Agreeing to watch a friend’s young children for the day, I inquired about sleeping arrangements for nap time. I would need a playpen and their favorite blankets. In response, the father told me to simply lay the two girls next to each other on a bed, and put a pillow on each side. Considering their young ages, 15 months and 3 years, I was a little skeptical butI decided to trust him.
After lunch, it was time to find out if the dad knew what he was talking about.
The 3 year old’s matter of fact view of nap time was impressive. She was obviously quite used to this routine and eagerly picked her spot on the bed. Her younger sister was a bit more hesitant and cried for a minute or less, being comforted by the kind touch and gentle words of the elder sibling.
How did the parents teach this? I know many parents that would love to experience this nap time routine!
I remembered my last post…
It is love… that causes us, as parents, not only be patient and kind with our children,
but to teach them to be patient and speak kindly to each other.
Yesterday, I saw this love in action.
We have this type of love in our home.
I see examples of it every day, but in addition, I also see our lack.
Do we always speak with kindness, in a way that puts the other at ease… ?
Are we patient with each other?
As I was helping my six year old with math, I felt my patience wearing thin. How many times and different ways does it take to explain the same thing before it actually sinks in? I felt like saying to him, “Where is your brain? Think!”
Fortunately, as I looked at my sweet little boy, I remembered what it feels like to not understand. How often have I had things explained and still felt in the dark. Patiently, we worked together as he gained understanding.
Hopefully, he felt my patience.
But what if I had blown it? The situation could have been different.
What happens if I loose my temper?
All is not lost!
The lessons learned from our failures are invaluable. They provide a unique platform from which to teach. Obviously we as parents should acknowledge our errors and seek forgiveness, but this is only part of the lesson. In addition, our goal is to teach the children to be kind even when we are not.
Anyone can be kind when someone is being kind to them.
Only a person of strong character is able to patiently return volatile remarks with kindness.
1. Be an example to your children. Practice speaking with patience and kindness.
2. Praise your children when you see them being patient and kind.
3. Do not allow impatience and harsh words to go unattended. This means consistent and firm oversight!
4. Failures, whether it be the children’s or our own, should be used as a platform for instruction.
When the parents returned to pick up their little girls, I asked them how they taught their children to be such good little nappers. As I suspected, it was out of necessity and practice.
Out of necessity and desire, we will continue in our home to practice…
love and patience.