A note to the uninitiated: Aunty Aidan is Aidan Montessori School's cheeky advice columnist. Have you got a question for her next column? Please email the grande dame herself - she's always happy to help.
Dear Aunty Aidan,
I find myself losing patience when my child can’t seem to wait…patiently. What can I do to help both of us?
Need a Quick Answer
Dear Need a Quick Answer,
Patience is one of the first steps to learning delayed gratification, which contributes to career success, good health, and harmonious relationships. Children have the ability to wait (or not) based on their age, the prize at the end of said wait, their capacity to gauge the passage of time, and how often they have experienced a wait.
You can help by finding creative ways to bring time increments into relatable terms such as having a countdown or other visual representation of when IT will happen. When they ask - even for the fifteenth time - if it's time yet, remember to be kind in your response, acknowledging how difficult it is.
If they're waiting on you, collaborate in advance to determine a way for them to silently signal they need you like holding your hand or raising the peace sign. No one likes to wait; we've just learned a few coping mechanisms. Teach a few of those to your child and keep in mind that you'll have to wait - ugh! - for your child to mature and learn to wait patiently.
At your service,