Learning patience

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the most patient person. I get frustrated at little things that go wrong, only to have it work out in the end. I get frustrated at being frustrated. I don’t want my kids to be that way. There’s no need for it.

Today my son made a toy dog travois. It was a project in one of his history activity books. This was his idea to do. He gathered all the materials and did most of the work. I just showed him how to do the steps and got him started. It turned out good. He gave it to his sister to use with her doll house dog.

Part of it was tying the poles to the cardboard with yarn. There was a big jumbled knot of loose yarn attached to my skein. Grrr. We got enough cut off to make his travois. Then I untangled as much as I could close to the skein and cut the rest off. I gave it to Richard to untangle. He took it as a challenge. He then spent over an hour patiently following the ends in and out to untangle that jumble. He said it was good exercise for his fingers and a puzzle to make him think at the same time.

Patience like any other skill, can be learned with practice. As parents and homeschool teachers, it is our job to try to find opportunities to allow children to practice. They need to be allowed to fail in a safe environment with something that will eventually lead to success if they don’t quit. Projects like untangling knots or putting together jigsaw puzzles are great ways to do this. Make it something the child will enjoy or be interested in, otherwise they will learn frustration rather than patience. Be sure to offer praise even for small accomplishments, especially early on. This gives them the confidence to continue.

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2 Responses

  1. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who gets frustrated at being frustrated [smile].

    I’m guessing my kids will give me many opportunities to practice my patience. I still have a long way to grow in this area myself.

    ~Luke

  2. Luke
    Yes, kids do give parents ample opportunities to practice patience.

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