I need a solution to being an impatient parent! And I need it NOW.
Driving on the highway and stuck in traffic — my 3-year-old decides that he wants to be home already (that makes two of us!) he goes into tantrum mode and refuses a toy, his music, a snack … and so as if being stuck in traffic isn’t bad enough, but now I have a hysterical toddler in the backseat.
Waiting in the security line at the airport – my 3-year-old decides that he has to pull the elastic chord of the temporary lane as far as it can stretch while we are getting shoes off, belt, loading our carry-on onto a conveyor … and I just want to get through the checkpoint.
My son asks why the sign of the local diner isn’t working. We discuss all of the possible reasons that could have caused it. Then, he asks why the diner sign isn’t working at least twenty times every day for the next two weeks (there must be some parenting term for this).
Having a brief conversation on the phone sometimes is impossible. For instance, I can’t speak to my family without my son wanting to talk to them, pressing the buttons on the phone, or doing something rash in our apartment to derail the conversation because he’s not the center of attention.
After a long and exciting day of spending quality time with my son at the playground, preparing meals, pretending to play in his kitchen, having tea parties, and racing trains along the tracks we built … all I want to do is collapse on the couch and have a little “me time” once he goes to sleep. Last night, my son decides to run rampant around the house trying to avoid the bath.
The list is endless. It comes down to a desperate dad who has never been the most patient person in life. I may have even improved my level of patience since becoming a parent, but I still get tested by my little guy on a daily basis which drives my patience “tank” to EMPTY. I take deep breaths, walk away and try counting to alleviate some of that anger that my lack of patience drives me to. Wondering if there were a magic solution to mastering patience as a parent?
Sometimes I feel like an incompetent parent because I compare myself to my wife who is amazing when it comes to being patient – she remains calm, she doesn’t fly off the handle, and she goes with the flow almost too easily. Sure, I acknowledge that it’s a step in the right direction to reflect upon my parenting practice and realize that I need help here. Going to the gym, on a bike ride, for a walk, popping the headphones on are positive short-term solutions for this impatient parent, but it’s not enough.
Is it just me or are all parents driven to the breaking point because their children drain their patience? Why is my wife so talented with her command over patience? Wondering if some of you would share some best practices that work for you.