When asked about a New Year’s Resolution, most parents need more patience. Yet, it’s really hard to be patient in the midst of meltdowns, kids who don’t listen, and irresponsible behavior. We all know that New Year’s resolutions tend to fail. However, it’s not because you are incompetent, not good enough, or that you “just don’t try hard enough.” Being patient with children, even on a good day, is just hard work!
Therefore, re-affirming your commitment to be more patient this year requires the ability to endure, even when your kids are pushing your buttons. It means staying calm and focused when kids fuss, moan, and delay leaving the house on time. It means staying cool when kids don’t listen or do what they are told. It’s finding creative ways to relate with your strong-willed child. Being more patient this year means being provoked by kids and NOT acting on your anger, frustration, or annoyance in a negative way.
You will be glad to know that one of the keys to being patient involves one thing: staying mindful that your child’s developing brain is a work in progress. (Misbehavior is not always a product of choice and willfulness; biology plays a major part). Once you understand (and accept) that his brain is not fully developed until around age 25, patience is soon to follow. If you don’t, then you will continue to fight with Mother Nature this year and you will certainly lose!
So the bad news: New Year’s resolutions are not easy and good intentions only get you so far. However, the good news is that there’s something about the symbolic fresh start of the New Year that can give you a little extra momentum.
Need More Patience In 2017? Pick one thing.
So many of us create a huge list of resolutions with things like getting fit, transform my marriage, and losing those unsightly pounds, just to name a few. It’s good to dream big, but don’t be like most parents and bite off more than you can chew. Since you can’t do it all, then let’s keep it simple in 2017 and just focus on one major element of parenting. Here’s how.
Spend this year getting to know your child’s development. Discover what’s going on with his or her developing brain. For example, get familiar with how hard it is for your little guy to think rationally, regulate intense emotion, or calm his raging amygdala. (It’s a pea-size part of the brain that generates our fight-or-flight reflex).
Get to know how ego-centrism (the natural IN-ability to consider the views of others) rules his interpretation of events. Doing so is very powerful. That knowledge will create a natural shift in how you interpret unwanted behavior. In the end, patience is sure to follow.
Need More Patience In 2017? Get A Plan.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Developing greater patience this year requires strategic ideas, timing, and resources to achieve this objective. So reach out to supportive friends in this area. Also, you can read a book. May I recommend Dan Siegel’s book, “The Whole-brain Child.” It’s a must read for any parent who needs more patience.
If you need more patience in 2017, if you want help and support in this key area of parenting, then mark the date. I’m holding a private seminar called Raising Kids Without Raising Your Voice. This event will be held at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa this Saturday, March 18th from 1-5pm. Think of it as my way of saying “I’m on your team” to help you be the parent you were meant to be, every day, all year long.
A Point To Ponder
As you understand your child’s development something powerful will occur: your expectations will naturally align with what he can deliver. In the end, you WILL become more warm, patient, and enduring. Hence, your New Year’s resolution will come true!
Author: Steve Cuffari For many, Steve Cuffari is the mentor that parents call on to make their parenting style warmer, easier and more affective. He is the founder of inTouch Parenting, a company devoted to helping today's parents calm the chaos, raise emotionally intelligent kids, and nurture families that thrive. read more about Steve Cuffari here...