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3 Ways To Teach Kids Patience

The bad news, you’re kid can’t wait 1 minute before  “Mom, Mom, MOOOM!!!!…”  The good news- patience may not be indicative of your kid’s personality, but rather a trait that you can teach. Emotional intelligence expert, Sofia Dickens from Q Wunder, give us a 3 minute crash course.  Cliff notes below: 

Practice Waiting

  • Start early with teaching them that waiting is just a part of life.  
  • Get a little timer for your kitchen and every time they ask for something set the timer for a minute.
  • If they’re tugging at your heels and want to know when’s dinner ready, have them set a timer for 5 minutes of play time. That way for kids who don’t understand what a minute feels like, what does 5 minutes feel like, they’ll all of a sudden start grasping the concept of time and they’ll know what they can and cannot handle.
  • Another great way to practice patience is to play board games together, cause you have to take turns and you have to wait on each other.

Reward Patience (The Right Way)

  • If I’ve got my kids in the grocery store and they’re behaving really well, I love giving them a little treat at the end.
  • Here’s the tip: you can’t give them something they’ve asked for! Otherwise, they’re just going to ask for everything in the store the entire time.  So much better when the reward is a little bit of a surprise and it’s mom’s idea.

Teach Distraction

  • Distraction is the key to patience; turning your child’s attention away from what they want.
  • If you’re standing in line or waiting at a restaurant, play games like I Spy or Two Truths & Lie – it’s a great way for kids to learn about you!
  • You’re teaching kids that instead of getting frustrated here’s an opportunity to have fun.



Elle Walker is a co-founder at What's Up Moms and the mom to three kids (8, 6, 3). In her spare time, she loves testing out kids activities (often muttering, "Pinterest, you lie"), to find the best play that minimize set-up, reduce costs, and uses stuff up around the house.