In December, did you find your children constantly asking how many more days it would take for Santa to come? Did you wish they would simply be more patient?
According to Samantha Stern, training and development director at Ebenezer Child Care Centers, “Teaching children to be patient is a wonderful virtue that can be accomplished by showing children that life’s joys aren’t simply about the outcome, but rather about the process.”
She suggests that you use the winter months to create a series of rewarding experiences for children to work on patience.
Finding Joy in every Step along the Way
Stern says one way you can help children to work on their patience is by purchasing an amaryllis bulb kit. Together, you can decorate the pot, plant your amaryllis bulb, water it and watch it grow.
Stern recommends that you and your child create a chart for your bulb to track how much it grows everyday until it blooms. When it does bloom, praise your child for being patient and watching it grow. Reward your child by allowing him or her to keep the flower in their room so they can enjoy it.
This concept can also work closer to spring with tomato plants. Start them in small containers in your home, and then when it is warm enough in May, transplant them outside. Then, the rewarding process can continue through summer, as your child cares for the plant and eventually watches it produce fruit in August.
Other Ways to Teach Patience
Stern says baking cookies is another great way to teach your child patience. Together, you can read through the process of making cookies with your child, have him or her help you add the ingredients one step at a time, and make sure that the two of you are following the directions correctly. Then, your child can set the kitchen timer so they understand how long they will need to bake. When the timer rings and they are complete, praise your child for being patient through the process, and reward them by indulging in the delicious treat together.
Stern says another great way to teach a child to be patient for an upcoming event, such as a holiday or birthday, is to create a countdown chart. Then daily, the child can check off a day and see that the event is drawing closer.
For birthdays, making a piñata can also be a fun way to teach patience. It involves putting several layers of paper mache´ around a balloon before it is painted and decorated to fit your party theme. When the piñata is completed, it can be filled with candy and be included in their birthday celebration.
Ebenezer will be hosting a free family fun night entitled, “Patience Is a Virtue” on Thursday, January 22, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at their Oak Creek Child Care Center located at 220 W. Forest Hill Avenue. Come learn more about how your entire family can practice being patient! You will also have the opportunity to enter drawings for raffle prizes and enjoy dinner on us. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance. Please call 414-643-5070 to register.