Patience, Parenting and Verbal Spillage

Part of having a loving attitude toward our children is being PATIENT.  I have written about patience here:http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/03/29/five-things-every-parent-needs/      and here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/10/15/the-power-of-patience-day-number-18-of-20-days-toward-being-a-more-mindful-parent/

Having patience is an important part of loving our families.  I think there are  two very concrete ways you can put patience into action in your marriage and in your parenting:

1.  Practice listening without interrupting, judging or being defensive.  How many times do we cut off our children, or our spouse when they are upset, to promote our own point of view, or our own judgment?

2.  Many women tend to “verbally spill” a cascade of words when they are upset.  It is very difficult to have self-control of one’s words, but well-worth the attempt. Can we just be silent  but warm and loving during times when the children are falling apart?  Can we just be there without verbally (please excuse the term) “throwing up” on family members with our own anger and frustration?    

I think especially in this age where people seem to say whatever they are thinking (uh, in multiple forums such as in person, in email, on Facebook, Twitter), and many times with language that is less than appropriate, it is important to show children that we can stop, we can think, we can deliberate, we can decide and then we can speak. 

Here are some other ways I am thinking about patience today:

Patience does not mean being a doormat and doing nothing, that is being the jellyfish of Barbara Coloroso’s “Kids Are Worth It!” book, right? However, patience does mean being calm enough to do the right thing!  This post talks a bit about that:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/11/14/how-not-to-be-the-angry-parent/

Patience is knowing that children take time to develop, and whilst you guide the behavior during development, split-second guidance in a rough way in the heat of the moment is not modeling patience or how to deal with life’s upsets.  De-escalate the situation,  guide, go about what you need to do, but show that deliberation.

As the Internet expands, I find we take things more and more at face value in terms of “experts.”  Anyone can put a website up and say they are a parenting expert or a Waldorf expert or whatever.  Perhaps part of patience involves not jumping into believing what someone says right off the bat, about thinking about what is right for one’s own family and then being able to distill what information works best for one’s situation and beliefs.

I was thinking about patience as a part of having a relationship with friends who may not exactly share our same beliefs  but are still people we enjoy and want to spend time with.  Why should we all be the same?  Many Waldorf homeschoolers complain that they have no friends who homeschool like them, but my question is can we look beyond Waldorf to the fact that we are all homeschooling?  Can we look beyond homeschooling to see that many parents are thoughtful and caring and trying to do their best even if they choose not to homeschool? 

In the area of faith and spirituality, I know many people of one faith who have no friends of any other faith.  A faithful and spiritual life can become very insulated without that.  Do you have the patience to develop long-term friendships with people outside of your spiritual beliefs?

Do you have patience with yourself?  Do you forgive yourself for not being perfect and for not being able to do it all?  This is not an excuse for doing nothing, you know my mantra about planning, planning, planning and doing, but mothers tend to be so very hard on themselves.  I have a friend I always say to, “Isn’t it amazing when a child is going through challenging behavioral stages, we always look to ourselves and what we are doing wrong but when a child is having a smooth stage and behaving the way we would expect, we don’t look back to ourselves at all?”

Happy meditating on patience today!

Many blessings,

Carrie

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12 thoughts on “Patience, Parenting and Verbal Spillage

  1. Hi Carrie
    Thanks for a beautifully written and thoughtful post today.
    Since I have been reading your blog I have worked hard at using less words and it does so make a difference.
    Now for the next challenge practise listening – I know I fall way short.
    And I love your comments about the ”experts’ on the net.

    Wishing you a patience filled day.

  2. Gosh, Carrie, this is so hard when you have a toddler who is just relentless in challenging behaviors. I am so so exhausted, and trying hard to be that loving mother and not the perfect mother, as you wrote in a previous post. My whole being just wants to be a bowl of love, bathing my child in all my goodness, restoring him and his own sense of peace in a difficult moment. I love how I can come to this blog and remember this when it’s hard.
    Thank you for suggesting that we can forgive ourselves for not being able to do it at all: it’s like you’ve given us permission to just let go… which is like an incredible exhale and a breath of really fresh, clean air that clears space and allows more productive/healing/nurturing emotions and thoughts to take over. Then I remember that I can do it, lovingly albeit imperfectly.

    And I am pouring through Hold On To Your Kids. Really interesting book. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it.

  3. I had to think of the German saying “Reden ist Silber, Schweigen ist Gold” (Talk is silver, silence is golden) after reading your post. Thanks for reminding me!

  4. Hi Carrie,
    I just love your blog-you are so filled with wisdom. Each and every entry is an inspiration to me!
    On another topic..
    I heard a story on NPR yesterday about how 68% of 3rd graders are less than proficient at reading in this nation. After all my reading about waldorf, i wondered to myself if this is because 3rd graders are not supposed to be proficient readers!? I subscribe to the belief that we push academics on children who are far too young in this country. If only studies like the one mentioned on NPR could serve as an example of this to our sometimes misguided education system. Instead the story went on to criticize teachers and their skills and suggest they need to be better prepared to teach reading. Why is it that we cannot learn from European countries where waldorf schooling is the norm and there is 100% literacy? well anyway…i just thought it was interesting. I know there are many other factors involved but it really does seem like the powers that be within the education system of this country are missing the boat.

    • Amy – and to that, why doesn’t anyone talk about numeral literacy in this country?!
      Blessings,
      Carrie

  5. Thank you, Carrie! Do you know the book “Momo” by Michael Ende? Momo is a great example for someone who has mastered the art of listening well.

    Eva

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