Raise your hand if you have ever lost your patience. Keep it raised if you have ever lost your patience with your kids. Keep it raised a little longer if you felt guilty about it afterwards. If you can relate to this, you are not alone.
Losing your patience is something that happens to everyone, but the guilt moms feel can be crushing. We don’t want our kids to remember us yelling. We want our kids to have lots of fun and happy memories of us. Since patience isn’t something we can buy at a store, it’s worthwhile to invest in some strategies for when it wears thin. What works for some, may not work for others, so test out what works best for you.
It’s important to remember that we want to respond to our children and not react.
But how can we do that?
Here are some Strategies to Help with Patience:
- Breathe. This could be as simple as taking a few deep breaths. This can help shift negative thoughts, lower your heart rate and release tension from your body.
- Count backwards from 5 before saying anything. This is like hitting an automatic pause button.
- Give yourself a timeout. Go to the bathroom, your bedroom, a closet or wherever to give yourself a few minutes to unwind and refocus.
- Turn on some music. Upbeat music, peaceful music – whatever works for you.
- Pray. There is a lot of power in prayer.
- Repeat an affirmation. Find something that can help center you and/or empower you such as, “I am patient, loving and kind” or “I’ve got this.”
- Incorporate movement. Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks or shake it out.
- Try to view the situation (and your response) from your child’s perspective.
- Dig a little deeper. Try to figure out why you are feeling impatient. Are you tired? Hungry? Overscheduled?
- Determine if there’s a pattern or certain triggers such as naptime, school pick-up or sports practice, so you can plan and prepare for those trying moments.
Remember, it’s not about being the perfect parent. It’s about being a present and loving parent. It’s okay if your kids see you lose your patience on occasion. There’s value in them seeing you get frustrated, recognizing that and making apologies and adjustments. Nobody is perfect and we don’t want to create that expectation for ourselves or our kids.
A Powerful Way to Increase Resilience and Experience More Patience
One thing that has really helped me to increase my patience and pause before reacting is meditating. Meditation is a simple and effective tool that can help you restore and replenish your energy. When your energy reserves are full, you can regulate yourself better and practice more patience.
If meditating is new for you, start with a few minutes a day, twice a day. This can help you become less reactive in key moments and have a quicker recovery from emotionally charged moments.
“With Love and Patience, Nothing is Impossible.” – Daisaku Ikeda
I hope some of these strategies are helpful for you. If you would like support, connection and inspiration with your motherhood and career journey, join my Facebook Group, sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Instagram.