Teaching Patience to Toddlers
If you have a toddler, chances are you have him around with you all day every day. You go to the store together, plus the bank, post office, and many other places too. But even the best-behaved children can grow very impatient, particularly if you’re stuck waiting on line somewhere. That’s very normal because at their age, they don’t understand why they must stand on line.
When toddlers want something, you’ll notice that they want it now and trying to convince them otherwise is a waste of breath. It takes toddlers time to learn the art of patience and by remaining consistent when you teach them, you’ll be reinforcing this must-have skill for your child that will serve them well into adulthood. Try these tactics to help get your child to be more patient.
1. Use a distraction
Before your child becomes annoyed with waiting, give them something to do. For example, when you first roll your cart into the line to pay, start a clapping game, count how many people are wearing pink, or have your child help put things onto the conveyor at the checkout. Keeping your child busy is crucial because it makes the wait time disappear and will keep her from throwing a fit.
2. Sing it, sister
Singing is a great way to keep your child’s mind off the wait time. Ask your child to sing you their favorite song, or try to be quick on your feet and sing about what you see. If it’s silly, he will laugh and forget that you’re waiting on line.
3. Stay armed
Never ever leave your home without plenty of snacks in your bag. One of the biggest reasons toddlers flip out is because they are hungry. Take that out of the equation by keeping a stash of easy-to-eat snacks with you at all times. Just as essential are activities and toys that will provide ample distraction wherever you go. But be prepared that your child will get bored with the same items. Changing them up every now and then adds an element of excitement for your child and will reduce boredom.
4. Make a big deal out of good behavior
When your child has been well-behaved while waiting, make sure to lay on the praise. Tell them how proud you are that they were so patient. Thank them for making waiting more fun too. You can also reward your child with stickers. By making a big deal out of their positive behavior, you are much more likely to get repeat performances every time you encounter a wait.
Don’t forget that every person has their moments of mayhem. When your child breaks down, be kind and patient but also very firm. Once they’ve calmed down, talk to them about it and encourage them for the next time. Consistency is the key in teaching this lifelong skill!
Take a look at some more parenting advise here.