It’s mid-morning and I’m making my baby a bottle to the dulcet tones of my toddler going ape in the pantry. He’s pointing upwards and demanding an apple bran muffin YESTERDAY. Turns out the 30 second job of heating a bottle is taking up too much of his day. He is hungry NOW apparently and starts chanting to get his point across: Muff! Muff! Muff!
I have a giggle as the microwave spins and start explaining for the tenth time that day that sometimes we have to wait to get what we want. I’m a little tired of tackling this tiresome topic to be honest. Lately it seems like I spend my whole day explaining that patience is a virtue to a very impatient human brick wall.
I must admit, I’m pretty impatient myself and part of Henry’s problem might be a touch of ‘chip off the old block’ syndrome, but my lordy this kid is next level when it comes to demanding what he wants RIGHT NOW. Most of the time I can remain fairly calm and practice patience but when I’m tired and cranky, I get fed up with repeating myself. I want to know if all toddlers are this impatient and if there are better ways I could be tackling this problem.
So last week I turned to Google for help, using the phrase “how to teach patience to a toddler”. Ahhh, wonderful Google with its 10.7 million search results returned straight away to make me feel like my kid is normal after all. You know I’m a busy, impatient mum so I had to skim-read a few of the most relevant articles before finding the right one – Dr B Teaches Toddlers Patience.
This article explains how toddlers live in the moment and lack the language or experience to understand when the things they want will be given to them. As language and experience grows, kids learn how to be more patient. Dr B also has helpful hints for teaching self-control through games, music and movement. One paragraph really hammered home what I’ve been mulling over lately as I get more frustrated with Henry’s chanting, demanding, foot-stomping ways:
“Model for your child how to stay calm in frustrating situations. Verbalize your feelings and how you are coping with them in front of your child. Do not overreact to situations by yelling or losing control when you are angry because then your child will learn that this is an acceptable way to express their feelings.”
Time to practice what I preach, methinks!