Patented Q & A Database


I am concerned about losing my patience with my children over trivial things. I don't want that to be how they remember their childhood or my mothering. I try to lighten up, but it isn't working. Any ideas?


Trish Booth, MA Replied: If you are losing your patience and responding with physical punishment or hurtful or alarming verbal responses, share your concerns with your partner, a trusted friend, or your children's health care provider. You may need some additional support so that you can parent more calmly. If losing your patience is more in the realm of falling short of the mother you want to be, here are some suggestions: * Look at what besides your children is stressing your life. These stressors can drain your energy and patience, leaving you short tempered. Start with the biggest of these issues. Work with those who can support you to reduce that problem or your reaction to it. * If it isn't as much a major issue as the busyness of life, you probably would benefit from some time for yourself on a regular basis. Sometimes you can fit this in by scaling back a commitment or letting something slide so you can take a walk, a nap, or do something for yourself. Or, you may need to exchange child care, get a babysitter, or schedule this when your partner can take care of your children. * If there are specific issues or times of the day that push your impatience buttons, see if you can restructure that time. Simplifying a task or allowing more time for it can relieve some of the pressure. Sometimes we expect children, often the oldest or youngest, to be more mature or capable than they actually are. This can lead to impatience. * Make a list of the things you do with your children that brings you happiness. Then, consciously do more of those things, or do them more often. Also, when you are doing them, stay in the moment so that you can fully enjoy that time. These are the times both you and your children are most likely to remember. * Schedule some time (15 - 20 minutes) each day to do something special with a child. You may find it easiest to do this just before bedtime. It doesn't have to be as structured as child A on Monday, child B on Tuesday, but it can be. This way you can focus on your relationship with each child individually. Not only does this make for special memories, it may increase your appreciation for what they can do. * Finally, be gentle with yourself. In the press of the day, it is easy to get impatient. However, this is not what memories are made of.
Posted On 2008-03-18 15:02:17
Tara Paterson Replied: Dear concerned mom, I applaud you for recognizing that you lose your patience about things which may not be a big deal. As a parent of three of my own children, I can relate to having lost my patience over "the small things" at times as well; it happens to us all. Something I highly recommend during those times is a check in with your body. What feelings are coming up for you that causes anger or frustration? Where is it located in your body- your stomach, throat, your whole body? Typically when our children push our buttons it is a result of something unresolved within ourselves; possibly something that happened in your childhood, something I call our parenting inheritance. If we can become aware of what triggers the frustration, we can move the emotion or feeling out of our body so we don't have the feeling of wanting to explode about the small things. Our children don't intentionally mean to frustrate us, in fact they desperately want to please us, so clearing away the sources of emotion within ourselves is a great way to begin the process of learning patience. Unfortunately, our children do remember the way we make them feel, so the more you can do to manage your emotion, the better it will be for your children and your relationship with them. If you do lose your patience, it's okay. Know that you can rewind and reconnect with your child by apologizing to them for your anger or frustration, followed by a conversation about what transpired; this is a great way to build their self- confidence and self-esteem which they so greatly need from us. Being a parent is the most difficult job on the planet; being a conscious parent takes even more effort. We need more parents to ask questions and seek support. I appreciate you for doing both!
Posted On 2008-03-17 15:07:07
Paul F. Davis Replied: To maintain your parental patience, take time first at the beginning and end of everyday for yourself. Minister to yourself through meditation, thoughtful reflection, personal affirmation, and self empowering media & materials. Parents who don't take time to enjoy "me time" tend to become bitter toward parenting and subconsciously begin to angrily resent their children. Yet parents must remember their children had no say in the matter. Parents who bring children into the world must be ready for a long-term commitment, steadfastly willing to endure daily irritants, and rise above circumstances to be a role model and example for their kids. Parents need to love themselves and their children unconditionally, which removes excessive internal pressure to perform and be perfect. Patience is cultivated daily inwardly and manifest outwardly according to your inner processing. Patience undoubtedly is a virtue by which you achieve countless victories, draw others lovingly closer to you, and empower everybody to be their best.
Posted On 2008-03-16 20:09:01
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