Inside: Learn the reason behind losing patience with toddlers, how to break the cycle of being impatient with kids.
Recently I did a survey with my readers about their parenting style. And I got an overwhelming response to one question.
The question was – What aspect of parenting do you struggle with the most?
60% of people responded- Patience!
They all said – I keep losing my temper with my toddler.
Which means about 60% of moms realized that they keep losing patience with their child and wanted to know how to be patient with toddlers.
And guess what? I would have answered the same… Because I too used to have moments when I lost it at my kids; and I regretted every one of those weak moments.
BUT – I wanted to change it! Every time after I yelled, I had a single thought – I don’t want to yell at my kids anymore.
Why? Because respect is the foundation of my parenting; and I realize the psychological effects of yelling at a child.
So I started to delve deep into what is the root cause of my lack of patience with my children.
The first thing I noticed was — there was a pattern to it, and it was not constant for me.
The reason behind losing patience with toddlers is sort of a truth bomb on most parents, and I don’t know how to introduce you to it lightly, so I just ask you to stick with me on this one!
Truth Bomb —
The reason we lose patience with our kids is not because of their actions, it’s because – we are overwhelmed in our personal lives.
The overwhelm could be emotional or physical. It could be because of overworking or because of over self-expectations or maybe because you don’t get a break from kids, maybe it happens when you took a break but didn’t fill your own cup with mental or physical nourishment.
The reason for overwhelming could be any, but the feeling of overwhelm is the only reason we yell at our kids.
Think about this — There are times when we tolerate their tough behavior like stubbornness, tantrums, laziness etc. But there are also times when we don’t even tolerate them crying over a broken toy, which seems like an obvious response to loss!
I also found another proof to establish the correlation between lack of patience and overwhelm — In my survey I found this result – amongst all the people who mentioned they struggle with not enough patience with kids; 80% of these moms gave less than 30 mins a day to themselves to do things that they like to do.
Find a source of positive energy for yourself.
Like I said above I had a pattern to the times I lost patience with my children. It was not permanent.
When I connected the dots, I realized – every time I lost my temper I had not done something that’s rejuvenating to my mind, it’s not just about a break, it has to be an activity for personal growth.
Being a stay at home mom means kids and I are together all the time, while I LOVE IT. I also felt my energy was dwindling, especially if I didn’t do things that rejuvenate my mind; 10 mins social media breaks was not cutting it for me!
Over time I’ve realized, there are two things that rejuvenate my mind – writing on this blog and meditation.
Every time I suffer from my temporary angry mom syndrome when I start losing my patience with my children, the pattern inevitably is — I’ve not been doing either of these things for weeks.
Once I realized this pattern, it’s easy for me to just do both of these, and regain my patience.
For me – If my personal life is under control, my life as a mom is under control!
I also figured it was not just me who had this issue. Tons of other moms felt the same way – empty and cranky!
So I did a “me-time” email challenge with my readers, and it was a great success.
And the more permanent solution we found was to take time every day to refill our own personal cup with positive energy or empty it of all the overwhelm. Everyday!
And that was my solution to building patience with kids.
Now I take 30 mins of “me time” every weekday after dinner clean up. In this time I do something I like to do (with a condition that it has to be rejuvenating to my mind) so it’s usually something between reading a book, meditation, coloring, taking a long rejuvenating bath.
How does taking a break helps us keep patience?
In order to keep patience with your child when they are not listening to you, you need to understand this – why they’re doing what they are doing.
To understand someone else’s perspective you need some empty space in your mind (empty from your own perspectives). But since we’re always surrounded by our kids, or with other work which does not rejuvenate us but needs our attention. We don’t have this space in our mind (to understand their perspective).
Taking a break to do something you like to do rejuvenates your overwhelmed brain cells, and because you have to do something that’s non-kid related, you give your mind a break for kids.
Now when you return to your child, you either have space or clarity in your mind to understand – why your child is behaving the way they are behaving.
Once you understand why your child is not listening to you when you’re asking them to do something you can connect to them differently and that’s all what “being patient” is all about.
Patience with kids = Understanding your child’s perspective, and connecting with them in a way they listen to you!
Still don’t believe me? Others think so too…
The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances. – Andrew J. Bernstein