Patience is a virtue that can be difficult to develop. We live in a society where we want things immediately and we don’t want to wait. But, when we learn to develop patience, we have stronger relationships with our family members, we have less stress and we become more content with our lives.
If you, like hundreds of other parents, have a short fuse and find patience a struggle, here are five suggestions to help you become a more patient parent.
Recognize your triggers.
All of us have triggers that, when set off, ignite our tempers, emotions or anxiety. If you want to learn to develop patience and control yourself, identify your triggers. Recognize those things that set your emotions out of control. When you can identify them, you can work on controlling your emotions when the situation arises. Developing patience requires work and if you make the effort to become a patient individual, you will receive results.
Give yourself ‘me’ time.
If you are constantly catering to everyone else's needs, you won’t have the time to take care of yourself. You need to take time each day to do something you want to do. Go to the gym, take a nap, read a book and more. By spending just a few minutes to yourself, you can re-energize. You give yourself the motivation to accomplish household chores and strength to handle the many challenges and difficulties you will face throughout the day.
Get enough sleep.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your fuse wears thin. You become grumpy and moody and you don’t think rationally. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of sleep you should get each night is based on your individual needs. However, adults should receive between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. To ensure you get enough sleep, establish a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed the same time each night and wake up at approximately the same time each morning. Don’t eat right before going to bed and avoid any type of sugary drink right before you lay down.
Don’t over schedule yourself.
If you want to be patient, slow down a little. When you are constantly running from one task to another throughout the day, your stress levels increase. You become more on edge and you miss out on the small details. You only focus on getting your to-do list accomplished. If you need to, cut some tasks out of your schedule. Be more accessible to your family members and friends to talk, play and enjoy one another — not chauffeur, work and constantly clean.
Take a time out.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to develop patience is to give yourself a time out. When you feel your fuse about to blow, walk away, go to a secluded area and just take a few deep breaths. You need time to gather yourself, to calm down and relax. If you don’t take this opportunity, your lack of patience will show through.
Becoming a patient parent isn’t something we develop overnight. It is a characteristic that we must work toward. But with a little effort, it is possible to lengthen your fuse and become much more patient with those you love the most.
Courtnie Erickson is a Utah State University graduate and a technology guru.