Fruits of the Spirit: Patience

Patience is not a characteristic that we often associate with children, particularly not children in 2022. One of the reasons for this is that many of us no longer teach children HOW to be patient; probably because it takes a fair bit of time and patience on the part of the parents, both of which are often in short supply here at the tail-end of a worldwide pandemic.  However, I am encouraging you to do so because patience is the older sibling of resilience and resilience the older sibling of grit. 
 

The exercise for patience from Awakening Joy is weaving. The simplest version is a paper plate weaving:

 
Why weaving? Because you really cannot weave quickly, it is a slow though very rewarding process that virtually anyone can master and you end up with a useful item.
 
We talk often of prodigies – people who are born with certain talents and abilities. The mistake we make is to gloss over all the hard work that also is also involved in those people being the successes that they are. Professional basketball players practice an average of 3-4 hours every day. Professional musicians 3-6 hours every day. Dr. Fauci spends hours each day reading to keep up with all the medical studies and advances. Yes, there is some natural ability but there is also a lot of practice involved for any one at the top of their profession or even for passionate amateurs. Malcolm Gladwell in one of his books talks about people who are frighteningly brilliant, but who never learn the patience of study or dealing with others and so not only are not curing cancer but can barely hold any kind of job. Patience is a critical life skill. Patience helps us to be happier people when we are not easily frustrated with ourselves or others. Patience enables us to be more effective co-workers and certainly more pleasant to deal with. And yes, patience helps us to be more effective and successful in whatever we choose to do because we are willing to put in the hard work to do so. 
 
Weaving is one way to teach your children patience, but so are things like teaching them to zip their own zippers and then giving them time each morning to do so. Teaching them to make their bed and giving them time to do so. Teaching them to double check that their homework is in the proper place and placed in their backpack and giving them time to do it themselves. Teaching patience requires modeling patience, it requires thought and planning. As you notice your children becoming more and more self-disciplined, more and more independent, more and more capable, and, yes more and more patient with themselves and others, I think you will agree it was well worth it. 
 
-Carolyn Hayes,
Director of Children and Young Family Ministries
 

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