Patience is one of those things that mums know we lack. Having a toddler around tests us in so many ways. It takes so long to do some things, and they never seem to learn as they do the same thing over and over, needing the same instruction or correction over and over. It takes patience.
Patience: Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it. (Character First)
When we rush our toddler, when we don’t let them do stuff or we get cross because they don’t get it the first time we are actually trying to put an end to this difficult situation (their slowness, their inabilities, their mess).
Growing up takes time and we can’t control their development.
Patience walks beside them until they do get it.
Patience keeps trying.
Patience doesn’t complain about it.
Many character traits work hand in hand with each other and Patience and Tolerance are two such traits.
Tolerance: Accepting others where they are at (I’ve tweaked the Character First definition here).
A toddler is going to fumble with a spoon and make a mess, they are going to touch things they shouldn’t, not want to go to sleep and have to be told more than once. These are the things that a toddler does – these are the things consistent with a toddler who is learning.
Tolerance is accepting where they are at.
Tolerance is accepting their journey (development)
Tolerance is accepting the things you can’t change.
Patience and Tolerance does not mean we simply accept whatever they throw at us. Patience and Tolerance is about having a heart that is gracious, loving, kind towards them as they grow. It is about having realistic expectations and knowing that it takes time.
Reflecting on these two traits helps me take a deep breath, realign my sights (my heart) and be ready for a new day.
You can see the rest of my Living with a Toddler for 31 days series here.
Or find more 31 day series here.