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Learning the Art of Patience

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Let’s start today’s post with an example. With this example, this post dealing with “Learning the Art of Patience” will become much easier to understand.
You are working on your child’s homework and (s)he is practising spelling.
“Mother, what does this say?” Your child holds up a book and tries to read the words in it. One word seems quite difficult to pronounce. Once again your kid gives it a try. Then you try to help her/him in pronouncing it.
It says, “Encyclopedia”. Say it. Try.
Child tries to mimic what you have just pronounced. “En-clo-cy-de-pia”.
“No, pay attention. Encyclopedia.” Mom again tells the child.
There goes another trial, “En-clo-cy-de-pia”

Mother continues to pronounce the word continuously and each time unknowingly her voice gets louder. But the child still struggles to pronounce it correctly. End result of this session – mommy irritated and child sad.

If there is any known or elder person in the house, seeing this whole episode they might step in and try to solve your problem. Their way will be different than yours. They might break the spelling into parts and then let the child try. “En-Cy-Clo-Pe-Dia”. Then they might move up to joining two parts together. And there you go, your child has started to say it correctly. Is starting afresh and breaking the spelling in parts something that was missing earlier or is there some other factor? I would say, there is something more than that which got missed out over a period of time and it was ‘Patience’.

I am sure we all have gone (and go) through this kind of conversation. So, how to handle it? What should be our role as a parent and as a teacher?

With small kids, even a simple spelling could be a big project/ puzzle. Not being able to get the spelling and pronunciation correctly irritates them as much as it irritates you when in spite of so many trials they do not manage to say it correctly. So, why not to apply the same waiting time concept? What do you say? I know it’s easier said than done. All of us try to be patient in such situations but when our limits are tested, we sometimes let impatience get the better of us.

Few days ago, I was reading an article on patience. While reading it, I thought of writing this post. Every now & then, we tell our kids to have patience. Whether it be getting a new toy or waiting in a queue, we ask them to stay calm. We give them so many examples when patience gives positive results. But when it comes to us, we forget the first requirement of parenting – Patience. We all know that patience is the foundation of parenting. Yes, lots and lots of patience. There is no limit to it. More the merrier.

“If you think being a parent requires limitless amount of patience. You are wrong. You need more than that.”
Now, just imagine when you are working on a puzzle (alone or with your child), and you are not able to piece it together, what do you do? Do you break whatever you have just built or you take a break and try it after sometime? The waiting time doesn’t assure that you will get the desired results but at least now you will start with a fresh mind. Right?

When there is no point in losing patience, getting irritated and not even solving the original problem in the first place, then why not to hold onto your patience, calm yourself down and then try it afresh? I have tried it many times and it works. Give your child some time, you take a breather yourself and then both of you get back to the task at hand. It works. It really does!!

Always remember,
“Children do not experience our intentions, no matter how heartfelt. They experience what we manifest in tone and behavior – Gordon Neufeld”

I am Alpana Deo – wife, mom & person behind After finishing up my studies & then working in India for sometime, I came to the USA 9 years ago. During this span, I got to know American culture very closely. With a desire to stay connected to my educational background & hobby of writing, I put together my website ‘Mothers Gurukul’ – a place not only for moms but for all the parents who are trying to raise their kids in two very rich but totally different cultures. Join me on my journey.