L'impatience, that is, wanting things immediately and without admitting inevitable delays, is a typical characteristic of young children. Their sense of time is different from ours: children often don't know how to measure it and the minutes that pass from the moment they ask for something until they get it become an eternity for them.
Getting used to tolerating certain frustrations and inevitable delays is part of learning the reality of life and is a slow and progressive training that all children must do as they grow up.
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Since when to teach patience and self-control?
- after two / three years, the child must begin to learn to wait
- until he is six he will not really be able to understand why
Gradually, the child will be able, with the help of the parents, to be more and more patient. But it is good to remember that until the age of six you will not be able to consciously wait and understand the reason for so much waiting.
This does not mean that we have to wait passively until it reaches that age. After two / three years, the child must begin to learn that it is necessary to have a little patience and to do this he needs our help. (Read also: How to prevent your child from becoming a tyrant)
If we immediately give him everything he wants, if we are totally at his disposal, we will create a little tyrant who will then become an immature and intolerant adult.
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Here are some strategies, developed by the Spanish magazine Serpadres.es, to teach children patience.
Children are great imitators: we must show them our best sides, and therefore also our patience. Know that if we fail to keep our nerve, we do not communicate to them a model of serenity, but only our anxiety. If we can't control ourselves and we happen to lose our temper, let's apologize.
There are situations (if the child is irritable, hungry, sleepy, tired) in which he cannot be expected to be patient and wait. Therefore be understanding.
Furthermore, it is also advisable to organize your daily life in order to avoid long waits whenever possible. Finally, it is better not to announce events too early; it is more useful to say: "tomorrow we will go to the circus" instead of "next week we will go to the circus".
When he turns two we can start teaching the child to wait a few minutes until we bring him the cake or sandwich. Even if he will struggle a little at first, start making him assimilate this mentality.
We make it clear to the little one, by example, that he must ask for things politely.
We shouldn't give up if they get angry because they want something right away, nor should we be numb - sometimes outbursts are a wake-up call.
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If we have told them that "after lunch we will do the puzzle together", we always try to do what we promised. Only then will he learn that the wait is worth it.
«Things are much better if you have the patience to prepare them well. You see, this sandwich will be much better if we put some cheese on top of the ham and then heat it in the microwave for a while. " We always use a calm and complicit tone, not tense and exasperated. It won't always work, but in the long run it will.
In the doctor's waiting room, while traveling or in queues, we can invent little games such as, for example, watching how many red cars go by or counting how many people are wearing black shoes, making up a story, etc. It may also be helpful to bring some toys. The fun wait is much less burdensome.
At the age of two, it is difficult for the little one to respect the shifts to use, for example, a game. Rather than impose something on him, it is useful to make him reflect on the need to keep his shift: explain the benefits of this, even if he still cannot understand it.
We can calmly tell him: "Wait a minute and I'll be right there". If he insists, it is best to ignore it for a moment that is not very long (a couple of minutes). Afterward, we must always keep our promise to go to him: plus, praise him for "waiting". It is important to do all this by keeping calm and gradually increasing the waiting times.
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Keep him on his stomach, put a white noise in the background (like hairdryer or fan), rock him or take him for a ride ... Here are some suggestions from the American website WebMD for ...
- children and patience
- strategies for teaching patience
- children education
- 1-2 children years