Creative Child

Five Ways to Master Patience

“Patience provides a place where hope can take root and grow.” - Derek Maul
by Rebecca Eanes

There are two types of patience that every parent can learn to master for a more joyful life - short-term patience and long-term patience. Let me explain. Short-term patience is handling the common daily frustrations well. It’s remaining calm when your kids are pushing boundaries and responding with love in the face of their big emotions. Long-term patience is watering a plant that hasn’t sprouted yet. It’s believing in a result you can’t yet see. Short-term patience is the kind of patience we all hope for and aspire to when we become parents, and we soon learn that it isn’t as easy as we imagined! It requires skill and practice and, even then, getting off track is easy. Have you noticed anger and frustration creeping up on you?  Many parents are facing these common symptoms of physical and emotional fatigue after months of dealing with this pandemic and all the chaos it has sown with job loss, schooling at home, sick family and friends, and anxious or bored kids. 

The end of the year is the perfect time to get ourselves back on track as we head into 2021 with a fresh new mindset and a recommitment to positive parenting. Here are three ways to master your short-term patience. 


  • See past the behavior to the person. This is really the key to growing patience with children. Behavior is communication. It tells us something about the child’s thoughts, emotions, and experience. When we look at what is being communicated rather than what the behavior itself is, we instantly feel less triggered because we understand that the behavior is not about us. When we see the human being behind the action, we are moved to respond with love rather than reacting out of frustration, but this requires us to get curious. What is the behavior saying? What could my child be feeling right now that is triggering this behavior? When we practice making curiosity our first response, we can develop a habit of seeking out the root cause to heal rather than treating the symptom.  1xbet
  • Connect before you correct. It’s a common phrase in positive parenting, but of course it’s harder to practice than to preach. We have to get good at managing our own emotions before we are truly able to do this, so working on our own emotional intelligence is essential to being able to connect before we correct. Once we do that, though, it looks like empathizing while still holding boundaries. It’s offering warmth alongside strength. It’s saying “I understand how you’re feeling but I still can’t allow this behavior. Let me help you.” Connection has the mutual benefit of calming both your brain and your child’s brain, and it strengthens the relationship so that your child is more likely to listen and be cooperative in the future. 


  1. Learn a few quick calming hacks. Breathing is, as you know, very grounding and calming. Of course, the problem is we don’t think about breathing techniques when the toddler pulls over the Christmas tree. It’s simply about creating a habit, and that takes a little practice until it becomes routine, so start small. Breathe in for a count of 8, hold for a count of 7, breathe out for a count of 8. Repeat until you feel calm. If that doesn’t work for you, try a quick burst of movement. Jumping jacks or push ups will release the adrenaline and help you calm down. I don’t recommend this technique in aisle A4 but if you’re at home, go for it. Splash your face with water if those fail or recite a short poem or favorite quote. Place your hand over your heart and repeat a mantra, press the third eye area, or try EFT. 

Long-term patience requires zooming out to look at the bigger picture. It’s waiting expectantly with love and hope. It’s sowing seeds and believing that they’ll take root, so you water them every day, even when you don’t see any changes. Long-term patience requires staying the course and trusting that the little things you’re doing each day will make a difference in the long run. Here are two powerful ways to master long-term patience. 

  1. Invest in the relationship, not in the result. The hard truth is that there are absolutely no guarantees in parenting. All we really have is love and now. So don’t get caught up in the result or worry how everything will turn out. There’s no point in it. Instead, love your child today the best you can and offer your loving presence in this moment. Invest in the relationship because that’s what will help your child through the turbulent times. That’s what will be his compass when he gets lost. We all hope for a certain outcome but we cannot control it. We ultimately have very little say in the result, but we have a lot of influence and power in the relationship, so put your focus there. 
  2. Believe in the journey and the soul you’re nurturing. Hope and faith, these are the ingredients for long-term patience. It’s about trusting in the process of growth and maturity and believing that the love and care you’re providing will be enough to see her through. It’s about understanding that this soul is on a unique journey and you are here to facilitate, not control. Your job is not to make her into anything in particular but to love her as she is and to believe in the light within her. You are here to love and guide. Do those two things in this moment and trust that the rest will work out in the end. 
Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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