• Katie Gentry

Parent SKILLZ 3 - Patience

"A few extra seconds can make a BIG difference..."

Sometimes as parents we respond with too much anger, and that can be harmful and cause regression in our child’s behavior. When you take a few extra seconds before responding to poor behavior, you will make better parenting choices, and ultimately help your child develop better behavior choices.


Experts suggest you ‘catch yourself’ when you are about to explode. This does require you to be conscious in the heat of the moment, so be sure to identify your triggers by clarifying when you are most likely to lose your patience.

For example: many parents lose their patience on weekday mornings and/or nights when there are time constraints. Being aware of this when you wake up and then reminding yourself to deploy PATIENCE will help you stay conscious when you, and your child, need it most.


Another suggestion is to develop a plan for how to respond with PATIENCE when your child has poor behavior.

For example: your son spilled milk all over the couch after several warnings about drinking milk in the living room. A common reply would be to yell at your son as you are cleaning up the mess, but your game plan is to calmly work with your son to clean up the mess, and then have a calm talk about drinking his milk in the kitchen and being more careful with his cup.

Notice the mention being ‘calm’ when responding to your child? It does require a lot of self-control on your part. So be sure to take deep breaths, which will give your brain and body the necessary boost of oxygen to remain calm!


Keep in mind, learning to be ‘patient’ with your child will not happen overnight, but can become a habit with time and effort. Take a few extra seconds when responding to poor behavior, demonstrating compassion, empathy, and self-control on your part. Sometimes all you need to do is think about responding in the most patient manner to help re-direct your child. When it comes to helping your child develop respect, security, and self-esteem, PATIENCE is the most important ingredient!

Adapted from Parent SKILLZ created by Child Development Expert Melody Johnson.