When one of my sons was young, he cried easily when things didn’t go his way: not getting his favorite flavor of juice box, not being able to sit in the back seat without a booster or not being able to go to his older brother’s friend’s house to play. We had a phrase in our family that I still use today: “Patience in your pocket” I would say and I pinched my two fingers together and placed the magic patience in his pocket.
Last week in one of our toddler art classes, three students were painting at our Paint Wall …standing up using their whole bodies moving and painting! Two additional students also wanted to paint and I joyfully said, “you have to wait in line”, a parent immediately said, “oh she can’t wait, she can do something else and come back.” After a short pause, I invited the mother to just wait a moment and see how long her daughter could wait. Well, she waited the entire time. The mother was stunned. She never waits at home she said, then she realized she doesn’t give her much opportunity to wait. The mother realized her daughter needed more practice.
When we see our children uncomfortable in many situations, including waiting, it is natural to make things comfortable for them. But as we know, life is not like that. We have to learn to wait our turn, wait in line, wait in traffic, wait for a table at a restaurant, wait for the package to arrive, and wait at the airport.
Let’s give our kiddos a little time to learn how to wait. Age appropriate of course, but time to learn what patience is. You can help them by teaching them to look at their environment, breathe, and just relax. A much needed skill that will assist them in many situations ahead.
See you in art class!