5 Ways to Teach Patience, Dammit!
There are certain times of the year, when stress levels sky-rocket, leaving parents tense, agitated and inebriated after their kids’ bedtime.
This is not a new concept.
Holiday stressors are the highest on the list: mounting blood pressure, gastric maladies, and what some medical experts call “hide-in-a-dark-closet-in-the-fetal-position-until-New-Years” disorder.
Since we have approximately 91 days until Thanksgiving - AND school is starting for many parents, I'm sharing from my experience as an old “blonde” mother, with a temper and mild memory loss how I get through these trying times.
These tips have been essential in educating my two grade school-aged daughters the life skill of learning patience.
1. When driving next to men working street construction; make sure to carefully slow down and scream through your window, “Get out of the middle of my lane, Dork!” I then use this example as a teachable moment, and tell my kids that studying hard and going to college will prevent this scenario from happening to them.
2. If someone is texting in their car at a red light, and if they don’t proceed through the intersection in 3 seconds after the light turns green; lean into the horn. Plus, make sure to have it wail much after they have started moving. If you really want to teach the nimrod a lesson, you can speed by and flip them the bird. This lets the driver know they are in the wrong, and they are fortunate you didn’t perform a citizen’s arrest or take down their license plate. Kids will learn from your diligence.
3. In the school’s car drop-off lane, take it into your own hands to demonstrate what's right. Since cars are required to pull to the end of the line, and not just stop-and-drop close to the door - they truly need your help. Yelling out your window or using grand hand gestures, will wave those new parents into enlightenment. Your kids will learn right from wrong from your actions.
4. When waiting for your children to get in the car, preferably with teeth brushed and underwear, honk the horn in the garage. It has a lovely echoing effect, which scares the kids into running to the car. Also, your neighbors will love knowing your car horn is in working order.
5. The grocery store checkout line is a perfect place to teach patience. Let’s say the elderly woman in front of you is searching for several minutes for her ten-cent coupon for pork chops that are already on sale. It is the same coupon she cut from the Sunday paper, which she knows she put in her purse after lunch that day in her needlepoint coin purse. The small one not the big coin purse her great-niece, Annie found at the Thrift Store. Because she knew if she didn’t do it right then, she might forget. Then when she pulls out her checkbook and can’t seem to locate her favorite pen, it’s best for the parent in line to make a loud sigh, abruptly back up your cart, and stomp off to the next aisle while shooting hateful stares.
I have no clue why people complain about parenting being so hard. Teaching life skills on patience are obviously easy. Especially, if you do it quickly and loudly. Just ask my girls.
They’ve been hiding in the closet in the fetal position since school started.
Stacey Hatton is a retired kids’ nurse, mom to 2 feisty munchkins and blogs atwww.NurseMommyLaughs.com.