Some friends of mine recently told me they were at their wit’s end. They had two children who—in their words—were “driving them crazy.” Since they didn’t think that destination would change anytime soon, they asked for some practical ways to improve their patience with their kids. Should they count to ten? Should they walk out of the room? While those might seem like a few good go-to options for most parents, they’re can actually be counterproductive.
My friends were puzzled by my response. I told them that patience is a lot like “capital.” Much like money in the bank, we all have different amounts of Patience Capital or “PC” in our banks. From time to time, our children will make a withdrawal from our banks. When our accounts run dry, we typically say things like “I’m running out of patience” or “I’m trying to be patient with you.” In these moments, we’re actually on overdraft protection mode! The reality is that we all must take some steps to re-build our PC accounts. Here are a few ways to grow your PC accounts so that you won’t bankrupt your patience!
Quality - Time - Children - Times - Children
1. Spend consistent quality time with your children. Many times, our children make their greatest withdrawal from our PC accounts when they want our attention. Spending intentional time after work or on the weekends with your children outside of the normal routine will put “PC” back in your account. Remember what Reggie Joiner says: “It’s not quality time or quantity time, but the quantity of quality times.”
2. Build clear expectations by creating a...
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