Be Patient: Teach Children the Virtue of Patience

John, my seven-year-old grandson, came up to me while I stood at the kitchen counter fixing lunch, “Grandma, Eddy (5) needs to learn patience. He tells me to hurry up all the time. I don’t like it.”

“Okay,” I agreed, thinking this would be a good thing to teach Eddy because his constant “hurry ups” irritated me too. Learning the virtue of patience would be a good thing to teach a little boy.

Later, I stood at the counter again, slicing an apple. Eddy came up and asked for a drink of water.

“Just a minute. Let me finish this apple,” I replied.

After a couple of minutes, he said, “Hurry Grandma.”

I glanced at him. “Eddy, I know you’re thirsty and I will get some water for you. I’m almost finished.” I cut the last two apple slices and got the water for him.

As he drank it down, I said, “Eddy, you need to learn to be patience and not tell people to hurry up all the time. For example, don’t be telling your brother to hurry up all the time.”

He nodded.

I wasn’t entirely sure he got the message.

Later, we were upstairs and my friend called up from downstairs, “The Olympic ice skating is on TV now.” I had asked her to let me know when the skating part came on. I turned to the boys. “Get your shoes on and let’s go downstairs. John got his on right away, but Eddy couldn’t find his other shoe. I heard the music floating up from downstairs and feared I would miss the show, so I said, “Come on Eddy, hurry. Let’s go.”

Eddy said, “I need to get my other shoe on.” He reached for the missing shoe.

“Hurry up and put it on.”

As he struggled to fit the shoe on his foot, he said, “Be patient. I need to get the shoe on.”

What could I do? I shut my mouth and stood there while he got his other shoe on and I missed the first part of the skating show. Sigh.

Be careful what you teach your kids because they’ll teach it back to you. 🙂

Later, I realized that teaching the virtue of patience is more important than getting to watch the first skating couple. Skating will come and go. Teaching virtues will last forever.

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