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Patience with kids: I used to think I was patient: then I had kids….

There are many things that you don’t get warned about before you have kids; its an un-spoken pact amongst parents that if you meet a pregnant lady, you never, ever tell her how different her life will be when she has had her child.

She is probably worrying about labour, which is great, because it means she hasn’t thought about how complicated the next eighteen years may become….

Patience before kids is all about being good at waiting: Patience with kids...

Patience before kids is all about being good at waiting: Patience with kids…

Patience before kids; its all in the waiting

However, THE most weirdest thing that has happened to me since I became a mum, is that I have realised just how patient you need to be to be dam good at it. And I think I fall a tad short….

I thought I was patient before I had kids because:

  • Waiting on the phone while I was played tinkling music never actually bothered me
  • If I had to wait at the bar to buy my drink, it wasn’t a disaster, it was a great opportunity to chat further
  • If someone was late that I was meeting, it didn’t matter, I always had a book handy, and I just got a bit more of it read
  • If I was showing someone how to do something, and they didn’t get it; I was explaining it wrong, so I just sighed and tried again.

BUT, when you have kids, somebody should tell you just how irrelevant all that patience training is.

Kids have an amazing ability to take pretty much anything you thought you were good at before they were around, and make you think you’re a total numpty.

Patience with kids: Saint George would have a problem with THIS level of patience

It appears if you are four, time moves in a very, very different way to if you are thirty-four (ahem).

So when mummy says to get your shoes on now, or find your coat, or get your book bag because we are late for school; what that actually means is that there is plenty of time for me to suddenly decide to go run off and play hide and seek, or even worse, decide that, though you have needed the loo for the last ten minutes, you better go now.

Oh and we’ll definitely need more toilet paper too.

My patience with kids training did not allow for:

  • Constantly repeating stuff; to the extent that we even get bored with listening to ourselves

    Patience is about dealing with them not being great at listening

    Patience is about dealing with them not being great at listening

  • Children’s bladders; which have an amazing capacity to need emptying when the nearest toilet is in the next county, or alternatively five minutes after you have just taken their friend, or brother and sister to the toilet and they swore they didn’t need a wee then
  • Whining; I defy anyone not to go mental at the sound of “the whine.” We should be employing them as a weapons of mass destruction. Forget missiles, just send in a few kids with the right frequency of whine, and it’d sort out any military conflict in a jiffy
  • Bickering; Not sure where that word comes from, but its a clever one that somehow sounds, and is even shaped, like the terrible arguing from siblings that I sometimes wish I could bring in Kofi Annan to sort out. I am sure he would have alternative ideas to taking the offending object away
  • Meal times; these can take up to three days; just for two children to eat an apple, a small raisin and a glass of milk. How do they manage that?
  • Tantrums; calmly taking your child out of a baaad situation when you are being punched repeatedly in the head requires a diploma in peace-keeping – simple
  • Checking the answer is still “no”; why is it that kids ask you the same questions over and over again when you have said “no” the first time. I am Mrs Consistent from Consistentville, so I am NOT going to change my mind. Yet, despite my rare parenting success here, they still ask me seven thousand times if they can have an ice-cream from the ice-cream van that is YET AGAIN parked outside the school. I shan’t rant about that one now, perhaps another time. But, do they think my “not today” is going to change on the seven thousand ask? Where is the logic in that? Oh hang on, yeah, I forgot; you’re four.

I could go on, but to be honest, I’m losing patience…..

Listening to mummy seems to have been a significant problem in our house over the years, as you can probably tell.

If you would like help with your kids, and if your patience is being tested…why not try one of our star charts? They work for us – honest!

Do you have anything that you kids do that drives you to distraction? If you do, do tell me and perhaps we can add it to the list for the follow up to this post! Having patience with kids can be a bit of a miracle…

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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Monday 11th of June 2012

Great post and oh, so true! I thought I was a patient person before I had kids and still can be, just apparently not very often with my own kids. Amazing how they learn what buttons to press, but I do wonder why they seem to want to go down that route so often!


Tuesday 12th of June 2012

Thanks - glad you like it Peta! And I know what you mean about patience with your own children - it seems so much more in short supply than if its someone else's doesn't it!?!

family four fun

Monday 11th of June 2012

Love it - oh so true!! Never mind the patience you need for the kids, you loose it with everyone else too. 'I haven't time to wait on the phone; please hurry up and pay for your shopping; yes, yes get to the punchline; because I'm trying to be patient with the child that is demanding my attention!


Tuesday 12th of June 2012

Thanks for the comment. Glad you like the post. And all you say is true too! Patience wears think with one and all, particularly the poor, all suffering husband in our house...

Helen from Business Plus Baby

Monday 11th of June 2012

This is just so familiar! What tests my patience? The way I can ask for something to be done using my firm-but-fair voice (put toys away etc) and they totally ignore me. It makes me wonder if I imagined the whole thing!


Monday 11th of June 2012

And then they wonder why firm but fair, become slightly more firm, Eh?!!? Thanks for the comment, Helen.

Anya from Older Single Mum

Monday 11th of June 2012

By sheer co-incidence I have published a post today along the very same vein - it's called 'Unsophisticated Chaos and Madness!' I love this - completely different, yet the exasperation, frustration and yearning for an old normality is tangible. Great read.

Nell Parker

Monday 11th of June 2012

The " I want" thing. If I go anywhere with my daughter, she asks if she can"buy something", any old tut aswell, when I say no, she throws a tantrum...drives me up the wall. Also the phrase, "how do you know..??"....charming...

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