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Raising kids isn’t easy. And while the good times definitely outweigh the bad, any mom knows that there are times where your kids seem to enjoy testing your patience.
I have a 2-year-old little boy and he’s the joy of my life. However, like a typical 2-year-old, he is headstrong, independent and doesn’t like being told “no.” (Who does though, when you think about it?)
While the majority of our days are filled with giggles, snacks, playing with cars and riding his trike outside, there are still moments where my patience is tested.
Take today, for example.
We had a little incident where my toddler insisted on holding his bag of popcorn at Target instead of putting it next to him on the cart seat. Of course, it didn’t take long for him to drop the entire bag on the floor, with tears quickly ensuing.
In the past, an incident like this would have made me an anxious mess and I would’ve quickly lost my patience. However, being a more patient mom is something that I’ve been working on over the past 6 months, and thankfully, I handled this without losing my patience or feeling like a flustered mess.
If you’re struggling with how to be a more patient mother, here are some of the things that have helped me.
5 Things That Will Help You Be a More Patient Mom
1. Recognize Your Triggers
We all have different things that we find annoying. One of the keys to becoming a more patient mom is recognizing those triggers and preparing yourself before they occur.
If you know that your toddler hates brushing his teeth in the morning and his constant wriggling and protesting wears on your nerves, acknowledge this and prepare for it.
Going into a situation knowing that it’s probably going to be a battle will make it a lot easier to deal with.
2. Realize that Your Kids Feed Off Your Energy
When you’re impatient and angry, this creates a negative energy that your children will feed off of. Granted, it’s usually not possible to reason with a very young child, but yelling and losing your temper with your child will only make the situation worse.
When a situation occurs that starts to test your patience, take a few deep breaths, assess the situation and try to respond calmly and rationally. Remember, negativity breeds negativity. Likewise, a positive attitude can go a long way in turning a bad situation around.
3. Understand Your Child’s Emotional Development
Young children don’t yet possess the ability to understand and express their emotions, and this can be very frustrating, overwhelming and scary. Many times, what we refer to as a “temper tantrum” can be attributed to a child being unable to express what they’re feeling inside.
Understanding your child’s emotional development can go along way toward helping you become more patient with them. Once you recognize that the root cause of their tantrum or poor behavior may be the fact that they can’t adequately express their emotions, you can react from a place of empathy and understanding, instead of impatience and anger.
There are some great books available that help children learn how to recognize and understand their feelings and emotions. Here are some recommendations:
- Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions
- Understanding Myself: A Kid’s Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings
- The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings
- The Way I Feel
4. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Just yesterday, my son and I were playing in the front yard. It had been raining earlier that day and there were a few puddles in the yard. Of course, he wanted to take off his rainboots off and jump in the puddles.
Initially, my instinct was to tell him no, he must keep his boots on if he wants to jump in the puddles. Then I caught myself – why does it matter if he wants to take his rainboots off? If he wants to feel the water and mud on his little feet, then I’m going to let him.
The mere act of me not sweating something small like muddy feet allowed me to enjoy the moment instead of losing my patience and battling a toddler who just wants to have fun jumping in puddles.
There are so many big things that we need to worry about as parents – don’t sweat the small stuff that doesn’t really matter.
5. Schedule Me Time
When is the last time you did something for yourself?
As mothers, we give some much of ourselves to our children. And while being a mother is the most rewarding job in the world, constantly giving of yourself can be draining.
It’s imperative that we recharge our batteries – remember, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Taking some time out for yourself works wonders in helping you be more patient with your children. That might mean scheduling a massage, attending a yoga class or choosing from one of these 15 frugal ways to pamper yourself.
The point is to find something that recharges your batteries, and doing it. There is absolutely no need to feel guilty about taking care of yourself!
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