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how to be a more patient parent

How to Be a More Patient Parent

Do you feel like you need to learn to be a more patient parent?

It’s definitely not easy, but it is worth the effort to become a more patient parent. This is a journey that won’t happen over night. And there will be set backs, but I promise it is worth it.

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Why be a More Patient Parent?

As a homeschooler, I am with my kids ALL the time. And to be honest, I love it that way. But it allows me plenty of difficult times. Like when I am trying to get everyone to clean, even the toddlers.

Patience keeps me sane.

Seriously, if I didn’t keep my cool, I would be stressed all the time. And as someone who already deals with anxiety, I know that stress can manifest as anger, snapping, and yelling.

Patience keeps my home peaceful.

Despite being small, my home is relatively peaceful.

I want my home to be full of joyous giggles, singing, and the chatter of play. And I cannot image living any other way. Without patience, my home would be full of yelling and fighting.

Patience helps me maintain close relationships with my children.

Impatience with my kids would make them feel like I didn’t value them or their efforts. Patience helps me refrain from yelling or interrupting my kids’ struggles.

My patience helps my child practice important skills.

Kids need to be allowed to experience their own emotions. It is how they learn to deal with them.

They also need to be encouraged to practice things like dressing themselves or using silverware.

How to Be a More Patient Parent

So many people just don’t know where to start when trying to be a more patient parent. It seems kind of vague so I am going to break it down into the following 2 categories: emotional awareness and coping mechanisms.

Emotional Awareness

Emotional awareness is the ability to recognize your own emotions. This is a stepping stone to emotional intelligence, the ability to recognize and express your emotions in a healthy way.

Practice being aware of your emotions, giving them names, and consider any outside stresses that may make your fuse shorter.

For instance, we just moved our 5- and 6-year-olds to their own rooms last week. They have been sleeping in their own bunk bed in our room for a long time. The transition meant we all had some late nights and nights that we didn’t sleep. So I knew that not only would I have less patience but so would the kids!

Actionable tips:

  • Prioritize food and sleep to control crankiness.
  • Don’t try to do too much at once and overwhelm yourself.
  • Name and reflect on your emotions

Coping Mechanisms

A coping mechanism is a skill you practice to deal with stressors. Some are conscious and others are not. They can be healthy or not. Below is 2 coping mechanisms that have really helped me be a more patient parent.

Deep Breathing

Simply taking deep breaths will help calm your stress. Taking deep breaths activates the calming half of your nervous system and suppressing the half that controls your flight-or-fight response.

It’s as easy as breathing in this pattern:

  1. Inhale for a count of 4
  2. Hold for a count of 7
  3. Exhale for a count of 8
  4. Repeat until you feel calmer

This is called the 4-7-8 pattern. But you can really practice any pattern as long you breathe deeply and slowly. You are trying to get your oxygen saturation up so you really want to feel your chest contracting and expanding. Fill those lungs up!

Grounding and How to be a More Patient Parent

Grounding is a coping mechanism that is meant to get your out of your head and back in moment.

This is the practice of looking around you and recognizing things with your senses.

I have taken this idea and use it to encourage a connection between my child and me. This technique is for when my kids are not really processing what I am saying, leading to repetitive behavior.

  1. Look your child directly in the eyes, kneeling if you can.
  2. Touch them gently on the arm or on their face.
  3. Speak gently or whisper.
  4. Explain what you need them to do then help them if needed.

Do you have any other tips or coping mechanisms to add? Leave me a comment below!