I’m not really a patient person. In fact I have very little patience, as my husband will tell you. My father, who was awesome in the parenting department, was also a very impatient person. It’s a family joke that he’d arrive at a restaurant and immediately ask the waitress for some bread and the check.
Probably my absolute biggest struggle as a parent, other than dealing with the bodily fluids that spew forth from my children on a daily basis, is a quest to increase my level of patience with them. In fact, when I announced that I wanted to homeschool to my family and closest friends, they each in turn expressed concern for my sanity. In a kind way, mind you. They said it with love. I myself was concerned. For myself. But I figured it’s like this: When it comes to homeschooling, impatience is not an option for me. Ditto yelling. Likewise any kind of negative talk to my kids.
Now, I don’t always succeed with that philosophy but for the most part, I’ve been able to catch myself when we are engaged in learning. If I feel myself getting frustrated with Firefly’s slow pace or his resistance to an activity, I just back off, take a break, switch gears. I’m working on doing that when the kids are fighting like the ancient Mongolians, too, but that one is a slower process for me.
As friends and acquaintances learn that we are homeschooling, I’ve frequently gotten responses like, “I could never do that. You are so patient.” Got one of those today and later I thought, “No, I’m not. I’m not patient. Not at all.” But it does seem to me that I am forever trying to be. Because, homeschooling aside, my children deserve my patience.
It does not come naturally to me. Not in the least. But I’m going to keep trying, even if it takes ’til they’re grown. Or even longer.