5 Ways to be a Patient Parent.

‘I’m selfish, impatient and just a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Monroe.

It’s sometimes very tricky to be a patient parent isn’t it? It’s the hardest job in the world to keep calm when your child has broken a window, hasn’t slept all week or tipped pasta all over the floor! But no one ever said parenting would be easy and no one gives you a manual when your children are born. How can we be more patient as parents?

Here are my top 5 tips for being a patient parent.

1. It’s a stage.

My mum would forever tell me this but it was difficult to believe her when you’re in it! It’s so true though. As a mum of older teenagers, I now see that each stage in my children’s life was varied, brilliant yet sometimes very, very challenging! I especially found the 18 months to 3 years old stage hard followed by the 5 year old boy stage! The teenage stage is just so different to any other as it’s such an emotional time but it also be challenging to be a patient parent of teenagers. Each child is different and each child will prove challenging at some point as they grow up but that is a normal part of their development so try to remember this when things get tough.

2. They are not doing it on purpose.

My lovely friend once told me to see parenting as a job as it was the only way she could get through the difficult parts! I thought that was such good advice! You wouldn’t be on your phone for hours when you are at work so don’t do that when you have children. I’m not saying don’t take a break but, you know that feeling of -“I can’t do this anymore….” Well, think of parenting your children as a job and do the best you can. Your children are not being annoying/challenging/difficult on purpose! They are exploring the world around them. The other way to look at it is they are difficult with you because they feel they can be and that’s ok. Children often just want our time and attention and that is why they are being challenging. Engage with them, talk to them, play with them.

3. Breathe and hug.

I remember a terrible moment on holiday when my son was about 4. We hadn’t slept as the plane had been delayed and we hadn’t eaten properly either (the dreaded double whammy!). He absolutely kicked off, having a massive tantrum over something really random. Now my son was huge at 4 (he is over 6 foot 3 now as a 16 year old). He was strong too. I was on holiday without my Hubbie so I had to carry him to the car as he kept trying to run away from me and there was a very busy road. Let’s just say I locked him in the car for a few moments as I nursed bleeding arms where he had scratched me. I cried by the roadside taking huge gulps of air! My patience was in tatters and I was also tired and hungry! In the end, when he’d calmed down, I hugged him tight and we both cried together. Breathe and hug. I was cross but there was no point in being angry with him as he had lost control and I needed to be in control for the both of us. There was no point in me loosing control too. That would not be helpful to anyone! That day was awful but I learnt NEVER to be without adequate snacks!!

4. Don’t be too hard on yourself!

This is a tough one isn’t it? We worry about everything as parents because we just want our children to be happy and healthy. Being stressed out by the small stuff can make us impatient. Well sometimes, a packet of crisps followed by 3 satsuma may have to be tea on the way to parents evening or your child may have to go to school wearing his sisters socks. It’s ok. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Parents cannot be perfect all the time. I sometimes watch parents of the children in my class getting very stressed and they apologise to me because their child hasn’t got their trainers/book bag/snack. It’s ok! We’ll manage. The important things matter, the rest really doesn’t.

5. Walk away.

This is my newest one! You can’t walk away when your children are younger and being difficult but as Teenagers, this is your greatest strategy when things get really tough and you feel like you may lose it! Teenagers like to go on (and on) if they feel like they are right (which is all the time!). On occasion, I tend to take a deep breath and walk away. They know now that I’m done at this point! Later, when it’s all calmed down, I will go back and talk about whatever has been annoying them but by then, I’m calmer. To be honest, I rarely lose my patience in front of my children now as they are so much older. I think now they lose their patience with me!

I hope you have found these tips helpful.

5 Ways to be a Patient Parent. Oldhouseintheshires. #parenting

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23 Comments

  • Great tips, especially ‘walking away’ with teenagers- they do go on don’t they! – I was advised once to only react on a level of 3/10 to whatever they say (they are usually on 9 or 10/10 of drama), and save your own 10/10 reaction for the really serious things, like drink driving or not coming home… keep breathing, and listening- pick your battles with teenagers.

  • This is great advice for parents, Sophie. I agree with each one. You are right. We are the ones who need to stay in control so that our children feel safe. Often they feel unsettled when they feel they have no control over their lives. If we lose control too, the world must seem very unfriendly to them.

    • Thanks Norah! Wise words indeed. X

  • Wonderful advice, as ever. My mother used to drive me spare when stating (what is indeed the fact) that ‘it’s just a stage’ but she was right and now that those stages are all over we have different challenges with our adult children. I guess we just go through stages our whole lives through in some sense! Parenting is tough – the toughest of jobs and to view it as such is a good strategy. In that way you can allow yourself reasonable breaks and some me-time (for that read time off from work) and you can accept that it won’t all be a bed of thornless roses. And walking away? The grandest advice of all with teens. Banging one’s head against a wall gives a mighty headache and causes inner resentment for the pain. Best to be what my eldest (now 31 years old) daughter calls ‘the bigger person’. She’s dead right but it will be interesting to see if she remembers or needs gentle reminders when she becomes a mummy herself! xx

  • I think as a parent our patience is always being tested and we do all have moments. These 5 things are certain things we should try to remember and do. Thanks for sharing

  • You taught me a whole lot of things. Thanks a lot. I guess we should take it as a job and that would make everything perfect.

    • Well perhaps not perfect but easier hopefully. X

  • To be honest I read this post with mixed emotions. I feel so guilty at getting things so wrong with my teenage daughter, and we have a fractious relationship. But also angry at her. I feel reassured at what you say about stages, and walking away and all that and it seems very wise. If you are as good as you indicate however I just feel more like a failure than ever!! #dreamteam

    • Oh Enda! I’m not perfect…no one is. I think we naturally overanalyse our parenting don’t we? And it’s so much easier to talk about things after we have done them! I remember hating my toddlers! Well not them obviously but the stage they were at. It was just so hard! Especially in the early hours when you want to stab your eyes out with a pencil rather than comfort your child for the sixteenth time! And no one can tell you what choice is the right one as every child in every situation is different and unique. I am quite an expert with young children as I’ve taught hundreds of children aged 3-10 BUT they go home at 3.30pm! Children always keep their worst behaviour for their parents and it’s relentless. Parenting is tough there’s no doubt but being trying to be patient and kind to our children is definately something that makes it easier and children deserve our very best (just that can’t be all the time!) good luck. Xx

  • This is all so true! Breathe and hug. Pink Pear Bear had a lovely post earlier in the week about the first four minutes of any interaction being the most important – so focus on them during that as well as it may help 🙂

    • Oh that sounds like a lovely idea. I’ll pop over to have a look. Thanks!

  • Thanks for sharing these helpful tips, yes for taking a deep breath and hugs #dreamteam

  • I didn’t realise how much patience I actually have until I became a mum – which is just as well now I have three! #coolmumclub

  • Oh I needed to read this today, this week, this year! Our three year old is constantly testing and I know I could be doing a better job at managing the situation – there are some great tips here, and for what it’s worth, in a safe environment I reckon the walking away one is still relevant!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub
    mummuddlingthrough recently posted…Raising Musical Children + Book #giveawayMy Profile

    • Yes you’re probably right! Good luck with your threeanger! X

  • My one downfall is definitely patience. I needed to read this, as my four year old son is and has always needed a lot more patience than the others. Thank you for these helpful tips #coolmumclub

    • 4 year old boys ate tough; I remember it well! Breathe and hug Mama. Xxx

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