Transforming Frustration Into Connection: 3 Steps to Patient Parenting
Being a parent may be a rewarding role, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. Not every day will be a walk in the park. You may get into fights with your kids or struggle to deal with a teenager’s moodiness and rebellion.
Between dealing with your kids talking back to you or making a mess in the house, it can be challenging to keep your patience. You still love your children, but your patience reaches its end.
Patience requires learning how to take a step back to see the situation from a different perspective. In order to keep your cool, here are three steps on how to be a patient parent.
1. Parenting with Patience: Identify Your Triggers
Think about the common fights you have had with your child. Do you lose your cool whenever they break something? Does it happen when they talk back instead of following your orders?
Keep a journal with you and write down common occurrences when you have lost your temper with your child. Remember what time of the day it was and if it was about something specific. This way, you can come up with a plan in advance when these moments come.
2. Take a Time Out to be a More Patient Parent
Even though parents are used to ordering their kids to a time out or grounding teens, parents also need a time out for themselves.
While you want your child to take you seriously, it does not mean that you want to scare them. Instead of shouting at your child when your temper gets the best of you, leave the room. Take a few moments to breathe deeply in and out.
During this time out, you can do a number of things to calm down before you go back into the room. This can mean things like:
- Splashing your face with water
- Yelling into a pillow
- Going outside for fresh air
- Squeezing a stress ball
- Writing in a journal
Activities like these can help relieve the stress and get your heart rate back to normal before returning to your child. You can also establish boundaries with your child. For example, tell your child if your bedroom door is closed, you want your privacy. If you are in the middle of cleaning, cooking, or other types of work, ask them to please wait until you are done.
3. Patient Parenting Means Seeing Things From Your Child’s Perspective
Remember that you are not arguing with someone your age. We have to remind ourselves that a child or teen has a point of view different from that of an adult.
Instead of being quick to defend yourself, try to see things from your their perspective. See the world through their eyes so that you have an idea why they are whining, crying, shouting, etc. Remember, children and adolescents are not as emotionally mature yet, so they express strong emotions differently than an adult.
If a child is acting out in a negative way, there is usually a reason for it. Having a tantrum or throwing things is expected for a child, as they are not old enough yet to debate and challenge you the way an adult would. And tumultuous teenage emotions are often normal. And on top of that, it might be a sign that something more is going on.
So instead of potentially pushing them away or downplaying their emotions, show your child that you understand them and want to help them in the best way possible.
Choose to show your child your love through patience and compassion instead of with anger. If you are still struggling to communicate with your child, consider family therapy to form a bond with your child and learn to relax around them.