The author of this chapter, Catherine Arveseth, lists several steps to developing patience, and I'm going to quickly recap them here:
1. Give in Without Giving Up: I really think this goes well with Acceptance. Sometimes e have to re-evaluate and adjust our expectations so they are reasonable.
2. Know Your Triggers: For me, it's overly loud noise, fatigue, and being late. When my house or car is so loud I can't think, I lose it. When I'm exhausted (which is mostly due to my health and not my sleeping habits,) I get short with everyone. When we are running late- watch out! Since I know my triggers, I can do my best to avoid them or anticipate them so I'm less likely to lose my mind on my kids.
3. Slow Down- When we are too busy and we have too much to get done, I definitely start losing patience. It's a good reminder for me to schedule my kids less and to take advantage of down time when I can.
4. Look Before You Lose It: Have you ever gotten really upset about something (or at someone!), then later realized the circumstances were totally not what you thought? This helps us "examine what has really gone on, to ask questions, and to determine intent. It helps us better understand the offender and the offended...It also helps us see what is happening in our children's heads and hearts. (DM, p54).
5. Set the Tone: When I yell at my kids, I almost immediately feel guilty. The message of yelling is "Please someone calm me down becasue I can't calm myself down." (p.55) When we raise our voice, we often get MORE angry. It's time for us to learn to manage our voices. We can speak sternly, without yelling, and get a better response, both from ourself and others.
6. Dig Deep: On the most difficult days, in the hardest moments, find the reserves that help you do what seems impossible. For me, I draw on my faith. I remember that I want to be Christlike, and that means being loving and patient.
I know I can be more patient. These six steps will help me this month. I just may print them out and post them somewhere. If you'd like to as well, you can click here for a printable version, or just right click the image below to save to your computer.
What are your patience triggers?
P.S. I shared this at the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up