The discussion of patience this month cannot ignore working on our ability to be patient with ourselves. In a world that we have so many things available to us instantly, that waiting for our computer to load a page is intolerable if it takes more than a second or two, we have come to believe that our goals and relationships must be reached now without waiting. Even with ourselves we can become impatient if we do not get what we want right away.
The practice of being patient with ourselves allows us to “not be perfect”, to accept our mistakes without beating ourselves up. It helps us to set goals for our life and then work at achieving them, while recognizing that most goals will not be reached without perseverance. When we are not patient with ourselves it becomes very stressful and this stress leads us to internalizing the bad feelings, lowering our self-esteem, and many times we may begin to start playing the ‘blame game’. All of this impatience, stress, and lowered self esteem can lead to either internal or external expression of anger, resulting in harming our relationships.
Teaching our children the value of not beating ourselves up when we “fail” and not over celebrating ourselves with we “succeed” – will allow us and them to grow, reach set goals and like ourselves for who we are, which will build self esteem. Are you impatient with yourself at times? How does impatience happen? How does it feel when we are stressed out by our impatience?
We have all seen the acronym HALT. It stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Those four feelings can have a real effect on our actions and responses to other stimuli. Originally this was used by those who were dependent on alcohol or other drugs. If one found themselves with one of these feelings they were far more likely to revert to the use of a chemical. So they learn to ask themselves, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?”.
The same feelings of hunger, anger, loneliness or being tired can also be the trigger for impatience, explosive anger, or depression. Being aware of one of those feelings as a trigger to anger or impatience is the first step to making better choices.
Personally when I am beginning to get hungry, I have less patience am quicker to be short with my comments and answers to questions. Fortunately, my wife knows that and is able to ask the question – “are you getting hungry?”. As soon as it is pointed out to me – I can think better and make better choices about how I respond. Being aware is key to increasing your patience, controlling your expression of anger, taking steps to take care of your needs.
Each month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Patience. This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.
Young students: Patience means: “Waiting without complaining.”
Older students: Patience means: Waiting without complaining for something you want or need.
Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class. You can also follow our discussions here on this website.
If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE. We are not your typical martial arts school, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with empowering families with compassion, awareness and respect. We believe in every child and build their self – confidence. Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same.
Come in and talk to the parents that are here and watch the class for the age group you are interested in. Learn about the Balanced Life Skills Way.
Being patient is not easy. In fact for many of us, when we want something we want it right away and waiting does not see to be an option. But as we get older we soon understand that is not the way things work in reality and waiting for the right time to do something, say something or expect things to happen is an important thing to learn.
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “One moment of patience may ward off a great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” Judging the right time to say or do something in your life can have an impact. From a child’s point of view playing loud music in a house when others are trying to sleep is not a wise thing to do. From an adults point of view, waiting to speak to someone you are in a relationship with till the right time, is important if we expect to be heard the way we wish to be heard.
However we should never mistaken putting things off that require action as patience. Teaching our children the difference will help them to have a more successful life dealing with friends, employers and personal relationships.
All of us appreciate it when other show us patience when we are struggling with our schedule or learning something new. We know how frustrated we feel and all the reasons why we cannot accomplish what we wish and we are thankful when others put up with our circumstances even if it inconviences them for a small period of time.
Patience many times is another facet of empathy, putting ourselves in the shoes of another. Teaching our children about patience can begin with taking turns playing a game, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting to speak to an adult, or even if we must wait for an older person or disabled person to complete a task.
Helping our children to understand that “waiting without complaining” is what we do when we are showing patience, and that this is a great character trait. Not showing patience can make the other person feel in the way, not important, or as if they are not being treated fairly. While patience can be a challenge for us in our busy lives, it can also have great rewards, especially in having faith in ourselves and our ability to wait for something we really want or do.
Each month we define and discuss a word of character development with all of our students. This month the word is Patience. It will be defined this way.
Young students: Patience means: Waiting without complaining
Older students: Patience means: Waiting without complaining for something that you hope will happen.
If you would like to see how we will deal with this subject with our students please follow our discussions here during the month of November.
5/6 worksheet 7-12 worksheet Adult worksheet