If you have a little one in your home, you know that patience is not something that comes naturally for them. They have been trained from birth that when they needed or wanted something that it was provided quickly. No wonder that patience in toddlers and preschoolers is a character trait that is lacking. It hasn’t been exercised!
Here are tips to build patience in toddlers and preschoolers:
- Build their ability to wait – As our children get around 3 years old, there is a shift in things that they desire and demand from us. It is around this age that we begin to have them wait.
- Introduce the concept of time – Start introducing things that part of their normal routine that they have to wait for. “Daddy will be home in a few minutes… in an hour”; “Church is in 3 days”; “You get a cookie after you finish dinner”. The more they have the concept of time, and having to wait for things, the more patience is being built.
- Demonstrate Self Control – When patience is difficult, we require our young children to sit with their hands folded, which is known as ‘self-control‘ in our home. This also gives them the ability to calm down and relax a little bit to gain some focus on the ability to being patience.
- Do activities that require patience – Having a child learn that patience is required for much of our daily activity, can really make learning this character trait easier. A few activities that have helped a lot when learning patience are baking cookies, make ice cubes, planting flowers and boiling water.
- Make Patience a part of your vocabulary – The more you speak about patience in toddlers and preschoolers the more they will grab the understanding of what it means. ”You only need to be patient a little longer and Daddy will be home”; “Be patient for a few more minutes and you can enjoy one of the cookies we made”; “While you are patiently waiting for the ice cubes, why not look at some books“.
- Praise every progress – Little ones just love hearing praises for even the smallest things that they are learning. Encouragement for even patiently waiting for 2 minutes will result in increased patience the next time it is required. You can’t over use praise!
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