Patience is a skill that brings lifelong benefits. A patient person will have advantages in many situations, so it’s important to instill at a young age! Teaching patience to preschoolers may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right strategies, it’s a breeze.
Why Is Teaching Patience to Preschoolers Important?
Teaching patience to preschoolers is an important part of their learning to become a harmonious member of society.
Think of patience as the ability to tolerate delays or waiting without becoming upset. This is just as essential a skill for preschoolers as it is for adults.
How many tantrums come around because young children are asked to delay gratification in some form or another? As a parent, the chance of getting frustrated with your children is significantly smaller when they practice patience.
Teaching patience to preschoolers gives them a skill they will use for the rest of their lives. An impatient person will struggle at school, in their personal lives, and even in their professional lives later.
Patient children have the tools to excel in the classroom and the eventual workplace. A child who knows how to be patient contributes to a calmer classroom environment.
Plus, they’re better prepared for the jump to kindergarten!
Easy Tips for Effectively Teaching Patience to Preschoolers
Teaching patience to preschoolers may not seem like the easiest task at first. It may even seem impossible.
But having the right strategies will help you do this without stress!
The more your students learn from you, the better behaved they will be going forward.
Create a Positive Learning Environment
When you are teaching patience to preschoolers, focus on tiny elements to build a positive learning environment for the best results.
Those tiny elements can start as creating tiny habits around patience. Practicing those habits every day will cement them into lifelong coping skills.
One of the best ways to teach patience is to model it. You must be patient yourself!
Take advantage of opportunities to exemplify patience in the classroom. This will make your classroom a positive learning environment. When learning is a positive experience, your students will feel heard, acknowledged, and safe.
Here are some specific ways you can make teaching patience to preschoolers a positive experience.
Get on Their Level
Interact directly with the children you’re teaching. Kneel down and make eye contact.
Let your students know that you get it! You know what they’re learning is tough, but you also know that they can do this.
Make It Fun
Kids love to have fun! You can use this to your advantage when you’re teaching preschoolers patience.
Entice them with activities they enjoy. You can even include games and toys to help the lessons stick.
Preschoolers desire agency just like adults do.
By giving them options, you’re acknowledging their need to feel like they have some control. Choosing between two activities will keep them more engaged in what they’re doing.
When children are struggling with impatience, encourage them to participate in activities.
For example, if they’re impatient while waiting for a snack, you could let them pass out napkins. They stay busy and engaged instead of stressing about the wait!
Model Patience In The Classroom Whenever Possible (& Acknowledge It!)
When you’re teaching patience, you have to model patience! Seek opportunities to discuss, acknowledge, and show patience to your students.
When you’re teaching patience to preschoolers, you’ll have to practice patience plenty yourself. Use it as a teachable moment.
If you’re being patient, draw your students’ attention to it. Tell them how you are coping with the situation. They’re watching and learning from you!
Acknowledging student success is a critical part of making learning stick.
When children demonstrate patience in everyday encounters, praise them! When they’re struggling, be compassionate. Waiting isn’t fun for anyone, let alone toddlers!
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few creative ways to model patience in the classroom.
Practice Gratitude In The Classroom
Add gratitude practices to your daily activity list.
Let every student share something they’re grateful for. This could be something like a new toy, a sunny day, or a friend.
Teach your preschoolers to especially focus on gratitude when they are waiting for something.
Practice Waiting Behaviors
The way we behave when we’re waiting for something matters. It sends a message.
Have your students practice waiting behaviors regularly!
Maybe they smile, maybe they count. Or maybe they need a unique strategy. This is where you can creatively help students work through challenges!
Teaching patience to preschoolers has tremendous benefits for both the students and their teacher! Socializing will be so much smoother.
Plus, children who understand how to practice patience are a joy to teach. They are more responsive and less prone to outbursts.
With these strategies, and a little patience yourself, teaching patience to preschoolers is easy!