My friend Kathy tried to encourage us: “I was rebellious as a young adult,” she said. “But my parents were patient. I eventually found my way. Your kids will too.” We didn’t need a timetable, what we needed was hope. Patience provides a place where hope can take root and grow.
Additionally, the practice of applied, hopeful, deliberate patience can facilitate all kinds of healing. Patience is a great investment. Here are five ways to have patience with your kids.
Table of Contents
1. Don’t ask for patience, practice it:
Patience is a choice, so it’s something we have to decide to do rather than something we wish we had.
2. Think of patience as an intervention:
Patience is a tool we can apply to a situation. Once we understand the benefits of patience and choose to apply it, we won’t react with anger in most cases. We don’t magically find patience one day by tripping over it, we simply pick it up and use it.
3. Keep expectations age-appropriate and reasonable:
Parents don’t lose patience when a toddler takes several months to potty-train, and we wouldn’t expect a five-year-old to learn subtraction in one afternoon. Likewise, our teens don’t always think, process, or learn exactly on dad’s timetable.
4. Invest more in the relationship than the result:
As dads, we can be overbearingly results-oriented. Patience tends to be a natural byproduct when our focus shifts to the relationship.