It’s the phrase I say oh, too many times to count.
You often hear of parents talking about how much patience it takes to parent. The sleep-less nights, the tantrums, the repeating of commands. I am sure you can think of one thing that takes a bit of patience.
But have you ever thought about how much patience we require from our children? Think about how many times you say “hold on just a second,” “just a minute, honey!” or “let me first do this, then I will do that…”
Now don’t get me wrong. Do I think we should do everything our children ask us to do, right then and there? No. Do I think teaching them to wait is a good virtue to have? Absolutely. Do I think that sometimes we use the phrase “hold on…” too often and then get frustrated when the child gets frustrated? Yes.
I had to chuckle at myself. I was busy tidying up the house and Mazy was wanting something. I repeatedly told her “hold on just a second!” I mean I probably said it five times. It’s not that she was asking me every 30 seconds either. I just continued to ignore her request. Then all of a sudden I hear MOOOOMMM! “Yes honey?!”
I acted as if I didn’t know what was going on when truth be told, the poor girl was sick of receiving an empty command. She sure is going to be confused when she learns how long a “second” really is! I can just see it happening – Mazy raises her hand in class someday and tells the teacher that a second is MUCH longer than 1 mississippi because it took her mom MUCH longer to answer to her than 1 mississippi!
Not that I don’t care what she needs, but like you all know, sometimes you just have to finish what you are doing and teaching your child to wait, once again, is a valuable lesson. Teaching them that the world does not revolve around them, even more so, is valuable as well. But I have to remember to not hand out empty promises. I know I need to do a better job at explaining what I am doing and why she has to wait. Then she can visibly see that when mommy IS done, that she will come and help. Not this “hold on just a second” stuff, 5 times in a row. Because let’s be honest, you can always find something else to do too.
So the next time Mazy yells MOOOMMM across the house, I better check myself twice, to make sure I wasn’t handing out empty words to her either – a lesson in patience for Mazy and a lesson in truth-filled words for mom!