How to raise patient children in an instant world?
Who wouldn’t want to raise children who become successful adults? I’ve been listening to many successful people talk about how they made it in life. Everyone tells different stories, but really there’s just one thing that really matters: all successful people are persistent. So how do we raise persistent children in an instant world? In most cases children don’t have to wait much for anything nowadays compared to what my generation went through. They write text messages, while we wrote letters. They use the internet for research, while we went to the library. They have cartoons available 24/7… When I was a child, there were cartoons on TV only for half hour per day each evening. Maybe it was a bit harder to entertain us during the day, but conditioning was easy. ‘If you don’t finish your homework on time, you’ll miss the cartoons.’ Oyoy! There was no messing about when things like these were said. Try doing this with kids today. They’d go: “So what? I’ll watch it on my iPad whenever I want” or “Whatever, I’ll watch it 2 hours later, after I”d finished.”
I think learning patience is half way to attaining persistence. If children learn to be patient and realize that things do happen if they wait and don’t give up on their goals and dreams, will most likely become persistent adults. Persistence is a trait that can be leaned. Plant the “I can do it” seed in your child.
Stick with it.
How to teach children patience?
If you know that they really want something, don’t get it for them straight away. Do condition it for them and say what you expect from them in return. Things like: “When you bring 10 As back from school.” is not good, because they will know exactly when to anticipate the receipt of their desired thing. In life we never know when and how things will work out for us. We learn through trial and error, therefore it’s best not to be specific about our expectations. Here are some examples:
1. If you are nice to your sister.
2. If you help mommy.
3. If you can show me that you are responsible. (Feed the guinea pigs without being told to, for example)
Children might forget about the deal and only do their part for a day or so, but then you can ask them if they still want that thing, because their actions speak different.
In your mind, make up a deadline for the deal, but don’t share it with the child.
I’m going to share my experience with you to better illustrate the next point I’ll make.
From a very young age, maybe 7 or 8, I was crazy about motorbikes. I spent my entire teenage life and even beyond, dreaming about having a beautiful chopper (Harley Davidson type bike). I took on summer jobs to save up money, I woke up and went to sleep with a deep desire to owe a bike like that one day. My dream did come through, and it was the happiest period in my life to this day, but at the same time, I had no dreams left. I was so occupied with this single dream that there was no room for anything else. I was extremely happy, but there was emptiness in my life for the lack of a new dream.
Get your children to write Bucket Lists every year, maybe before the summer holidays. This will get them thinking of what they want.
Don’t allow them to write up a bunch of material goods they desire. Get them to base their list on the 5 senses.
1. This summer I’d like to see, touch, taste, hear and smell …..
Some of these might be a bit hard, but will definitely get them to think outside the box.
Get them to imagine what it’ll feel like when whatever they were wishing for, comes true.
Having that feeling in mind, will make it even more desirable for them and the anticipation will be greater.
Make it possible for them to experience at least one thing from their list.
Also bear in mind that by giving kids a chance to fail, we also give them the pleasure of succeeding on their own. The next time your children have a problem and ask you to solve it, don’t! Instead, sit down and ask them to think of a solution. This gives your kids time to cool down and teaches valuable problem-solving skills. And while it’s tempting, when playing games refrain from letting children win just because they’ll be unhappy if they don’t. Playing fair and square teaches the important life lesson that, in games as in life, sometimes you’re going to fail before you win.