Toddlers are known for being a lot of things. Curious, headstrong, and probably fairly precocious. However, patience is not a trait commonly associated with children. Patience is a virtue that takes time and not surprisingly, patience, to teach to children. Click To Tweet
Teaching patience is not like teaching your child the alphabet. It requires a more subtle approach and is best fostered in real-life experiences rather than with paper and a pen. There are many activities both at home and in a preschool setting that will reinforce values such as patience. Here are some helpful ways to teach your child patience:
Setting goals show your child that they have to put in the work and the time in order to reach the desired result. For example, if your child wants a new toy, make a chart of tasks they’ll have to do to earn the money. This will teach them that reaching their goals takes time and effort, and isn’t automatic.
What parent hasn’t used occasional bribery to get their child to behave? In essence, delaying gratification is a form of bribery. If you wait, you get the reward. This might be lunch out after running errands, or checking out a book at the library if they’ve behaved themselves while there.
Taking turns is a terrific exercise in patience. It teaches children that the end result is the same each time. They will get what they’re waiting for, but they must wait their turn. It’s also a helpful tool in developing empathy. They learn to give more thought to how others feel. Cutting someone in line would make them sad, thus it’s better to wait your turn.
Reinforce Good Behavior
Children learn quickly whether or not they can trust you to follow through on promises. If you promise a reward, be sure to follow through. If they don’t trust you to do so, they have less incentive to practice patience.
Do projects with your child that require patience. Plant some flower seeds in a small pot and set it on a windowsill. Remind your child to water it, and watch the sprout grow! Set up a fun puzzle to work on as a family, and celebrate the progress from start to finish.
Walk The Walk
Keep in mind that children learn a lot from example. It’s not enough to teach them the theory of patience if you don’t practice what you teach. When you find yourself getting irritable or impatient, take a deep breath and show the kind of reaction you expect from your child.
Contact Us to learn more about child development or to get more information about our early childhood education programs.