Patience is the key to joy — Jalalludin Rumi
As one may consider that patience is something that has a limit, I have always believe the contrary. Patience does not have any limit. Once you have it, it will supply you with a forever-after. It is not being patience that’s difficult. It is obtaining those qualities. People that said that they have reach the limit of their patience, means they simply have choose to no longer waiting or restrain themselves. Same goes for parenting.
As for my case, I usually not a patience. But having being a parents for the last 4,5 years really teaches me something.
In certain situation, I could burst and blow, especially when something is not going as I want to or when I am facing something that is beyond my control. Such as parenting.
You know, parenting is still and always been a challenge for me. I love my daughters more than anything in the world. But they often, especially Asha, the older one, testing my self-restraint. Most cases start from a simple debate over when to shower, what to eat, when to play or nap. A simple thing that turn into disaster.
I read and know that most literature would suggest us that the best parenting is for us to listen and be patience.
So I listen (I think). I ask her reasons for her behavior. We speak eye-to-eye. I am waiting. I am being patience (my, what a word!).
Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Because sometimes a simple “No” means “No”. No bargaining, no compromising. I am aware of Asha’s development at this phase, where she is now aware of “me”, “him”, “her”. I know that right now she’s developing a sense of egoism, which is a very important phase in her life that would shape her complete character later as a grown-up. That is why I often persist. When it’s a “No” for sweeties, means it is NO! This is where my patience level were often tested.
I observe that some parents sometimes give their children almost anything they ask for out of love. But that’s not how I want to raise my family. I want my children to know that when you want something, you have to try and get it. There is no free lunch. That there are time for everything. There are time for playing, time for praying, time for eating, time to bed, even time to blow tantrum.
Of course, I couldn’t possibly expect a three-years old to understand this. But I believe setting out rules around the house would help her understand the point of all this, which is — in my version — to help her cope with her surrounding, to help her understand the world she lives in.
When being refused or not being allowed to do something, Asha is almost usually throwing out tantrums. I have to stand her loud cry. I have to stand her screaming and whining. I have to be patience to not just say something that could hurt her or lock her away in the bathroom in order to stop her seems-endless whimper.
When it comes to parenting and being patience, I often feels like I am in a very long and winding road where I can’t see the end point. I don’t know what comes ahead and could only guess. It is frustrating for sure. But it is also a moment of learning. I learn that, from experience, being a parent is a learning process. No matter how many children you have, each child needs different handling. Don’t be surprise if you ends up finding yourself starting again from the beginning.
The most important lesson for me so far is that we both parents and children are learning. We are both learning to understand each other, to see each of us as “someone that are connected and need each other and both trying to understand our surroundings with each of our roles”. And in order to do this, we — especially the parent — has to develop the quality to stop, to observe, to absorb. That is why Patience and Parenting are inseparable.
What do you think? Do you also think that patience goes hand-in-hand with parenting? Or do you think a strict imposing rule would do better?