Monday, May 21, 2012

Patience: A Work in Progress

Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it it active; it is concentrated strength.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Ain't that the truth?  Every day is a test of my patience.  Abby is at a stage where she questions everything and suddenly has very strong opinions (about every-little-thing).

If I ask her to put her toys away, she puts them in a new spot (like the coffee table) because that's where they are sleeping tonight.

If I tell her we are having turkey sandwiches for lunch, she tells me that pizza is a good idea.  

Or she tries to compromise with me:  "Half turkey sandwich, half pizza.  Does that sound good Mommy?"

Sometimes, I want to scream, "NO!  It does not sound good!"

However, I try to remind myself that her opinion does count. She is not just a child, but a person who has her own likes/dislikes and ideas. 

I want her to feel confident in her decisions and stand up for her opinions (although not necessarily when they contradict me) so I need to pick my battles.

I can not always so 'No'.  Sometimes I don't really have a good reason to say it anyway.  

So, I am trying to be patient.  Trying to pick my battles.  Trying to figure out what she wants and make sure there is enough time for her to do things her way.

Like bedtime.  I know she can't be rushed on the potty.  I know she needs time to pick her story out.  I know that she likes to get all of her 'friends' in just the right spot before she listens to her story.

Because I know these things, I make sure that we start getting ready for bed 30 minutes before I want her to actually be in bed.  This way I'm not rushing her or being short in my answers.

But now we have a new aspect to our routine.  Now, she has to pick the perfect dinosaur cup to rinse after I brush her teeth.

I'm not going to lie, I get annoyed.  There were days that I made the decision for her.  

But then I realized that to her, this decision was important.  It meant something to her.  

To me, it's just a cup.  To her it's so much more.

So now, I have to actively work on being patient.  I have to push aside my need to speed up bedtime, which is not an easy task when I usually have Lilly fussing in the background.

But I do my best to be strong and to be patient.

Because it is what Abby needs and deserves.  I may not be able to let her make all of her decisions but there is no good reason why she shouldn't be able to pick her favorite cup.


  1. I loved this post. You took me back 10 years, to when my daughter was 3. 3 1/2 is when she started the 'terrible twos' and it's when I really struggled to keep my patience. Some days I did better than others. Now she's nearly 13 and I still struggle with patience :).

    Thanks for the memory :)

  2. I have found that when Emmy starts a temper tantrum at bedtime, it will only take longer if I continue to say no! So I give her the space she needs...and it is hard to be patient sometimes!

  3. Bedtime routine can either be easy or difficult; some days it just depends on my mood or hers. For us the 2 or 5 minute warning always works. I've also started the, 'don't smile/laugh' if she's getting grumpy and it always breaks the anger. Hang in there



Related Posts with Thumbnails