Toddlers and kids can be highly impatient. Mine can repeat the same thing every 10 seconds till I do it! Needless to say this brings about the best in me! It is times like these that I give in to yelling and exhibit the worst of my personality. Frustration, irritation, high pitched instructions, time-outs, all of these rise to the occasion. I have lost my cool on occasions more than I can count and the saga has usually resulted in a cycle of negative energy. My impatience percolates down to my child and makes matters worse. This then boomerangs back to me. My child’s impatience starts morphing into my anger.
Was I setting a good example for my child? No. My child will emulate me and I was telling him that it’s ok to yell and scream if we are upset or frustrated. I don’t want to address my child with impatience anymore because that probably meant that instead of raising a patient, well-adjusted child I just might be raising a child who would, like me, be an impatient adult.
So in order to avoid all losing myself in a web of frustration and impatience, I have worked hard to think of helpful responses that will mitigate my annoyance. I am sharing an example of when R is impatiently waiting to be taken to the park.
7 Responses For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Response 1 For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Listen: ‘Ok. I understand that you wish to go to the park.’
Response 2 For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Acknowledge: Bend down to his level, look at him directly and say ‘Baby I hear that you want to go to the park. I am just finishing preparing your sandwich.’
Response 3 For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Involve: To get him distracted I try involving him. ‘Would you like to fill your bottle of water?’
Response 4 For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Empathize: Share his emotions. ‘I know you are excited about going. I am too. I understand it is difficult to wait. Mum’s almost finished your snack.’
Response 5 For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Observation Helps: ‘Oh goodie…the sandwich is packed. Now let me get your fruit out of the refrigerator. And here I am just packing everything together.’
Response 6 For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Repeat: ‘I remember you requested for a jam sandwich.’
Response 7 For Calming An Impatient Toddler
Divert: Divert him to another task if he’s getting too impatient. ‘Please start collecting all the things you need for the park so we can leave earlier. Get your ball. Get your shoes on.’
Do you have any helpful responses to share?
Food For Mommy’s Thought: “If you can control your behaviour when everything around you is out of control, you can model for your child a valuable lesson in patience and understanding…and snatch an opportunity to shape character.”- Jane Clayson Johnson