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Why Is It So Hard To Teach Toddlers Patience?

Most parents have a difficult time teaching their toddlers patience. It is not a skill that children are born with; it's a skill that each child needs to learn on their own and which is why parents need to take the lead and show them the way.

Children don't just learn from what they are being deliberately taught - they also learn huge amounts from observing the behaviour of others and, in turn, modelling said observed behaviour. Why Is It So Hard To Teach Toddlers Patience?

The key for parents to understand is that not only should they tell their child/children what they should do, but also need to model behaviours of being patient themselves.

When kids see you practising those skills as well as hear your words about why it's important, they'll be more likely to listen and follow suit.

One of the biggest reasons it's so hard to teach toddlers patience is because they're still learning how to communicate effectively themselves. 

They often resort to tantrums or other disruptive behaviours when they don't immediately get what they want.

It can be frustrating for both parties when interactions are constantly interrupted by a screaming toddler. However, it's important to keep in mind that these behaviours are an integral part of growing up.

In order to effectively teach children patience, parents should take the time to learn what makes their kids feel impatient; what pushes their buttons?

Sometimes orchestrating activities where kids have a chance to wait will help to ease the tension. 

For example, giving them a specific job to do while you're preparing dinner will keep them occupied and out of your hair.

Parenting is never easy and teaching toddlers patience is definitely one of the more challenging tasks. But with time and effort, it can be done. And when it is, both parents and children will reap the benefits.

Be patient yourself

Showing children how to model patience is vital.

They learn by watching us. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice so you don't come across as agitated or frustrated with them.

If you can't avoid expressing those feelings, take a break for a while so they don't pick up on it.

How you handle the situation makes a difference in how children respond.

If they're demanding something, taking five seconds to think about it before responding will show them that you respect their patience.

Having them wait somewhere else for a minute or two might also be helpful so they don't feel rushed by you or embarrassed that others are noticing them being impatient.

Help them identify what they want, but don't give in too quickly

If you can't avoid expressing those feelings, take a break for a while so they don't pick up on it.

Most people have a difficult time teaching their toddlers patience. It's a skill that they don't seem to learn on their own, so parents need to take the lead and show them how. 

The key is for parents not only to tell their children what they should do, but also model behaviours of being patient themselves. 

When kids see you practising those skills as well as hear your words about why it's important, they'll be more likely to listen and follow suit.

One of the reasons it's so hard to teach toddlers patience is because they're still learning how to communicate. 

Kids that are younger than three don't fully understand how their actions affect the world around them. 

They also don't know how to express what they want, so when they can't get it right away or if something doesn't go their way, they often resort to tantrums or other disruptive behaviours.

Learn about your child's temperament and how they respond to waiting

Individuality plays a big role in patience levels. Some children are naturally more patient than others, but also take longer to develop certain skills or master cognitive milestones. 

Once you learn how your child reacts, try adapting the way you help them practice patience by using activities they enjoy and can grow with. 

Also pay attention to their temperament and how they handle waiting. If they're easily frustrated, take a step back and introduce the task or concept slowly.

Teach them to wait for something by counting or singing a song together

One way to help kids focus on waiting is to have them count or sing a song while they wait. 

This will take their mind off of the fact that they're impatient and waiting, and help them pass the time a little more quickly. 

For older kids, you can also talk about why it's important to be patient. What are some of the benefits? 

What are some of the things they can do while they're waiting that will make the time go by more quickly?

Reward your child with praise when they get it right

Even if you're the only one that notices and knows what they did, take a second to remind them about what happened and why.

You can also take it a step further by rewarding your child with praise when they get it right. 

This will help them remember how good it feels to be patient and encourage them to do so again in the future.

Ignore negative behaviours

If you're not noticing notable progress or if your child is struggling with the concept of patience, don't give up. 

Continue to keep them in mind and whenever they show an interest in something that will help teach this important life skill. 

Be redirected when they try to get what they want when it's not possible. When all else fails, divert their attention so they don't focus on the fact that someone else is getting something they want.

Wrapping Up

The key is for parents not only to tell their children what they should do, but also model behaviours of being patient themselves.

When kids see you practising those skills as well as hear your words about why it's important, they'll be more likely to listen and follow suit.

One way to help kids focus on waiting is by having them count or sing a song while they wait. 

For older kids, talk about why it's important to be patient and reward them with praise when they get it right.

If you're struggling to teach your toddler patience and they're still having a hard time understanding why it's important, don't give up hope. 

Keep practising those skills so they can learn from an early age and show them how it will benefit them as they grow up.

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