Learning How to Wait: Tantrum-Free Tips for Teaching Kids Patience
Patience does not come naturally to kids. Whether it is the doctor’s office, the grocery store or a traffic jam, it’s important to teach kids how to wait patiently. The best way to do it is in small increments so that they can build up gradually. Here are some tips to help you.
Be a Role Model
Learning patience isn’t just about learning how to wait. It’s about being able to wait in a calm manner – no whining, sighing or eye-rolling. It’s often hard for parents to wait patiently, especially when you’re trying to get you kid ready for school and she only has one shoe on or she can’t find her lunch box. This is the perfect time for you to model patience, so she’ll learn from you. Use games and humor to keep things moving along and talk the problems and your solving strategies out loud, before long your kids will be doing it along with you.
Let Your Children Verbalize
It’s difficult for your child to sit still and wait in line for an appointment or to sit still in a traffic jam when all she wants to do is get up and run around. Talk to your child and let her explain how she feels. Explain to her why you are waiting and reassure her about what will happen once the wait is over.
Use a Timer
When your child asks you to do something, it’s easy to respond with “in a minute” particularly if you’re already doing something else. A few minutes can seem like forever to a young child, so why not use a timer so that she can understand how long she has to wait and to make sure you follow through with your promise on time? Using a timer is also a great way to teach your children how to share.
A great way to teach your child patience is to have her takes turns to wait for something fun. For example, waiting her turn to play on a swing or slide at the park. If she is having difficulty waiting, take more frequent trips so she will get used to it.
Keep Them Occupied
Given a distraction, the time will seem to pass by much quicker. Make a busy bag with letter, numbers, felt shapes, pompoms, craft sticks large buttons, pipe cleaners and beads to carry around with you. When toddlers have to wait around with you, let them play with the contents. Let them color. With this coloring app, kids can stay busy, have fun and learn more about colors.
Remember to start teaching your kids patience at a young age. Start off small, like asking her to wait a couple of minutes before you refill her sippy cup. As she gets older you can introduce more short, purposeful delays so she has to wait a little longer before her desires are met.