As a young mother I remember praying every morning. I would pray for patience for the day. I prayed I would have patience with my two precious little boys. They deserved patience and required patience. I never wanted to get angry and yell at them. I know there were a few times I failed at both of my goals. However I prayed and did my very best. I loved seeing my boys smile. I loved knowing they knew they were loved. Being a mother can be the most rewarding job in the world.
This morning while in worship service at church I saw a young mother in front of me. I have watched this young lady grow from a child herself into a loving mother. She and her husband sat there with two small boys. I watched her as the youngest climbed around on her and the chairs. He was very quite while doing this. The only one that might have been inconvenienced or disturbed was his mom. She would look at him and give him a large smile. He would look back at her with adoring eyes and go on being a little boy climbing around.
One time she was standing to sing and he tugged at her leg. She turned around reached out her arms and smiled that big smile. It took him several minutes to respond and climb into her arms. I thought how special it was that she did not grow impatient with him by reaching down to jerk him up by his little arms. Instead she waited for his young mind and body to respond. I have witnessed the opposite. I have seen moms turn around and jerk their child up so hard it looked like they might break an arm.
During the singing, this mom would look into her little boys face and sing about the love of God. Then she would end her song with that big smile. I thought how this little boy was learning about the love of God through his mom.
The little boy decided to play a little game. He was pretending to wipe his nose with a tissue and then would do the same to his mom. I’m not sure how sanitary this was but still just a child’s game. She allowed this quite little game to go on. Never once did she get impatient. Never once did she look at him with a frown. She always had a patient and loving face for her son. He always had a sweet and adoring look for her.
Where does patience come from? I don’t think it’s something we are born with or that just comes upon a person. I believe patience is something that is learned and practiced. Every child deserves patient parents. Every child deserves love and affection. No child will ever say, “you hug or kiss me too much mom.” Hugs and kisses make a child’s day and life happier. As they grow they need more patience and affection to help them face the tough times that come their way. If you see your child looking sad give them a smile and hug. Watch how their attitude changes. Their little face will brighten and all of a sudden their world is brighter.
What About Discipline?
Discipline and guidance are very important. Patience is just as important. Being patient does not mean you neglect discipline and guidance. It does mean you pick your battles and think before you react. It means you discipline out of love and not anger. Before losing your patience with your child ask yourself the following:
1. Is my child in danger? Of course if this is the case you must act quickly. However once the child is out of danger, with love explain why you reacted the way you did. Explain where the danger lies.
2. Is my child destroying property? We work hard for our “things”. We all hate to see something torn up. Remember a child doesn’t always realize he is doing damage. Every child should be taught to respect the property of others. Remember, your house is their home as well as yours. Teach them to take care of it.
3. Is my child being disrespectful to me or someone else? A child should always be taught to respect God, adults, and laws. But once again, remember children sometimes say and do things that they may not realize are disrespectful. Respect is one of the greatest lessons a child should learn. If a child knows respect, good behavior will usually fall into place. This is one lesson that is very important as they grow older. They must have and show respect to function well in their adult life.
4. Will my child’s action today make a difference tomorrow? Just because it puts a little more work on you or you don’t like something doesn’t make it a bad thing for your child to do. Choose your battles. Somethings should just be overlooked. Don’t make a mountain out of an ant hill.
5. Ask yourself, “Am I being fair to my child?” You may have had a bad day at work. Guess what, your child may have had a bad day at school. Another child may have picked on them. They may have been made fun of. After a bad day try to stay calm and make it a cuddling evening. By the way, sometimes children have a headache or another ache just like us, but they don’t realize exactly what is wrong and can’t always express it.
Make your home a happy and safe place for your family. I know adults that do not want to visit their parents because of the memories in that home when they were a child. You will always want them to come home. They learn their patience and parenting skills from you.
The happier Dad and Mom are, the happier their children will be. The better your attitude, the better your child’s attitude. The more patient you are, the more patient your child will be. Remember, the greatest blessing on this earth is a child and of course having a loving spouse to share them with.
The three “P’s” of patience: Pray for patience daily. Practice patience. Provide patience.
I have to admit I am not entirely sure what was taught in the preacher’s sermon today. I do know I was blessed and taught what love and patience looks like. Thank you Brooklyn.