12 Ways to Develop Patience

How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t have the patience to homeschool”?

This was one of the most common comments I heard when people heard I homeschooled my children.

The reality is, I was (am) not by nature a patient person!

What is impatience?

Impatience is all about instant gratification. We want something NOW.

We don’t want to wait.

We want our kids to learn to read, to grasp a challenging math concept, to hurry up and get their chores done, or to mature in their thinking.

And we want it done yesterday!

How to overcome impatience

While patience is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5, I’ve learned that some fruits take time to develop.

Patience is a character trait that’s developed by being in situations that make us feel impatient! (Sorry, there’s no easy way to go about this!)  

So, here’s how to become a more patient person:

Related: 6 Things that qualify you to homeschool

#1  Figure out what’s making you impatient and why

A huge step in dealing with impatience is figuring out exactly what is making you impatient and why. (Hint: most of the time it’s something in your own heart and life and not in your child’s.)

  • Are you in a hurry for your child to get to the next grade? Why? Are you wanting to impress family members with your child’s accomplishments so they won’t criticize your schooling choices?
  • Do you have a hasty spirit and expect things to be done as fast as you would do them?  
  • Is your child a dreamer and gets distracted easily and you’re not giving them consequences for dawdling?
  • Are you expecting too much from your child for their age and stage, forgetting that growth takes time and children are not robots?

#2 Simplify your life.

Slow down. Overscheduling can lead to impatience. Allow some buffer time between activities in your schedule to allow for delays and mishaps (hey, you have kids, these things are going to happen!).

#3 Lower your expectations

Keep your expectations age-appropriate and reasonable. Don’t expect your children to be as fast as you at whatever it is you’re asking of them.

Some children take longer to process instructions and get flustered when you get impatient with them, freezing their thinking.

#4  Practice, practice, practice

One of the best ways to become patient is to be patient – when you don’t feel like it! Instead of complaining about the things that make you impatient, see them as opportunities to practice patience.

#5 Remind yourself that this is not forever

Your child will eventually learn to read, write legibly, and learn their times tables. Keep doing your part and you will see results.

“Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

#6 Pray, Pray, Pray

Pray for patience in the morning; pray for patience in the moment. Don’t give up praying until you get it!

Related: 6 Character traits for successful homeschooling

#7  Stop and take deep breaths

As you do this, put things into perspective. Pray, recheck where you may be going wrong and why, and surrender your feelings to God.

Leave the room if necessary, until you’ve got your feelings under control.

#8 Evaluate your discipline.

Are you allowing your kids to get away with things they shouldn’t? Are you indulging character traits in them such as dawdling, arguing, or distracted-ness?

If these are the source of your impatience, formulate a plan to deal with them and eliminate potential frustrations and impatience.

#9 Change your focus

Adjust your focus from getting things done to molding, teaching, and training your children.

Bear in mind you are training children not machines. Take a step back and focus on delighting in your children.

#10 Help yourself

I took up crocheting while helping my youngest finish school. He focused better with me around, so I sat and crocheted while he worked on school.

If I didn’t do something with my hands, my tendency was to just give him the answers so we could get school done.

Take power naps during the day so that you are not too tired. I found being tired was directly linked to being impatient.  

#11  Submit

Sometimes simple submission to your situation can drain all impatience instantly.

Impatience happens when we want this to be over – to finish the lesson, the reading, the chore – so we can move on to the next thing.

Submit to the here and now. Focus on being present and enjoy the time with your child.

#12 Surrender

Give God your feelings of impatience and ask Him to replace them with His thoughts and feelings.

The good news is that patience is a modifiable trait. If you are not a very patient person today, you can become a more patient person.

Start doing these 12 things today and become a more patient person. Your children will thank you.

Do you struggle with impatience? Which of these things is going to be most helpful to you?

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer homeschooled all three of her kids-with no teaching qualification. Her kids are grown now but she is still passionate about homeschooling. She lives in South Africa.

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