Setting an Example
Modern parents have many balls to juggle, and the way you choose to manage your time will directly influence the amount of patience you are able to display. "When you lose patience, in all likelihood it's because you're feeling thwarted; that feeling is unpleasant and the danger is you're carried away by it," says Kabat-Zinn. If being a patient parent is a priority for you, then reassessing your daily commitments may be necessary. Attitude is a vital ingredient to developing patience. "I think that patience is learned," says mom Shan Farquharson. "My husband Kevin tends to look at the situation, walk away, think about it, and then once he has looked at it from every angle, smiles, gives his input, and leaves it at that—subject closed. Should the same thing come up in the next couple of days, he reacts the same way."
Consider the statement by school psychologist and parent educator Sal Severe in his book How To Behave So Your Children Will, Too!, "Our economy has created financial tension in families. Parents come home stressed. Their fuse is short. The rising divorce rate affects all of our children. Today, there are schools where four out of five children have experienced divorce. Single parenting is stressful," he says.
Less stress is a sure antidote for increased patience. And if you need to discipline your child, even scheduling that can be an effective solution. "Set aside time when you can calmly let your child know how you feel. Leave accusations aside and talk about your feelings as opposed to talking about him being a slob," says Joan Parent, a parent counselor for King's County Child Welfare Agency in Nova Scotia.