling in Simi Valley, Ca we make sure to help you build your connection with your partner so that you can build your family to where you want it to be. When you have a rocky marriage it is much harder to have the patience you want with your kids. We know how important it is to have a strong marriage and we work with you on getting at the root of the struggles. Ultimately, we help you connect, communicate, be vulnerable and love on one another.
Parenting definitely comes with its share of difficulties. Kids have a lot of needs and wants and it’s hard to keep our patience strong sometimes. There are many ways to be more patient with your kids. The commitment is needed however to do things differently. First off, make it an intention to have more patience. Make sure to breathe before responding and make self-care a priority in your life! Your marriage cannot be on the backburner either. When you are connected with your partner you have the support in your life to help you be the parent you want to be.
About the author,
I specialize in working with anxiety and in helping adolescents and their families, adults, and couples better their relationships and find direction. Rather than shy away from the tough stuff in life, I prefer to face it head-on, together. I believe that challenges are part of being human and that everyone has the potential to become their own life’s navigator. So they never have to feel out of control or at the mercy of their circumstances. Learn more