How to inherit patience to children

What's Covered

Patience is among the best attributes a person can have.

It is a trait that you learn. Most kids are not born patient. So do not try cracking your head blaming your kid for their impatience.

As a parent, you must teach your kids that even with the ability to gain anything for them, it is important they wait.

This article will describe some ways and products you can use to encourage patience in your children.

What are some ways to teach kids patience?

Practice waiting

According to psychologists, children learn best through observation, listening, exploring, experimenting, and asking questions. When you want to train your child to wait for something, a timer would be the best option to go for. A beautiful clock with beautiful songs and colors and facial expressions will notify your child when it’s time for food, sleep, play, etc.

A child will develop a character of patience and will always look forward to the time the alarm clock sounds or gives a different facial expression.

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Playing Board games together

Board games such as scrabble, snake hill, and many others test the skill of patience. You will have to wait for the other players to play, then your turn comes. This will enable your children to be patient as they look forward to their turn.

Apart from teaching them patience, it’s a fun way for children to interact with you as the parents without fear. The bond between you and them will grow, and you find that your kids can express themselves freely and confidently.

You could make it even more fun if you have a candy bar and give it after every game or strategic move made. This will make waiting enjoyable.

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Always Reward patience

When you take your kids for shopping, let’s say in a mall, and they behave pretty well, always reward them at the end when you are done shopping.

The secret to rewarding them here is not by giving them what they ask for. Otherwise, every time you go they will ask for things that will overwhelm you. It’s even more wonderful when the reward comes as a surprise to the child. They will always love it and appreciate it.

The next time you go for a shopping spree they will behave even better than last time, for they know there is a reward for exemplary behavior.

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Introduce a distraction

You may be asking yourself, how do I distract my children? It’s easy.

In case a child is hungry, you can play some mind games with them as you wait for the food to get ready. This is a perfect way to always win your kids’ cravings and make them patient. Distraction is the key to patience. This method works even on adults. Distraction prevents many thoughts/stress.

Such mind games include truth games where each party gets to learn something new about the others. A video game could also be helpful in such circumstances. By reducing concentration, you move the child’s mind into something else. The long-term result of the practice is patience.

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Learn about child development

Kids will always be kids. They have a common behavior everywhere in the globe.

 Before you can teach your kids, it’s important as a parent to learn the psychology of kids and their behavior.[1][2]

When learning about your kids, it’s important to spend time with them so that you can understand them. Learn how they react to different issues. Don’t be the “too busy” kind of parent who can’t even spare some time to be with children.

Some kids have anger issues, and it is important to learn how to handle them wisely and with love. Teach them how to solve issues. Prepare them for a lifetime when you won’t be around.

When you learn about your kids, dealing with them will be easy, and teaching them how to be patient will be possible.

I would recommend this book for you as you purpose to learn children’s psychology. It has great insights that have enlightened many parents on child development.

The Psychology Of The Child
  • Piaget, Jean (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 10/18/1969 (Publication Date) - Basic Books (Publisher)

Allow kids to make their choices

It is of essence to allow your children to make their own decisions. Teach them how to make moral decisions first. Explain to them what is good and what is bad, what you expect of them and what you don’t. As parents, we need to know that we cannot choose what path our kids will follow.

When you teach your kids, you give them independence on choices to make and how to be patient as they await success in their endeavors. Later in life, they will appreciate what you did to them.

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Value your kids more than property

It is a known fact that kids will always make a place messy. Some parents will quarrel with their kids for messing around. It looks like we value neatness and our property more than our children.[3][4]

 If you keep on harassing children and make them feel bad for messing, they develop an inferiority complex. Let your children enjoy freely. Teach them how to handle stuff in the house.

Please don’t keep things away unless they are dangerous. If they don’t interact with those things now, when will they do so? Tell them that when you press the button on the remote, the TV doesn’t instantly work. They should be patient.

Start Small

We parents have seen a toddler cry because we do not avail their Sippy cup in time. You cannot teach a baby how to be patient in a day. It is a process that requires patience to be successful. As the child grows, when they ask for something, help them, but not so fast. Show them you are helping but take it slow.

A child will be happy when their request is honored by a parent and despite the timing, it is always good to teach them to wait.

Keep your promises

I know we have all experienced unfulfilled promises at some point while growing up especially when you work so hard in school looking forward to receiving a gift from your parents. To your disappointment, they fail to buy you the things they promised. I know how sad it felt. For sure, you don’t want your children to feel the same.

 We are not those parents who promise kids gifts and then hope to take so long that they get distracted and forget about those promises because it alters the proper development of a child on time issues. Your child will know that even if they are told to wait a short while, it will be ages.

To avoid such occurrences and seem to be a liar to your kids, ensure you make promises you can fulfill. When you keep on promising children things and you fail to fulfill, you are instilling the character of doubt and mistrust in them. They will grow knowing that nobody is to be trusted. 

Also, ensure you meet the timelines because through that, you will teach them patience the right way.[5][6]

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Communicate changes to children

 Instead of answering your kids with answers such as soon and not yet, it is better to give other soothing answers. If you know the exact time when you will deliver the promise, tell them.

Things may change and maybe you don’t receive some cash you were waiting for or your business isn’t doing well or you get sacked from work. That is not criminal. We all go through that at some point.

In such an instance, inform your child/children about the changes. Let them know that you don’t have a perfect life and sometimes things go south. After clearly explaining to them, give them hope that when things get better, you will fulfill your promise.

That way you will have taught them patience in the right way and as they grow up, they will have a better understanding of life as it unfolds.[7]

Create a countdown

As a parent, be skillful in teaching kids. Create a tablet of many papers with numbers. Pin that paper tablet on a wall. Each day tear or fold a sheet to show deduction in the number of days to wait. Every day you turn a page, the kid will be patient and wait for another day to turn a page.

When the pages are over, present the gift or promise. Reward the patience with an extra gift. Your kid will always know that if they wait, Daddy/Mummy will always give me the promise and something else extra.

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Be a superb role model

One of the best ways of teaching a child is by doing what you want them to do. We commonly refer to this method as monkey see monkey do. A child will never forget what you teach them.

The psychology of young minds is that they practice and do what they see their elder ones do. Traits learned this way are easy to remember and they never get erased. You must act wisely while around kids watching you. If you want to have patient kids, be patient yourself.

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Avoid burning out

Parenting is one of the toughest milestones in life. Being a parent requires a lot of patience. Kids keep messing around every time. If you keep on getting angry every time a kid makes a mistake, you will always burn out fast. Every day will be a draining day, and too much of it will lead to stress and depression.

Be patient with kids and eventually they will learn and you will be a proud parent. As you do all the chores in the house, I have a suggestion of how you can prepare your child’s food very fast and avoid the fatigue that comes with blending the foodstuffs with your own hands.

With this, you will have more time to be with your kids and even learn more about them.

Baby Food Maker/Processor
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Acknowledge the difference in perceptions

It is very important to know that we differ in perceptions. A child will always have a different perception of things from your own. Like why must we arrange things in a cabinet while we can arrange them on a table?

The best way to handle this difference is by allowing them to do what they want, provided it doesn’t hurt them. Another thing that you should learn to be patient with is how kids dress. Buttoning a shirt or tying shoelaces will not be easy in the first few days.

Teach your kids how to handle things and themselves with absolute love and compassion. They won’t hate you.

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The bond grows stronger and stronger. Kids will be responsible from when they are young.

Deal with issues positively

As a parent or caregiver, you must work on your emotional intelligence. Children will do things that will disgust you many times. Since these events are unpredictable, how you react to them matters a lot.

If you are hot-tempered, then parenting is not your thing. Parenting requires a sober and cool temper. Overreactions will make your kids afraid of you or even hate you.

I know some of you prefer a certain parent to the other because one was too harsh with you while the other was calm and handled you with lots of patience. The results of such fears could be an inferiority complex or retarded mental growth. We don’t want such things to happen to our kids.

If you have anger issues, I would recommend this book for you.

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Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.
A wonderful book with inspirations on how we as parents can handle our temperaments and be calm to our children which will teach them patience with other people the right way.

Advantages of teaching kids patience when they are young

Helps in improving socialization skills

When socializing with other kids, your kids will do it perfectly if they are patient enough. Socialization is very important. How your kids communicate with others is very necessary. A kid needs to be patient so as he can listen to the other kids as they speak.

You have seen a child who doesn’t listen to others and believes that his/her views are correct always. Most times, such children will be involved in arguments and fights. Some even turn to be bullies.

I’m sure you don’t want your child to be a bully.[8]Let him/her know that other people’s opinions matter. This will start at home. Listen to your spouse and have a friendly conversation. Allow your spouse to correct you. [9]Also, involve your children in conversations and make them know that their opinions matter.

To maintain great friendships, kids need to learn how to be patient with other kids in their groups. The earlier we teach them, the better for their lives. We take long; we hinder their social growth.

Improves cooperation

Good cooperation is molded by patience and other necessary character traits. To cooperate, one needs to be patient with the other parties. To form great teamwork, patience is a great pillar. Cooperation involves sharing and learning what other people love and hate. You don’t do what another person hates as it will ruin your friendship.

 Learning what other kids like will require your kid to be patient with them. It is difficult, but it is important to teach your kids early.

Helps in Holistic development

The approach you use in teaching children things while they are still young is very crucial. For the holistic growth of a child’s character and personality, use the best approaches. To form a holistic character, patience is one of the best traits. When training kids to be patient, you must be patient if at all your kids are to be patient.

Improves good relations with people

In the long run, we are training our kids to be better adults in the future. Your kids will always be happy later on when they see how different they are, compared to those who were not taught how to live well with others.

Teach them the importance of patience, let them know in life things are not as easy as switching on the bulb, and it lights instantly. They will have to wait most of the time. Some scenarios such as waiting for a service in a bank will require you to wait.

Patience improves concentration

The art of patience helps in improving the levels of concentration of a person. For example, an individual will bear with a boring lecturer despite their boringness. This is because they know finally there is something important he/she will say.

Students who weren’t taught patience will exit the lecture and leave without knowing very key points. As a result, they end up losing and failing terribly in their exams.

Let us do our task of raising our kids with the right moral values.

Perseverance and resilience

In life, everyone needs to be resilient since circumstances in life are so hard sometimes and/ or they weaken us. People who are not resilient fall into depression or have suicidal thoughts.

Most times, if you do your investigations, you will learn that such people weren’t taught the art of waiting while growing. They are the kind of children who, when they want something, it is instantly given to them.

As much as you may think you are being a good parent/guardian, you are slowly destroying your child when you give them everything instantly and always. To prevent this, teach your kids from when they are young. Such that when they get older, they will have learned the skill and mastered it. They will be great at resilience and perseverance.

Even when they are old enough and are now doing things on their own and away from you, you will be at peace since you are confident that you brought them up well.[10]

In the larger view, it improves confidence and self-esteem

You know patience will make someone research a problem first and have the facts for the problem. So when discussing the problem, you will be so sure of what you are saying. This will boost your confidence.

Other than rushing and getting it wrong, it is better to first take your time and gather the necessary information. A person can only do this if he/she has learned the art of patience from when they were young.

What are the disadvantages of raising impatient children?

Acceptance and understanding situations in life result in inner and outer peace.

Peace is very important for the growth and development of a child’s character as well as an adult. In life, we do not get everything we want or ask for. Sometimes, the things we want take a lot of time before we can get them.

With such knowledge in mind, we know that impatience can lead to failure. It may lead to us missing our destinies. As a parent/guardian, don’t allow dissatisfactions to lead you to make wrong decisions that could ruin you. Impatience causes many violent cases and remember that your children are watching you.

If people could be patient, there could be fewer accidents and violent cases. Chaos in society is caused by impatient persons who haven’t learned the importance of patience. Impatience can even lead to deaths.

Below are some disadvantages of raising impatient children

Violence in relationships and marriages

Your children will finally grow up and get involved in relationships and finally marriage. If you didn’t train them well, and you were a bad example e.g. you kept on fighting with your spouse, expect nothing less from your children.

We all know that relationships are a little messy and there are many arguments. If a partner is an impatient kind, they will end up doing much unbelievable stuff. If the dad fights the mom, then a boy will grow to learn that women are punch bags.

That they should be beaten for them to obey or hurled insults at. Changing the mentality of a kid growing in a violent family is very difficult. That is how the world sires a generation of impatient people. They think violence could be better than patience.[11]

Accidents

A child brought up without being taught the importance of patience is disadvantaged. In case their peers wrong them badly, they will result in vigorous reactions. Such reactions could be driving carelessly or driving knives in someone’s belly. In both cases, deaths are very possible or serious injuries.

If we are a little patient, such things cannot happen. We will deal with issues maturely and respectably.

Missed destiny/opportunities

I once witnessed a teenager lose a lifetime opportunity because of impatience. Few slots were available for a free study scholarship. The interview was conducted, and the guy failed just because he couldn’t wait over 2 hours.

If we as parents do not raise our kids teaching them the importance of patience, they will end up doing many mistakes that will cost them their destinies.

Spoilt relationships

To maintain healthy relationships, we need to be patient with our peers and friends. Dealing with people, whether old or young, needs patience. If our kids are impatient with their friends, they will end up breaking their friendships.

We as parents play a significant role in bringing up kids. What they learn in their initial milestones is very necessary. I believe that no parent/guardian will be happy to see that other children avoid interacting with their kid because of his/her inappropriate behavior.

We shape a tree in its early growth stages and if not; it becomes difficult to mold it.

Final thoughts

I believe that you will consider the methods suggested in this article in teaching patience to your children. The methods are tested and proven and have worked for others.

Again it’s slowly by slowly till the patience culture is fully installed in them. All the best as we all train outstanding traits to our children.


[1] Arnall, Judy. Parenting with Patience: Turn Frustration into Connection with 3 Easy Steps. Professional Parenting Canada (2014).

[2] Bettis, Chap. Parenting with Patience: Overcoming Anger in the Home. Diamond Hill Publishing (2019).

[3] Henkes, Kevin. Waiting. Reviewed by Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media, Harper Collins (2015).

[4] Kaplan, Michael. Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate cake. Illustrated by Stephane Jorisch, Penguin Young Readers Group (2011).

[5] Willems Mo. Waiting Is Not Easy! An Elephant & Piggie Book. Hyperion Books for Children (2017).

[6] McGuire, Andy. Remy the Rhino Learns Patience. Harvest House Publishers (2010).

[7] Perry, Christin.” Permissive Parenting: The Pros and Cons, According to a Child Psychologist” Parents (2019).

[8] Childventures, “What are the Benefits of Early Childhood Education?” Childventures Early Learning Academy (2017).

[9] Palmer, Vicki.” The 13 Key Benefits of Early Childhood Education: A Teacher’s Perspective” HuffPost (2016).

[10] Despain, Mikelle. “5 Tips for teaching Patience to Children” kids village, where learning, love and magic meet (2019).

[11] Tate, Frenetta.” The disadvantage of impatience.” Strategies for Optimal Living (2013).

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Author

Vivian Perry

Vivian Perry

Mother of 3 kids. Enjoy reading parenting books and studied child care degree. Vivian loves to learn and write about parenting tips and help her kids to grow positively with grit mindset.

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