Friday, July 24, 2009

Patience Isn't Always a Virtue

In response to my post from Wednesday, several people wrote me with comments similar to this one from a former Woodland Park parent:

You're so patient with the children. You never lose your temper. I try but I have a hard time staying calm.

I'm certainly not patient all the time, and I've been known to lose my temper, just ask my family.

Everyone knows I hold Mister Rogers -- the poster child for patience -- in high esteem. Here's something he had to say on the topic:

I received a letter from a parent who wrote: "Mister Rogers, how do you do it? I wish I were like you. I want to be patient and quiet and even-tempered, and always speak respectfully to my children. But that just isn't my personality. I often lose my patience and even scream at my children. I want to change from an impatient person into a patient person, from an angry person into a gentle one."

Just as it takes time for children to understand what real love is, it takes time for parents to understand that being always patient, quiet, even-tempered, and respectful isn't necessarily what "good" parents are. In fact, parents help children by expressing a wide range of feelings -- including appropriate anger. All children need to see that the adults in their lives can feel anger and not hurt themselves or anyone else when they feel that way.



Jason, as himself said...

Hey Tom! I found you via my friend Pumpkin Delight, and I find your blog very enlightening. I am a teacher, too, 2nd grade usually.

Teacher Tom said...

Hey Jason, Thanks! I'm glad you found me. I'll take a look at your blog this evening. It's great connecting with other teachers this way.