My husband and I are making something. Something we think is awesome. It’s a gift. It’s for our son and future daughter in law. We just started working on it yesterday, and to say that we are excited is an understatement. And I want to tell you about it. AND I want to show you pictures of the process. AND I want to tell my son about it. AND I can’t. Why???
Because I have to be patient. UGGGHHHHH!!!! Because it’s not time to give them their gift, and we know that they are going to be way more excited by the surprise than if we told them. So we wait, and so they wait. Well, they aren’t really waiting. They don’t know about it, and as far as I know they don’t read my blog. Well, I think the son read the one on nap-thirty, but that’s because it involved him and he knew it.
Seriously, sometimes I hate being patient. I like passion and enthusiasm and excitement and spontaneity. But I know that patience is not just a virtue, but an important virtue. It’s a life skill. It’s part of respect, and it’s, well, it’s from God.
After all, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faith and self control.
I’ve always thought patience and self control go hand in hand, and both are key virtues to begin to instill in our tiny tots. And we need to do it NOW! Just kidding.
In teaching our children patience, we need to well, for one, be patient–as in we need to realize that our children won’t learn patience overnight and as in we need to be living out patience. How do you handle life when you have to wait? What words do you use? What do your actions say? Remember our little ones are watching and learning through everything we do.
It is also useful to help children understand time in ways they can measure. For example: we will leave for the party after 3 songs, or after one TV show. Find things that mean something to your child, but be sure to keep your expectations for their ability to wait reasonable. That said. . .
Let your kids wait. Honest, it won’t hurt them! Start with small increments of time, say 10-15 minutes and work up to 30 minutes to an hour. Praise your children for waiting with a good attitude.
Countdown apps for tablets and phones allow even really young children to understand the waiting process. The numbers are big and bright and kids like to watch them countdown.
Keep activities handy for children to occupy themselves with when waiting. Books, paper, coloring pages and crayons, craft kits, blocks, and music are all ways for young children to occupy their time while waiting.
Teaching our children to practice patience will reap great rewards as they mature. Ultimately, learning to wait teaches us to wait on God, whose timing is perfect. When we get impatient, we give into the temptation to stop trusting God and to start trusting ourselves, losing our self control and making unwise choices and decisions.
So as you practice things like letters and numbers and colors with your tiny tot, be sure to practice a little patience, too.