In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

Maxima enim..patientia virtus
(Patience is the greatest virtue)

I know, I know ... patience is a virtue.
But how do you teach an almost 7-year-old child patience?
To be honest, I didn't learn how to be patient until, well ... ummm, there was that one time ...
Back to my 7-year-old daughter, Christa.
I think part of the problem is that, while Christa is technically my fourth child, she functions like an only child. Two of her siblings don't live at home anymore. And while my 19-year-old daughter still resides here, she isn't seen around the premises all that much. Such is the life of a college student. She's busy, so she's gone alot.
So, Christa doesn't have to wait her turn too often when it's pretty much just her most days. (I need to check with her teacher about how patient Christa is at school.)
Christa is just used to being first in line in her life. Sometimes that translates into impatience when life isn't moving along as fast as she wants it to.
So, again I ask the question: How do you teach a first-grader patience? I can repeat, "Christa, you need to be patient," over and over again--and end up frustrating us both with the sound of my voice. We have prayed about it. I've tried to praise her when she's done the right thing. And I do know that character development takes time.
But, I'm just curious if anybody else has stumbled on a better way to teach patience. I'm open to suggestions.


At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Shirley said...

Patience is quite a nebulous concept for a 7-yo brain. I wonder if concrete limits might not work better. You know, a brief explanation that things take the time they take, that she will have to wait for her thing either until x other things are done, or until it is x time. Then help her estimate how much time she will have to wait, and devise something to do to fill that time. The old distraction method.

Works for cats, who function at about the 6-yo level <g>.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

So the saying should be: Distract and Conquer rather than Divide and Conquer!

Good idea! It's a snow day here, so I'll have plenty of opportunity to work on this today.

At 3:13 AM, Anonymous speechteach said...

I always like the teaching parable method. If you can find a book or two about patience, then you have something to refer to when you need to. "Remember the story of..." and she has something to relate her experiences and/or frustration to. It doesn't always work, but I was a very cerebral child, so having a story to relate to was always helpful to me.

At 1:44 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Another great idea! And I love any reason to go to the library or the book store!!


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