Learning patience.

September 3, 2009 at 9:54 am | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood), motherhood | 8 Comments

In spite of what you saw in yesterday’s wordless wednesday (those the pictures were actually taken a couple of weeks ago) we actually seem to be making progress on the tantrum front. (*Knocking on wood*)

J and I have been using some of the techniques in Happiest Toddler on the Block. Which seem to help us with an issue that escalates into a tantrum, though it doesn’t completely eliminate them.

We still have our bad days. Like last night, where O was tired from an early morning and an abbreviated nap (apparently another’s transition to the toddler room isn’t going well, particularly at naptime).

And yeah. Last night was pretty awful. A full plate of food hit the floor, but then 5 minutes later he wanted to eat it. (I let him.)

He didn’t want a bath, so he fought me the whole time, throwing bath toys (which went bye bye very quickly!) and crying when I tried to wash his hair. But when I was done? He then didn’t want to get out of the tub.

He wanted his bedtime story, but halfway through was fighting me to get down. He was falling asleep drinking his milk in the rocker with me, but then screamed when I put him in his bed.


I was always worried about this part of being a parent. Of losing my cool with my kid, of not being patient with them.

Because, see, I am NOT the most patient person in the world. (It’s true. You can ask J. He will agree.)

And I was raised by parents who, if possible, are even MORE impatient than I am.

So it was a big fear of mine that I would prove to be a parent who scares my kid into coersion. Because that’s what I know.

But I’m learning that my well of patience seems to be deeper than I thought it would be.

I’ve notice that O is more tantrumy (and yes, I just made that word up) when he’s tired. Or when he needs my attention and I’m trying to do something else.

And something as simple as taking one minute out of whatever task I’m doing to sit down on the floor, at HIS level, and play with him? Or engage him in something, like “chase-me-around-the-house?” or hosting “Dance Fever” in the kitchen, despite the fact that my hands are messy from chopping onion for dinner?

It helps. A LOT.

But it doesn’t make MY task list shorter. And I’m finding that my OWN personal patience is short when I have too many things to do. Or when I’m tired.

And then I become shorter, and less likely to give O the attention he craves.

And then it’s harder to deal with the escalating “NO!” and “MINE!” and the fights and the throwing of things and the arching and flailing on the floor and the crying and the whining.

So really, it’s to MY advantage to keep my cool. Because then we can have some FUN in the time we have at night before bedtime.

Course, it’s a work in progress. We will still have nights like last night, where everything is a fight.

But I LOVE that O is making me into a better person. I love that he’s molding me into someone who parents thoughtfully, even when I’m tired and stressed out and worried.

Because it gives me hope that I CAN look past my upbringing… and be the kind of parent I WANT to be.



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  1. I’m not a parent but I feel ok say ‘good job K!’. I think realizing that you are thoughtful and deliberate are among the most important parts of any role you play.

  2. That’s wonderful! Patience in this house is abundant and feely given…..until I’ve had enough and then I do plenty of “scaring into coersion”! HA!
    Good on ya, Serenity!

  3. I’m horribly impatient so this allllllll awaits me too…

  4. I actually had several of the issues you talk about…my parents were not stellar, patients definatly not my strong suit. But you find a way. And I am proud that I am NOT my parents. I think it does help to be aware of what you don’t want to do. Even tho people say you become your parents, I think that is often wrong–you are YOU and you learn your own path.

    You sound like you are learning the ways that work for both of you.

    The interesting thing I find in life is that I still learn from my children every day. We just have to listen.

  5. I don’t think I’ve said this before, but of all the bloggers I read (something like 17), you are the one who I think is most like me. I was lucky to have pretty good parents, but I am trying to raise my son differently than they raised me. And the rest of what you said sounds like it could’ve come out of my mouth (which is often the case when I read your blog).

  6. it’s one of the hardest things i’ve found about parenting…. and even worse when you’re exhausted. you’re doing an awesome job, you know? xo

  7. Sounds like you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing for you and O.

    Good job! 🙂

  8. Man, Jim threw a fit on me right by the sink… Instead of getting mad, I laughed and gave him a “shower” in cold water. It took him a week to have another one after that – and no more in the kitchen where a cooking Mommy could trip on a tantrumy (I like your new word) Boo.

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