It doesn’t take having a baby or a small child for a long time to realize that they have a natural and innate ability to test the patience of their parents. As much as you vow to never lose your cool, at some point in time you are bound to because you’re human. While it’s okay to lose your cool finding ways to make it a rare occasion as opposed to a daily occurrence is important if you plan on keeping your sanity! Implementing one or all of these tips will help when you find your uncommunicative newborn crying uncontrollably or your defiant toddler refusing to put on their pants, and your patience wearing thin.
Try to stay well (enough) rested – There are some times when you can’t help being sleep deprived but when and if you can, make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. In general, the more tired you are, the more agitated you will be and if you think to times that you’ve been more patient with your child than others, your own mental state probably had something to do with the more positive experiences.
Check your setting - Many times we put our children into adult situations or situations that they’re not meant to be in and expect them to endure it like adults. If you’ve been out all day with your baby who doesn’t sleep well outside and as a result they haven’t napped, it’s only natural that they’ll be more cranky than normal. If you take your toddler out to eat and expect them to self entertain while you enjoy an evening out, you’re probably setting yourself up to be disappointed. Having a child doesn’t mean that you have to stop doing these things but when you do, being aware of the fact that your child may be affected negatively may help you to check your patience level.
Build in time buffers – A lot of times, your decrease in patience is tied to you being in a rush. If you’re running late for work already and your baby poops in their diaper just as you’re about to leave, you’ll probably find yourself more frustrated than if you were just leisurely going out for a walk. If your 18 month old decides to strip down to naked and starts streaking through the house just after you’ve gotten them into their pajamas 5 minutes before bedtime you’ll probably see this as less humorous than if they’re done it 30 minutes before. Giving yourself more time to get important things done is a great way to ensure that your lack of patience isn’t a result of your fear of running late.
Anticipate their needs – Often, kids are at their worst when they need something. You may find that your baby riles up when they’re hungry and your toddler gets more impossible to wrangle as they get more and more tired. Being able to anticipate their needs as much as possible and beat them to the punch can help things run more smoothly.
Take a time out - Being a parent can be overwhelming and many times it feels as if you’re giving all that you have and more to your children. It can be draining and your days can start to feel monotonous and routine. When you feel as if you’re getting irritated more often and you can feel yourself slowly moving towards your breaking point, don’t be afraid to take a time out. Your time out can be stepping away for a few minutes to compose yourself or if you have a partner in the house that can take over the parenting responsibilities, you can use your time out to do something nice for yourself.