Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Can I Teach My 3-Year-Old to Be More Patient?

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Can I Teach My 3-Year-Old to Be More Patient?

Article excerpt

Q

My 3-year-old wants everything NOW.

When I'm talking on the phone especially or working around the house, he becomes very demanding. Any suggestions for helping him develop a little patience?

-R.S., Nashville, TN

A

Young kids are naturally impulsive. Also, they don't understand the idea of "just a minute" or "later," "today" and "tomorrow." But you can help them to become more patient. Here are some suggestions:

BE VERY CLEAR about something that has to happen before your child can do what he wants to do. Talk in concrete terms. For example: "When I'm done putting away the groceries, I'll play with you."

THE MORE STRUCTURED your family life is, the easier it is to get kids to do what you want them to do. Be consistent.

When routines are predictable, young children are more likely to be willing to wait.

BE AGE APPROPRIATE. Older children can wait a couple of hours but that's too long for a 3-year-old.

DO WHAT YOU SAID you would do. If you make a bargain that involves waiting, do what you promised. …

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