We’re all at least somewhat familiar with the popular poem from the bible that is often read at weddings.
It’s interesting that the very first descriptive word of love is patience. Hmmmm, must be that it’s a pretty important aspect to love.
What do we need patience for?
I know no one actually has to ask that!
We all come as a mixed bag of good stuff and not so good stuff. You have to take the not so good stuff along with the good stuff, or else you’ll be very lonely.
Yes, it’s true people can change. But the ONLY person YOU can change is YOU. So you need to get used to that not-so-good stuff in your friend. And maybe have a little compassion for what they have to put up with in you – to help motivate you to work on something you know irritates your friend.
Is patience a muscle?
In January we showed the kids a Class Dojo video which teaches a growth mindset. It’s really important to understand that we all can grow and changed and that who we are is not FIXED.
In the video they had the brain doing exercises to get stronger in math.
But we can think of everything we want to improve as a “muscle” that can be exercised.
How to exercise patience?
The next time you’re late and stuck in traffic, think “this is a perfect opportunity to exercise my patience muscle.” Ok, that may be like jumping straight to world champion muscle building.
How about the next time you’re waiting in the grocery line behind someone who’s having trouble searching for all the loose coins in her large tote bag?
Or when your child is all excited about something that he is desperately trying to tell you about, but having a hard time spitting the words out. Breathe, give him time to collect his thoughts (and exercise his own patience muscle) without jumping in and forming the words for him.
Every problem is an opportunity
That’s one of the mottoes that Sam Lariosa, our mentor in Michigan, lives by. Every problem is an opportunity.
In this case, every time you naturally would go to losing patience, is an opportunity to build your patience “muscle”. Take advantage of it, develop it, and it will impact everyone around you.
Kids learn from their primary teacher – YOU. And they learn more from what you DO and how you ACT, than what you say.
So as you’re strengthening your patience muscle, they’ll be watching and learning as well.
One more note
If you want to help your child develop patience, give them opportunities to exercise their patience muscles.
Intentionally providing opportunities to wait for things is an act of love to a child. We need to learn patience and self-control at an early age. Start small, and they’ll learn.
For a short article on teaching kids patience, click here.