Do this one simple thing that takes one second to gain more patience and to gain more responsiveness from your children.
Do you ever feel like you’re going mad asking your toddler over and over and over to do the same thing? Do you feel like a broken record asking them to brush their teeth fifteen times?
I do. I admit it. I lose patience. I raise my voice. I get stressed.
It seems the more frustrated and impatient I get, the more my daughter refuses to listen to me. Then, before you know it, she’s collapsing into a temper tantrum like it’s the apocalypse. It’s a vicious cycle.
Meltdown leads to impatience, impatience leads to more melting down, which leads to more impatience…you get the point.
Don’t worry, I have a solution for you. Trust me, I have tried every trick in the book to get my daughter to mind, and this is one amazing little trick that is actually helping.
I am reading a book on being more mindful and present, enjoying the moment, per se. The book gives you several “mindfulness” activities, one being “smile every time you look at your child, even in impatient, stressful situations”. I thought “it couldn’t hurt” and decided to try it. I decided to…
Every time my daughter looked at me.
Every time she called my name.
Every time she asked me a question.
Every time she said something to me.
All of those are easy right? This is the challenging one:
Every time she started misbehaving. It’s easy for me to smile at her in happy situations. But when I’m frustrated with her? Not so much.
But I tried it. I would smile at her in each and every situation. And you know what? It did made a world of difference in several ways:
- It helped calm me and give me patience to deal with the situation.
- It helped me to be able to “take a step back” and see things from her perspective, and in turn, to respond accordingly.
- My smile bounced off of me and onto her like a beam of light. She would smile right back to me. It helped calm her as well and made her want to obey me.
Studies show that smiling does the following:
- Lowers heart rate
- Reduces stress
- Puts you in a better mood
- Helps you to be more present
- Helps you to put things into perspective
- Encourages trust
- Is contagious
Did you see the last bullet? It’s contagious! On top of all of the other reasons to smile at our little ones when we are asking them to do something (or to stop doing something), smiling at someone will usually gain a smile back and produce warm feelings on both ends, kind of like throwing the boomerang…it comes right back.
It’s easy to smile when you’re happy with someone and things are going well. But why not try it when things aren’t going so well?
- Start a serious talk with a smile.
- Start by asking your children to obey you with a smile.
- When you start to feel irritable or impatient, put a smile on your face.
You know what they say: “fake it till you make it”. You may not feel like smiling at first, but once you do, those “smile feelings” will actually start to flow and you’ll feel happier and calmer.
It sounds silly, and I even thought so myself at first…until I tried it.
Smiling can diffuse a situation. Why not try it today?
Check out our related articles on patience:
- Patience is a Choice, Choose Joy
- 5 Ways to Avoid Taking Frustration Out On Someone You Love
- Remember: Every Day of Motherhood is a Gift
- I’ve Been an Ugly Mommy
- Our Tongue Has the Power to Speak Life or Speak Death: Speak Life
- The Waiting is the Hardest Part (Having Patience During the Pregnancy of My Second Child)
- Bible Verses for Patience