How to Teach Kids to Be Patient

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

Virtually everyone has heard the timeless adage: “patience is a virtue.” Indeed, this age-old saying holds more than a modicum of truth, as the ability to remain patient is a powerful characteristic, and one that can certainly help anyone throughout all stages of life.

Of course, patience is learned, not an innate trait. It is something that most of us have to work on throughout our entire lives. Obviously, if it is hard for us, it is much harder for a child who has not had a lot of practice.

Naturally, as parents, we want to teach our little ones how to remain patient for our own sanity, as well as their future development. If you need a few ideas how to help your kids practice patience, consider these tips that are perfect for them, and might help you too.

Demonstrate Your Ability to Stay Patient

One of the best ways to teach your children patience, is by acting as a model. Children soak up the way you behave like a sponge, you can see it in their vocabulary, mannerisms, and more.

If you are trying to help your children exercise patience, make an effort to do the same thing yourself, diligently attempting to not your composure, even when you may become upset at the situation. Modeling this in front of your children will help them develop similar habits of their own.


Try Patience-Building Games and Activities

In general, our society as a whole has eschewed the necessity for patience as we begin to more heavily rely on technology that promises instantaneous fun. The ubiquity of smartphones, tablets, and other devices that offer instant gratification and escape from boredom has stripped away the need for patience.

You can counteract this, however, by engaging in activities that don’t utilize modern technology, that instead require children to work slowly and patiently in order to reap a reward. Consider, for example, traditional board games; most require individual players to take turns and make decisions consecutively while the others wait for their chance to play. For the perfect activity for the spring season, you may wish to try gardening with your little ones. This activity demands a strong sense of patience as your children must wait for the fruits of their labour to appear. These games from will help your child build patience. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game is a great game for two with obstacles and turn taking that is sure to test the patience of a young player. The SmartCar toy is a 3-d puzzle with challenges that your child can meet.

Use Timers to Keep Promises and Reward Patience

For some children, remaining patient would become so much easier if they had an idea of how long they had to wait, and even an easily readable visible representation of this period. So consider helping your child remain patient throughout the day by utilizing a sand timer. Many times children will ask if their parents will help them perform a task or complete something for them, only to hear their parents respond with “in five minutes.” If you ever find yourself making this claim, to help you keep your promise and to ensure your child knows the exact wait time, bring out a sand timer or other timing device to help them understand their task. By offering a visible guide for how long they have to wait, your little ones will have an easier time of staying patient as you complete your set of chores. The catch to this is that you actually have to follow through when the timer says its time.

Teach Coping Skills – and Help them Remain Distracted

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to help children learn the importance of staying patient is by teaching them skills to cope and stay distracted while they wait for what they want. Indeed, children may have a difficult time with patience because they become hyper-focused on the end goal. By being able to distract themselves, the time will pass quicker as they hold their attention on something else.

At first you may have to come up with some ideas for how your child can distract himself, but ideally he will be able to do it on his own. You won’t always be there to distract him.

The Importance of Patience for Children

Are you trying to teach your children the importance of patience at a young age? If so, try these simple tips to help them understand this virtue and remain calm as they wait.

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