Parenting is hard. I mean for real, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Before I was married with children I worked in child care. I thought being a nanny was pretty much the same as being a parent. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Parenting isn’t just about “watching” your kids, and it’s not a lifelong baby sitting job. No, it’s so much more than that. It is raising children to be responsible, thriving adults. In our home, it is raising kids in Jesus, to know and love him, to spread his love to others. It’s teaching our kids responsibility, grace, humility, compassion, and yes even patience.
Patience. It’s a virtue. It is something I severely lack in. I mean just ask my husband. There is a reason why we bumped our wedding up from June to January. I struggle with keeping an “even” temper, I struggle with showing my kids how to calmly deal with situations. I think most parents do, all you have to do is mention whining to a parent and they shake their heads in agreement and share a story of when their child was bit by the whiny bug. So how do we deal with remaining patient and calm as a parent? I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that I do and want to do next time I feel my temper boiling over. Feel free to add your own tips in the comment section!
1. Pray- I purposely put pray at number one. Why? It seems to me like prayer is always our last resort. When nothing else has worked we finally give it over to God. I remember times when I have been so frustrated that I vent and unload to God. EVERY time after I always think “why did it take so long for me to go to him in the first place?” I feel like we could really eliminate a lot of frustration if we give it to God when it is small, rather then when it has turned into a mountain. Plus, the great thing about our savior is that it is NEVER too late to come to him.
2. Get out- If you stay at home like I do, it is easy to go stir crazy real fast. Often the little people and I are grumpy because we simply need to get out of the house. Even if you are just going to a walk, playing outside or going for a drive, the change of scenery can be a great mood booster.
3. Scrub it out- Organization and cleaning does not come naturally to me. I would much rather have my mom do the cleaning. But since she lives 12 hours away and I am the mom now I have to do the cleaning (don’t worry, Mr. Daddy pitches in too). I have our days on a schedule that I now look forward to the morning “scrub.” There is something about washing a pile of dishes, or wiping down the counter tops that calms me. Maybe it is because I am beautifying my home, or maybe it is because I am creating a safe environment for my children. Don’t be afraid to hand your child an un-paper towel and let them have at it. Soon you both will forget about your crankiness.
4. Fill your tummy/ hydrate yourself- I can not tell you how many times I have been having a rough day, then to realize that I hadn’t taken in enough calories, or had enough to drink. Your blood sugar and health are important, your body NEEDS energy to keep up with your brood.
5. Vent- Call a friend, your mom, your mother’s uncle’s sister’s fiance, anyone that you trust. Choose someone who can give you perspective, that will tell you like it is while being gentle as they do it. I have a great group of woman that I have vented to many times. I don’t think I would have been able to make it through parenting two with out them.
6. Be consistent- It is no secret that Ballerina is the most high spirited child I have ever laid eyes on. Everything, and I mean everything is a fight with her. She has a mind of her own and we are still learning how to guide her in the best way. Mr. Daddy and I have learned that we HAVE to be consistent with her. She needs to have clear boundaries and consequences laid out in front of her. I’m not saying she doesn’t push those, because trust me when I say she more than absolutely does. I am saying it is easier to learn and less trying on our patience when the consequences are set in stone.
7. Give grace- “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:32. Children are children. They are still people who need grace and forgiveness. Actually, they need MORE grace and forgiveness. Forgive them and move on, because that is what our father has done for us. He has clearly set the example of a loving parent. Let’s follow his guideline and strive to parent more like him.
Parenting is hard. It is exhausting, and can be stressful. It is also the most rewarding job on the planet. We all struggle with setting an example of patience to our children, but don’t forget that God has forgiven you. Do not walk in the condemnation of your sin. Simply learn from it, forgive, and try to do better the next time.
How do you remain patient and calm while parenting your children?