May just might be one of the busiest months of the year for parents … preschool graduations, open houses, baseball games, summer vacation planning, award banquets, school performances, researching summer camps, end-of-year field trips … and these are just a few of the items that fill the May calendar.
Have you caught yourself losing your patience this month? It seems the busier life gets, the easier it is to lose our patience.
Kendra Flemming, the multi-campus Children’s Director for North Point Ministries, shares some tips of what she does when she feels like she is losing her patience.
“When I was a kid my mom taught us a song about a snail named Herbert who needed to learn to have patience. Being the awesome big sister that I was, I often sang it to my brother whenever he was getting impatient. Of course, this always helped to bring him patience—not! Soon, this silly song became our way of irritating each other whenever we recognized that we were about to lose our patience.
Several years later, as I was raising four little kids and feeling a little stressed, I would find myself singing that song. As I watched my little girls growing impatient with each other or with that shoe they just couldn’t tie, I would sing them the song about the impatient snail.
When I was a kid, I thought my mom was teaching us that song to help us learn patience. But now that I’m older, I realize she was singing that song to remind herself to have patience.
I’ve been taught that love is patient. And I love my kids more than life. So, why is it so hard to be patient? Here’s why. I’m not perfect. I’m human. I’ve got a long way to go. I want to be patient . . . but sometimes I’m not. I don’t want to be pushy and snippy and impatient . . . but sometimes I am.
Here are a few things that help me when I’m struggling for patience:
1. I watch my tone. When I’m impatient my tone is short, bossy and snippy. When I choose a kinder tone I seem to be able to communicate with patience.
2. I step away. I know this is not always possible. But I’ve been known to lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes or go for a walk until I find my happy place.
3. I listen to music. Happy music. I have a playlist of happy songs and when I feel my impatience boiling up I turn up the tunes. Music has the ability to change my mood.
4. I look into their faces. When I look into the eyes of those kids that I love, it communicates something to my heart. It reminds me that I’m shaping who they will become. It smoothes out my patience.
5. I remember that others are patient with me. There’s a part in the Herbert the snail song that says, “Remember that God is patient too, and think of all the times when others have to wait for you.” Many have been and continue to be PATIENT with me. I’ve been on the receiving end and I know how good it feels.”
Kendra Flemming is the multi-campus Children’s Director for North Point Ministries in Alpharetta, Georgia. It is her passion to create irresistible environments for kids that connect them to their Heavenly Father. She lives in Cumming, Georgia, with her husband Gary and their four children, Jessica, Catherine, Jack, and Emily.
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