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You can’t rush something that you want to last forever. Being patient, persistent, and positive are essential elements to parenting and it starts with patience. Patience is our ability and choice to suppress reactive desires in order to produce a more positive result.  Reaching into our frontal lobes and allowing wisdom to speak clearly can give us the extra few seconds to listen with understanding with empathy.


  1. Create opportunities to practice patience – It takes 3-20 times to learn something and 30 – 60 times to fix something learned wrong. Let your children know that if they can’t take a no as well as they take a yes, then we need to practice “no” more often.
  2. Your children are intelligent human beings – treat them that way. Expect that they can learn and anything less won’t give them the dignity that they deserve. They can control their behavior when we consistently expect them to.
  3. Slow down your response time. Put a pause on your response. When our children want our attention, help them to learn that non-emergencies can wait when we are in the middle of something else. I used to tell my children and students who wanted my immediate attention that I wasn’t ignoring them – I was paying attention to someone else.

When we say “no” to the multitude of requests from our children, what we are really saying is “yes” to something more important. We are saying yes to their health when we say no to another piece of candy. We are saying yes to the wonder and awe of their minds when we say no to screen time. We are saying yes to greater happiness in the future when we say no to a moment of pleasure. Patience is the realization that waiting for a big YES is better than being irritated by a little no.

“Patience is a form of action. – Auguste Rodin
“Patience may be bitter, but its fruits are sweet.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau


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