If you find that you have little to no patience with your child, you’re not the first parent to find themselves admitting this – and you certainly won’t be the last.
Let’s be honest for a moment; we love our kids dearly, I’m sure, but they have a way of winding us up or triggering us in ways no one else we know can.
I’m not suggesting this is an excuse or makes it OK, it doesn’t.
The fact that you’re here reading this is a huge step forward in recognizing that you lose your temper way too quickly with your child and want to do something about it.
Ultimately, you’re going to have to get to the root of your short fuse and find a solution that works for you.
But what I can do is highlight some of the most common causes for a lack of patience and best solutions.
What Exactly Does Patience Mean to You?
To get off on the right foot and make sure we’re talking about the same thing here, patience is defined in the dictionary as:
the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
If ever there was a sentence that described the challenges of being a parent, regardless of the age of a child, that sentence is it, isn’t it!
As a parent, we have to juggle dozens of things sometimes. From making sure our kids are safe and on time, to taking care of the housework, performing at our jobs, and much more.
All it takes is for one or more of our kids to do something that feels like they’re causing resistance or making our jobs as parents harder, and tempers can rise.
Why Do I Have No Patience With My Child?
First of all, there is nothing to be ashamed of or feel bad about if you’re finding it difficult to stay patient with your child.
There are a number of things you can do to work on your patience, and it’s always something you can change.
It’s important to understand that patience depends on three key things;
- Your individual personality
- Your history, and
- The situations you find yourself in
It’s a combination of these things that determine how patient most people are in any given situation.
For example, some people who are naturally very patient find it hard to understand why they’re very impatient with their kids.
This is likely due to how challenging their kids and situations are, as well as triggers that may tie in with previous experiences.
The good news is, you can work on all three of these areas to improve your patience. Not to help you mask your feelings, or bottle up your anger, but to genuinely help you be a more patient person.
How Do I Stop Losing Patience With My Child?
If you’re finding yourself being impatient, I’m sure you want to do something about it for the good of yourself, your kids, and your relationship with your kids.
Patience is closely related to personal well-being. Being able to remain calm, especially in the face of stressful situations, helps us make better decisions and lower our stress levels.
Here are some of the ways you can become more patient with your kids – and in all aspects of your life:
Identify What’s Causing You to Lose Your Patience
Everyone has triggers or something that ‘pushes their buttons’ that causes them to lose their temper.
It could be something that you deal with daily that has ground you down over time or something relatively new that just seems to wind you up.
Don’t just pass this off as ‘anything annoying’ or ‘when he doesn’t listen’. Have a good think and identify specific actions that cause you to lose your temper.
Once you know what your triggers are, you can find ways to avoid having those triggers pressed or prepare yourself to be more patient when they are pulled.
Practice Working on Your Own Well-Being
I’m a parent of two young kids, I know how hectic things can get from morning through to night-time.
However, if you’re not making time to look after yourself and work on your well-being you’re going to find it harder to work on your patience.
You can also just take out a quiet 10 minutes a day to sit in silence and reflect, have someone watch the kids and go for a walk, or do something you enjoy.
I just want to reaffirm that you do have time for yourself. No matter how busy and hectic your day is, if you really want to make 10-15 minutes for yourself, you can.
Let Go of Any Negative Feelings From the Past
Whether we’re aware of it or not, almost all of us are holding on to experiences from the past and it’s shaping how we behave today.
For a lot of people, this manifests in lacking patience or compassion for situations where we’ve been wronged before.
As an example, as a parent, this often means lacking patience for our kids when they’re doing something that we’ve told them time and time again not to do, right?
I know that became a trigger for me, and it was something I worked on to reset and calmly talk to my son about when the same situation came up again.
Improve Communication With Your Kids
Communication to the key that unlocks so many parent-child issues, and it’s often the way to avoid getting triggered by your child.
You can talk openly with your child about what it is that causes you to lose your temper, but be careful never to blame them.
Ideally, you need to work on all aspects of communication with your kids. This helps foster a relationship with respect, understanding, and helps them feel heard and valued.
You’ll find that your kids start to do their part by understanding which of their behaviors test your patience.
As well as being able to talk and reason with you, as opposed to using actions that frustrate you because they don’t feel like they can express themselves any other way.
Image credits – Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.