Friday, August 6, 2010

I want it NOW!

As a mom, I’m battling the “I want it now” syndrome with my kids (especially my 4 year old) but also with myself, and it has left me thinking about how to change this attitude in an instantaneous world.

Let’s just take this example: Last night, after a terrific dinner, my older daughter turns to me and announces she is done and would I set up that craft right now. When I explain the rest of us have to finish dinner first she is immediately upset. I am literally minutes away from being done but she is struggling to wait.

Ok, I have to stop here. I am well aware that this is very typical behavior for a 4 year old and probably isn’t going to change any time soon. But I had to ask myself what is there to model the correct behavior in her life? Seriously, what will she ever have to wait for in this crazy world?

And most important when it comes to modeling good behavior, am I living up? I can access instant answers at my fingertips right from my phone. I find myself waiting impatiently for the microwave to heat my food. I find myself frustrated when I don’t get an email reply within a few hours (heck, sometimes even minutes). I watch recorded TV and videos right when I want them and I want it NOW! Yep, I really struggle with this too so I guess the buck stops here.

Looking around for positive behavior, I do think that car trips are one place where I might have at least made inroads (a bit of car humor). We have a mere 10 min drive to and from school each day and it can be painful even if it is short. So to pass the time we sometimes talk about our day, but we often make up silly songs, or she teaches me a song she learned at school, or we rhyme with things we see outside the car or even joke that one of us can make the light turn green just by saying go (and try to time it just right). Games like eye spy and repeating games where you have to add to a list and remember the previous items for a sort of word memory are also helpful. In other words, I turn to distraction.

Yet even this approach has me thinking about the term “hover parent” the parent who is always trying to fix and solve their child’s problem rather than let them work it out on their own (and a topic for another post or posts I’m sure). I’d like to think offering up suggestions on ways to pass the time or even offering her the opportunity to ask me for ideas is ok… still, I recognize that she will have a much more difficult time learning this very important life lesson than I did as a kid.

How do you model and teach patience in your kids… please help me!

1 comment:

  1. I think distraction actually teaches them to learn how to distract themselves. I think at 4 it's a good start. My friends used to play a game at the dinner table where everyone but one person would close their eyes, and the one person would remove one thing from the table and everyone else had to guess what was missing. It sure kept those kids occupied until dinner was over! Just be creative! It IS an everything right now type of world, but we can have a few moments of unstructured, spontanious, or boring moments from time to time!