Parenting calls on us to be patient even when we do not feel like it.
I have been thinking a lot about patience. I have written about patience before on this blog, but as I grow and change new thoughts come to me.
And what I really want to tell you today, my friends, is that the only way to increase your patience is to take your IMPATIENCE and replace it with LOVE.
Love for your children.
Love in knowing that maturity comes slowly.
Love in having a soft and gentle answer to what a child does that is immature.
Love in knowing when a child does need to be pushed a bit in order to move forward.
Love in being able to freeze time, in a sense, whilst the children are all screaming at once, and to still see the tenderness in that scene. To really see those needs that have to be met, but knowing there is time present to do that.
For one cannot be in a hurry in parenting. It solves nothing to jump to snap decisions, snap judgments, snap action. I have a dear friend who related to me one day that every time she was trying to get all her children out of the door, inevitably all of them would fall apart and all of them would all be talking, screaming or crying louder and louder to get her attention. Who should she listen to? Take turns, listen to “he said, she said”, pay attention to the youngest, the most urgent? I suppose any of the courses could be reasonable as we step in and try to fight and wade through all of this…but perhaps there is another way to look at it all.
And that is this: replace the frustration you are feeling with love; and keep your eye on the original intent. If it is time to go, then we get in the car and hash this out later. If it is time to eat, then we are eating and we can talk about all this in a bit. Guide your children toward the immediate need or goal, whether this is that it is time to go, time to eat, etc. Deal with the causes of falling apart as a separate issue once everyone calms down, and solve the problems. Maybe the cause of everyone falling apart was no one could find their shoes; therefore the shoes need to be in a central place so everyone can find them. Maybe there is a need for a bathroom break for everyone fifteen minutes before dinner. But these solutions will come after the immediate goal is met. Craft your life.
Slow, steady, warm and loving, These are the mantras of parenting. It can be hard to do this alone as we are just human; this is when your developed spiritual path will envelop your weaknesses, your frailness, your challenges and human-ness. Prayer avails much.
P is for Patience, but L is for Love.
What a great post, Carrie! I so needed to hear this. I will reread this often, I think…
This is great, Carrie, and I’m going to share it with my friends. I find, though, that one of the hardest things about parenting for me is that it seems as soon as I’ve got some part of it figured out it feels too late somehow.
Once again I’m grateful for you timely wisdom xoxo
Lovely, lovely post! Thanks!
I think patience is one of the hardest things to come by, especially these days. I have met rarely people who can be patient all the time. It is something that we all must work on continuously as well as parenting itself.
I think most of us mothers need to remind ourselves that we always need to learn, grow more and work on ourselves, it is not something that can be finished, like a project at the office, where we could say finally I figured it out and we can stop working on this. That is why it is so hard, much more work than at the office. And I do not think it is ever too late to figure something out.
I think I should write this on a post-it and put it on my bathroom mirror as a reminder for myself! 🙂
This. Oh, yes, this. And the key for me is,to let go of where I am, with all my frustration, all my need for order and control and safety, and breathe, and really Be In the Moment. And when I stop the story, stop thinking about how hard the moment is and how much I want to do something else, then I can See my child, and can make a loving choice,even if that choice is to be firm and stand my ground.
Love this! And it was great to see you this weekend!
Beth, It was SO lovely to meet you! I look forward to seeing you again, and hope the contingent of mothers in your area will come share festivals and things with our homeschooling group at some point.
Thank you so much! I think that would be wonderful!
Carrie, I’m wondering if you could give me more ideas for simple hand activities I can give my 4.5 yr old, to get him to “rest his mouth” for a little while everyday? You mentioned winding a ball of yarn and sand play to me this weekend. Any others, that’d be easy to implement? What about for my 2 yr old girl?
I was thinking more about this…the small child is one with you, with his surroundings, so I think in many cases this is like a stream on consciousness kind of thought that just keeps spilling out. I think one main thing is for YOU to be busy with your work, ie not so available to do much other than smile or nod, to really get that child out in nature where they can still themselves, to model more singing yourself and less talking in response to things, and to give the child physical tasks when they are chattering away (winding yarn, peeling carrots or potatoes for dinner, stirring, washing something, wiping down a table or windows, running a carpet swiffer, sweeping, sorting the silverware, etc)
I thought of this post, sort of related: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/12/20/four-year-olds-who-ask-many-questions/
Hope that helps,
Thank you, Carrie, that was a good refresher! I can look back at those posts and see how things have changed around here for the better since the last time I read them!
We’ve got much more imaginative play and “work” going on here than before. 🙂
What about for “quiet time”, when I want to SIT and cross-stitch, rest from my work, have *some* quiet, without the continual chatter? What’s something quiet I can give him (or them, if she’s awake) that is simple, he can do himself? He still seems a little young for finger knitting, and he wants assistance with painting, coloring, & dough.
Beth, Would he just be content to be next to you with a small basket of silks and wooden figures to play with? I know many people who feel very resistant to giving a small child anything to “do” during quiet time, but in my experience we must start in small steps. There are two back posts about quiet time on this blog that generated a lot of comments, perhaps those would help? \
By the way, blocks and tinkertoys “work”, in that they stop the chatter, and he doesn’t require assistance. But, I’m not sure if that’s resting his mind, as he should be doing during quiet time?
I did a search for “quiet time” because I was sure there was something; but I couldn’t find them. Could anyone post a link for me?
Beth, Try this one for starters: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/09/23/more-about-quiet-time/
Hope that helps, it took me awhile to find it as well.
Thank you! That did help! I can see that many avenues are acceptable, even if not Waldorfy always, if it meets the need. So, I’ll continue to encourage the blocks & tinkertoys, and I plan to try lacing cards again. (We tried those last year, and the laces became cowboy ropes, with everything in the house being roped-lol!)