Friday, April 2, 2010


I am at the end of my rope.

My patience is running thin because of how impatient my children are.

Someone is constantly hollering at me that they need this or that while I help someone else. It doesn't matter if I have already said, "Yes, just a minute" or anything similar. While I'm in the middle of our two-minute routine of getting breakfast for everybody (the exact same way that I do every other morning), three children ask me for at least 3 things each. I think they should know that I can't do anything else for them at that moment. I cannot dole out bandaids, go over homework, and play catch while preparing breakfast. Sorry, kids. Naomi is by far the worst offender. Just now I sent her to her room for impatience and within a minute she was hollering, "Mama!" because I wasn't coming up to talk to her as promised. It's bad. How could I have failed to teach this to my children? It seems that in a family like ours they would have learned to wait their turn, but suddenly I wonder if instead they've learned to forget waiting and yell their way to the front of the line. Has that worked for them in past? I don't think so, but maybe I haven't been strict enough.

So, I'm putting my foot down. Impatience will no longer be tolerated. I haven't decided yet how I will manifest this non-tolerance policy or what the appropriate punishment should be. But I just can't ignore it anymore.



erica said...

first, glad to see you posting again - I love reading about your life. second, as far as day to day, if alice can't wait, I add more time onto her time-outs to teach patience. evil? maybe. does it work? I'll let you know when she's 22.

Mark A said...

Well you have ten times the parenting cred I have but you asked... For me the theory is if a kid is asking for something in an inappropriate way they do not get the thing.
If what your kids are really after is your attention, are you reinforcing the neg behavior simply by addressing them to tell them to wait?
Could you say (no really to them) I do not talk to kids that dont wait there turn?

Michelle Walkenhorst said...

I just read about a solution in my friend's blog:

I try to be more specific than "Just a minute". To use your examples: "I'll get you a bandaid as soon as breakfast is on the table."

"While we eat breakfast, I'll go over your homework."

"I'll play catch with you after breakfast is cleaned up."

This helps me a lot, when I remember to use it.

angela michelle said...

I don't think it's your fault. Kids are just barbarians that want what they want right now. Can't wait to hear what strategy you come up with. I've occasionally told kids they're going to wait an extra minute (or whatever) for nagging me on something. I also tell them that I love to help them and give them things but if they nag me it takes away all my fun.