5 Easy Steps to Teach Your Children How to Be Patient!

by denny hagel on November 25, 2012

As a parenting coach the topic I typically am asked about is how to BE patient. It is an important part of being a successful parent and certainly goes a long way toward creating a pleasant and joyful parenting experience.

However, I was recently asked a question by one of the members of my face book group, Awakened Parenting Discussion Group that I had not been asked in a very long time… “How do I teach my toddler to be patient?”

What I love and admire about this parent is that she is thinking in terms of teaching her toddler age child skills that will be a huge part of her character and will greatly affect her throughout life in many many ways.

Too often parents think their children are ‘too young’ to comprehend such things, but the truth is that it is not the lesson or the skills but the approach to teaching that interferes with what children are able to grasp. Of course the most important is modeling patience with them. We can never forget that our children are watching us and absorbing what they see in us like little sponges!

With that being said, there are 5 steps that you can implement to help your children learn to be patient as well.

5 Easy Steps to Teach Your Children How to Be Patient!

1.   The first step is to choose one or two things that happen during daily life on a regular basis. These will vary depending on the age of your child. Suggestions would be story time, snack time, outdoor playtime, or various activities not bound by specific times such as sport’s practices etc.

2.   Using one of the chosen activities, announce that it is time. For example, “Oh I see it is time for a snack! Would you like an apple or celery with peanut butter today?…

3.   As your child is engaged in conversation about snack time, add that you need them to color one more page or put the game away that they had been playing or whatever suits the situation and explain that you need to finish the dishes or putting the laundry in the washer etc and you will be ready to enjoy snack time!

4.   Begin only allowing a few minutes to pass, you do not want your child to become frustrated…no more than 10 minutes for younger children.

5.   When some time has passed, announce with a joyful tone that you are finished and ready now too. It is extremely critical to immediately praise and thank your child for being ‘patient’. Example: “Yay, the dishes are done and I am ready to join you for a snack. I like the way you continued to color so that I could finish the dishes. That was so grown up of you!”

When you repeat this scenario several times a week you will be teaching your child to adjust their expectations of immediate gratification to one of being totally fine with waiting a bit. They gain these skills and learn this valuable life lesson through experiencing patience.

I strongly suggest beginning this with your children at an early of an age as possible. The ability to be patient is necessary for a successful school experience and will become the foundation of any activity that includes dealing with other people.

Guiding your children to acquire the art of being patient will lead to so many other virtues that will affect them and their level of success in life.


Special Note to Parents and Grandparents

In recent years we have seen a huge shift in our society because of the indisputable information concerning the power of our thoughts and their affects on what we achieve in our lives. This has had an incredible impact on how we approach life…mainly pertaining to releasing negative thoughts that interfere with our dreams, passions and goals.

In fact, the most financially successful among us (Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump to name a few) all attribute their achievements to thinking positive and believing in themselves. The proof is in the pudding as they say and because of that we have seen an unprecedented rise in the demand for self-help programs, publications and coaching…all in an effort to help us utilize our innate power to choose by way of changing our negative thoughts and ideas into powerful positive ones.

However, the impact of our thoughts and beliefs is not limited to achieving material possessions, our dream career, financial success or even obtaining improved health. Millions of parents are now realizing the enormous influence their thoughts, ideas and beliefs have on their level of success as a parent. I have coined this our ‘Parenting Mindset’.

Denny Hagel is a child advocate and parenting coach, devoting over 25 years to the success and well being of all children. She is the published author of over 150 articles on parenting, many of which have attracted international attention in over 24 countries.

Denny was blessed with forward thinking parents who raised her with an understanding of her value as an individual, her innate power to choose by way of her thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs, thus, instilling in her a strong sense of personal responsibility for what happens in our lives

She is the founder of Awakened Parenting LLC, a company dedicated to helping parents release parenting paradigms of the past and consciously choose to raise their children to approach life with a positive mindset and strong sense of self. It is Denny’s passion to combine what she learned through her formal education in early childhood education and psychology and what her parents instilled in her and pass this on to all parents.

Denny has created the discussion group "Awakened Parenting Discussion Forum" on Face Book which now has nearly 600 members.  She does on line coaching with parents and teachers who consult her on a regular basis. Denny collaborates with counselors, authors, coaches and others working in the parent coaching field. Denny Hagel is the author of the newly published "The Missing Secret to Parenting", "The C.P.R. Program for Parents & Teens: Conflict Prevention/Resolution Formula", "Mini-Me Syndrome" and two free e-booklets Parenting Using the Law of Attraction and Becoming an Awakened Parent".

  • olgahermans

    Teaching our children at a young age makes all the difference for them and for us. I love it when I see children who are patient and have manners; it always come from parents who taught them at an early age

  • http://carolynhughesthehurthealer.wordpress.com/ Carolyn Hughes

    In a world where instant gratification is promoted as the norm, teaching our children that they have to learn to wait is such an important lesson. Love the technique you suggest here Denny, and I agree that modelling the behaviour is crucial.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessicajanestone Jessica J Stone

    Denny ~ I love this article. It reminds me of my little guys (twins) that have gone through so much therapy – sensory, physical, occupational, speech… just to function in the world around them. As their mom, I have been told I have the patience of Job (haha!). However, they certainly haven’t mastered patience yet. I remember one of their therapists telling me to use the “first, then” model with them. So, like in your example, you would say “It’s almost snack time. First, we need to finishing cleaning up our mess, then it will be snack time.” One of my boys got it instantly and goes right to cleaning up. My other little man is still having a hard time, but I use the verbiage anyway and pray that one day he will “get it” and stop screaming at me while I fix his food :)

  • Rebekah Carpenter

    Great post about patience with kids and teaching it to them early, I will have to remember this!

  • penny

    great message, wish I had you when my kids were little!

  • Ron Cross

    Pretty cleaver there, coach! I enjoyed reading that. I know a few adults I need to use that on, lol!

  • http://www.internetsuccess4you.com/ Sally K Witt

    How do I teach patience to ME? LOL

  • Jean

    Great tips Denny thanks!

  • http://www.sherievenner.com Sherie Venner

    Denny, awesome! Modeling patience through examples, choice, and tone of voice is right on! You are such an excellent teacher!

  • Estelle

    I just love your posts Denny – thanks so much!

  • Meire Weishaupt

    Thanks for the tips Denny, sometimes we really don’t know what to do with kid’s behavior! It is good to be prepared!

  • Meryl Hershey Beck

    Denny, what a great way to begin to teach children patience–thanks for sharing this!

  • http://twitter.com/kiddyadotcom Kiddya

    We haven’t been to Disney or any place with long lines because I know my kids won’t be patient! But this technique makes so much sense. They’re not going to know what “be patient” means if they don’t practice the actual act of being patient. Thanks!

  • terressa cortez

    Great advice and tips Denny for teaching our children patience. It helps us as parent as well :)

  • http://CarlaJGardiner.com/ Carla J Gardiner

    Great advice and love the tips for teaching patience. I can see where even an aging baby-boomer can use this with a less than patient spouse, lol.

  • Jill McCarthy

    Great advice. I can’t wait to send people here who are struggling with their kiddies.

  • Ruby

    This is great!! Thank you!! I will be reading and re-reading :)

  • Carele Belanger

    Great tips Denny. It is important for children to learn how to be patient….hum it would serve some adults too 😉

  • http://insiderbrandingsecrets.com Kelly Green

    I know some adults who need to read this article. Great tips Denny! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.jonesimpens Suzanne Jones Impens

    These are really bang on tips, as I reflect from a parents perspective. The only thing is we parents need to hold ourselves accountable and not do the dishes, then answer the phone, and oh, just one more thing little Johnny, THEN I will be ready for you. As you say so often “be the example’. Super post Denny!

  • http://www.helenabowers.com/ Helena Bowers

    This is such great advice Denny! I wish I’d known how to do this when my son was little.

  • Kim Garst

    You give such amazing, common sense, practical tips that I find myself wishing I had had you as a resource when my children were younger 😉

  • shirleywilsonsocial

    Great advice – patience is definitely one of my biggest challenges with my 5 year old. I’m definitely going to give your suggestions a try.

  • http://twitter.com/KatrinaMoody Katrina Moody

    Great tip – this works with children who are developmentally delayed quite well also. We practiced this early and often with our guys and are told repeatedly how much better our kids are with having to wait than other kids with similar issues. Of course that all flew out the window with our youngest, who is nonverbal. Any tips for the nonverbal child to learn patience? :-)

  • http://twitter.com/JulieMcAdoo Julie McAdoo

    What a great strategy! Thank you for that advice.

  • http://twitter.com/JustPamelaGail Pamela Gail Johnson

    Great tips … same ones apply to everyone.

  • http://assistsocialmedia.com/ elizabeth Maness

    Love these.. my favorite is being patient with a child.. that I think like all things is the best teacher, example!

  • Lorii Abela

    Wow, you’re steps
    to teach a child to have patience is so amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • Mike McDonald

    Great steps for teaching patience. Very simple but much more effective than “because I said so”

  • http://www.el3mentsofwellness.com/ Carl Mason-Liebenberg

    We have a neighbor girl who has not received this message! When she wants something and does not get it immediately, she belts out these blood curddling screams…DADDDDYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! Instannt she gets whats she wants, silence falls…scares you death nearly when she lets loose..lol

  • http://www.memarketingservices.com/ Mandy Edwards

    Great post as usual Denny! Teaching kids patience is very hard – I’m teaching myself at the same time!

  • http://twitter.com/NormaDoiron Norma Doiron ´*•჻.

    Awww… the virtues of patience! Great advice Denny. :)

  • Edmund Lee

    Patience is a challenge to everyone and requires even more when teaching. Love the tips Denny! =)

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