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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How To Be More Patient With Children

Hello dear readers. I'm sorry I haven't written for a few days. I got really sick with the flu and while I was fortunate to avoid a hospital trip, I could barely get out of bed, much less pile up the pillows and sit in front of my computer. I'm still sick, but feel better enough to write. Before I got pregnant, I hadn't had a flu shot in more than four years and never once came down with the flu. Each year I've gotten a flu shot since then, I've gotten sick. So much for preventative medicine...

At this point, I'm not going to double or triple up my posts in a day because, healthy or not, I simply cannot do that and care for an infant at the same time. So, I will finish the challenge as I am able to, however many days behind I may be.

The prompt for Day 11 was a how-to, and this took a bit of thinking since I'm not normally a how-to sort of writer. But, I've given it my best shot.

Baby and Daddy, March for Life 2016

Since I write quite a bit about parenthood, I figured I'd share a tip I've learned when it comes to dealing with children, specifically, patience with them. Having come fresh off this Saturday's March for Life, I got a refresher on how tragic it is that we live in a culture where it's acceptable to openly hate children and despise those who care for them by denying their caregivers opportunities to form healthy bonds with their offspring (like paid leave for new mothers and higher wages which would allow mothers who choose to stay home be able to make ends meet with their husbands/partner's incomes). Be that as it may, for now, children still make up a significant part of our daily encounters, whether it be in school, at the store, restaurants, etc. Prior to pregnancy, seeing kids running around in the store would make me strongly resist the urge to smack the little monsters. Now that I have a child of my own, I more or less ignore the running children because alot of times, they can't help themselves.

The biggest, and hardest, bit of advice I have to give with regard to becoming more patient with children of any sort is to try getting into their heads. Try to see the world as they do and how they feel about it. When my daughter starts babbling loudly in church or a small child in the pews further back is playing with toys, it's because they simply don't have the attention span to sit still and be quiet during Mass. We as parents try to instill in our children that certain behaviors are not allowed in some places, but it takes some doing because each child learns at a different pace. Now when I encounter running children in the stores, I realize they do this because at that age, the world is still a giant game. With their naturally high energy levels, combined with the various stimuli of the store, there might well be a giant neon sign on the building flashing "COME PLAY HERE!!" When my daughter has a tantrum when I take the computer mouse or my cellphone away from her reach, it's because she thinks the object in my hand is a toy for her to play with or chew on. The key here is empathy. It's hard to empathize sometimes, but like anything else, it's easier with practice.

Is it annoying when kids run around in church or at the store? Yes, it still is. But when you understand why they do it, it makes their presence more bearable for everyone.

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