Monday, August 25, 2014

Patience is a Parenting Virtue

I am not a baker.  Ask my kids and they will tell you I make a mean salad.  And I can whip up a decent dinner.  In fact, surprisingly, my cooking is something my kids think I am pretty good at.  But they would be the first to tell you that when it comes to baking...well that's another story.  My cakes usually fall, I can't make a pie crust, and my go to cookie recipe only uses two steps, break and bake.  I think the reason for my short coming in the baking area is that I am not known to have a lot of patience for it.  I hate recipes that include too many ingredients or feature too many steps. 

But when it comes to children, I have noticed that my patience has had to grow over time.  I have gotten somewhat better at holding my tongue.  And with my cute little preschoolers, I can demonstrate boat loads of patience.  It seems ironic that now my own children are far beyond the preschool stage, and so missed out on this personal growth that would have benefited them.

Good parenting relies on patience, both with your children and your self.  Children go through so many transitions and obstacles, and taking a deep breath and not overreacting should be the goal.  Sometimes it is unachievable, but it should be the ultimate goal.  Being a thoughtful, patient and supportive parent is modeling the type of behavior that you want from your children. 

Also, it must be said that in order to be this thoughtful, patient and supportive parent, you must not only be concentrating on your children, but meeting your own personal needs.  Parents who gives every waking moment to their children are going to end up being burned out and resentful (think martyr) or at the minimum, lacking a well rounded, balanced life.  Neither of which is a good example for your children.

So be kind to yourself, and your children.  Be patient with yourself, and your children.  And make time in your life to participate in activities that leave you feeling happy and refreshed.  That will benefit you and your family now and in the days, months and years to come.

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