Sunday, September 6, 2009

Measure of Patience

Patience as defined by Webster: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.

Patience as defined in our house:

  • When you arrive at the grocery store you notice your 7 yr old is wearing the same clothes he wore yesterday despite telling him to change, forgot to brush his hair and has peanut butter smeared across his face.  Before you can get a wipe out he uses his arm as a napkin.  You resist the urge to cry into the wipe.  This is patience.  
  • When you ask your 10 yr old daughter  to please clean up under the table and her response is, "But whhhyyyy do I have to do it?" Instead of throwing your head back in frustration and sending her to her room you mess around with her and make her laugh so she gladly cleans up.  This is patience.  
  • When your 5 yr old plays with the tooth brushes, gives them names then looses your daughters in the process, but your daughter does not yell, start a fight or storm off to her room.  Then she is exhibiting patience.   
  • When your 9 yr old is yelling at his younger brother for annoying him instead of yelling back you quietly think up new punishments like 10 push ups ..Then you are patient.   

I don't think I am necessarily more patient than others.  I just don't think I care anymore.  No, I do care.  Especially when we got out and they look like they were playing in a dumpster. But what could I do at that point?  By the time I got home made him change and got back to the store some other kid would have destroyed their outfit.  As it was by the time we left the store my 3 yr old had soaked his shirt by sucking on it, his pants were totally sideways from playing in the pockets so much, and he crawled across the floor so his legs were all dirty.  But did I have a fit?  Nope, hes washable. 

I've been noticing people seem very upset when children being children get into trouble, they expect the parent to immediately put a stop to it.  While I agree that parenting should always be taking place I think there leaves little room for patience.  Instead of allowing the children to get out the energy or frustration they have they make the situation worse by intervening when they shouldn't.  So what if my kid was sliding across the floor of the check out lane? He wasn't in anyones way and he is washable.  After a few minutes it was no longer fun, probably because it was cold, so he joined me by the cashier.  He just had a little energy he had to work out. 

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