Patience is “waiting until later for what I want now”. God is our perfect example of this as He wants our love and affection now, but He waits patiently until we are ready to yield to Him:
And remember, the Lord is waiting so that people have time to be saved…2 Peter 3:15
Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin? Romans 2:4
If God has such patience with us, we should have patience with each other:
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
As parents, our patience is tested daily and there are times when we all think we have totally lost it. This is when we need to rest in the fact that through knowing God and by His power, we can endure anything:
We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need…Col. 1:11
Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 2 Peter 1:6
One way our children learn patience is from observing us. They will usually respond to a situation the same way we do, so they need to see us exercising our patience in difficult situations. When we lose our patience, it can be make the situation worse; when we are patient, we have a calming effect on our children.
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering (patience), for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him. 1 Tim. 1:16
In addition to your modeling patience, you can have fun using creative activities to teach patience. Here are some ideas I have used through the years with my own children and with my two year old class this last month:
1. Our theme song for the month has been from a children’s musical called Music Machine (click to see this album available at Amazon.com). To hear the song about patience click here 07-have-patience1.
2. In this song Herbert the Snail sings “Have Patience”. We had fun making a snail out of clay dough and painting it after it dried. To make the clay-dough, mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 1/3 cup water. Roll the dough into a snake and curl it like a snail. Use a broken toothpick for feelers.
Herbert the Snail
3. We also learned to sign the song.
4. I had the children all sit down on the carpet and wait quietly until the timer went off (about one minute or so) and then I gave them a small treat and thanked them for waiting patiently.
5. We pointed out patience in any video we watched or book we read.
6. When we read The Tortoise and the Hare, we made a turtle out of a paper plate folded in half for its shell and then added a head, legs, and tail. We talked about how the turtle walked patiently toward his goal.
7. When we read Daddy, Are We There Yet, we pretended to take a car trip and talked about waiting patiently until we arrived at our destination.
8. I thanked them anytime I observed them using patience.
9. I acted out being impatient, which really surprised them to see me act like they do sometimes when they don’t get what they want and when they want it. 😛 ( I later apologized for not being patient)
I’m sure you can come up with more creative ideas of your own. Have fun and remember that with God’s power you can “Have Patience” 😉