How to Be a Patient Parent

I was at my Moms group last week when somebody asked me, “How do you stay patient while you let L do things for herself?”

I said, “Are you kidding me?  I’m not patient at all!  I’m screaming in my head the whole time!”

Truth.  Consider that image of me shattered.  Patience is definitely not one of my natural virtues.  Unfortunately, it’s something that is necessary when dealing with young children (or people in general!).  So how do I do it?  You fake it until you make it, my friends.

My therapist will tell you that I’m very good at hiding my emotions.  Downfall for my psychological well-being, but a definite plus when it comes to interacting with my children.  There are many days — no, MOST days — when I want to scream, tear my hair out, and grab the sock from L so I can just put it on myself!  In less than 5 minutes!  While remaining focused on the task at hand the whole time!

And you know what?  Sometimes I fail.  And I grab the sock and shove it on L’s foot.

It doesn’t really make me feel any better.  Then I have a screaming child who just wanted to do it “BY MYSELF!!!!” and we still lose half an hour of our day.  Except now, instead of spending that half hour gaining self-care, fine motor, and independence skills, L has spent it having a meltdown on the bathroom floor.  And I’m still screaming in my head — and sometimes out loud, too.

On my better days, I fake it.  Honestly, I zone out.  I don’t watch as the sock catches on one toe and L just keeps trying to pull it on.  I don’t watch as she decides it doesn’t feel quite right and takes it off to start again.  I pretend that I am not spending a good part of my day sitting on the bathroom floor with a naked toddler.  I fake it until I actually feel patient.

I’m sure there’s a better way to be a patient parent.  But for those of you who struggle with it like me, just fake it.  Think about the future, when surely (SURELY, right?!) that child will be pulling those socks on like a champ.  Or even further into the future, when you’re old and feeble and your now-grown child has to put your socks on for you.  Then, you’ll be glad you let her do it herself all those years ago.



Domesticated Momster

15 thoughts on “How to Be a Patient Parent

  1. This sounds so familiar, I have no patience at all and find my mind zoning out during some of my littleuns ‘key developmental learnings’. Now I try not to stress myself out, if him putting on his own shoe backwards and upside down means we will be late then so be it…The world will have to wait.

  2. Yes so familiar! I often find myself zoning out while J *tries* to put his shoes on the right feet. Most of the time he gets frustrated and tells me he can’t do it, but if I try to do it all hell breaks loose!

  3. Thanks for your like on my blog, I’m reading your posts and really enjoying them. I’m interested in learning more about the Montessori method. I grew up homeschooled for almost all of my schooling except high school and have heard great things about the the Montessori approach. Thanks for sharing your journey. <3

  4. I am currently in a knee brace post-surgery, and when it’s on, I can’t reach my right foot. I’ve asked my kids – 7, 11 & 14 – to help me with a sock or shoe at different times. I think my 7-year-old really relishes the fact that she can help now. Sending hugs & patience.

  5. Oh patience, such a maddening virtue when you are a parent. So hard to teach and so hard to be a steadfast example. And putting on socks (or the lack thereof) is one of the hardest little things for some reason. But I like your mantra, fake it til you make it.

  6. I forgot about socks … My littlest is just starting to put on his pants and underwear and I’m looking forward to the days when he can actually get them over his butt by himself. But then we’ll have to deal with socks again. My oldest is three years older older and I barely remember these stages, so they must not have been that hard, right? ….right?

  7. This is so me right now with my toddler…love your strategy as it is same as mine good to know I am not the only parent going through this stage

  8. Hehe this was totally me with my first, and I’m still impatient with him 😭 but number three is now one and a bit and it’s a real pleasure watching him learn to do things by himself. In fact he’s learning too quick, how do you slow em down?? (Joke!)

  9. I have a very thin rope as well with my kids.. Some days worse than others but the mom guilt comes out just the same. But we are mothers and it’s just part of being one and being human. Thanks so much for linking up with #momsterslink. Do hope you will link again. It’s every Thurs-Sun.

Comments are closed.