“And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV
We review our verse and the definition of patience every day. I have told my kids that there are four urgings in this verse, 1) warn those who are idle 2) encourage the timid 3) help the week 4) be patient with everyone. We hold up fingers as we try and remember each command. My friend, Kelsey, describes patience as, “to wait with a happy heart.” I like that and am going to steal it.
I know that one time my kids are not patient is when I am on the phone. Isn’t true that they are playing independently right up until you get on the phone, and then suddenly it’s madness and they need your attention? Teaching kids to be patient while you are on the phone will benefit both you and your kids.
Today we worked on a strategy I’ve lightly introduced in the past. It’s gone a bit slack, so I really wanted to nail it in today. A way children can show patience is when you are talking on the phone or talking to another person. Interruptions are challenging to deal with in the moment, so I try and teach them to not interrupt before the situation even arises. We want to teach before we are in the moment.
What we do is if the child wants my attention, she puts her hand on my leg. I acknowledge her by putting my hand over her hand. This means, “I hear you, and I will pause my conversation when it’s an appropriate time.” When it’s convenient (I try and not take too long), I pause my conversation and ask what my child needs.
To practice today we all had fake phone conversations. Then, we’d practice the strategy. It’s fun for kids when you pretend to be the kid. We also pretended like Abby was my friend who came over, and we had a conversation that Kenzie wanted to interrupt. When implemented, this strategy will cut down on a lot of frustration for you. Role playing like this is one of the many ways kids learn new skills.