Who hasn’t ever had a time when one rationally decided to be patient? What moved you?
I find it very easy to be patient when I understand what is happening in my present moment. I then decide to wait, and that is of course, because I’ve thought about it first.
In those moments, it means that patience is a quiet hope and an expectation, that, in the end, everything will be fine.
I can endure a delay or a conflict situation without complaint, I can even demonstrate self-control, because I simply understand that I can not control how others act, or when things do not go as I’d like.
For example: if I can’t find tickets for a movie when I want them, then I simply buy others for another showing without problems. Or, if I am called from the garage where I have taken the car for a tune up and the mechanic tells me that there will be about a two day delay in its delivery because the parts required have not yet arrived, I know how to get organized so that this unexpected event has the least impact on my daily life.
BUT …why is it so hard for me to be patient with the people I have closest to me, the ones that need me more than anyone! There are times when rationality is out of order in my brain and my mind ignores patience automatically.
A good leader practices patience with his team members (and himself too), when he understands that it takes time to develop skills that will make them more productive, time to feel integrated with peers, to grow as individuals, and to provide value.
But as parents of children with ADHD, how can we exercise the necessary patience in order to remain calm and maintain a trust-based expectation that everything will be okay?
I find it useful to think that patience is a commitment to the future (see my post Mi VISION in front of your NO INTENTION). This means that it represents an ‘act now’ in such a way that something good will happen later. Meaning one has to try to endure as much as possible in order to make it happen (at this present moment I think of all this patience that we have to practice with our less than sympathetic surroundings: relatives, colleagues, friends …).
Patience is being able to see the end results in the beginning, doing what you can and then wait calmly, with confidence that the results will come.
Why practice patience?
I can think of two main reasons: first, because it seeks the good in a situation and it can bring some calm in the whirlwind day in which our children throw at us.
Second, because patience is a visible behavior, therefore imitable and our children need to see it every day. Because we all know that one of our ADHD’s characteristics is that they are VERY impatient. They usually want everything NOW. They can’t undertake heavy tasks where the results can only be viewed later, or finish a plan that takes a lot of work …
They have no patience, can’t stand having to wait, they protest, shun their responsibility, complicate everything, and become altered and alter all of us. Suddenly we are all angry (we because we do not perceive their reaction to our requests, they because they do not control their impulsivity) and irritable if things go wrong or mistakes arise.
How can we practice patience?
Patience is practiced accepting that not everything can be controlled. Even when we’re feeling anxious inside, we are able to act with calm and serenity and accept having to wait for something we know is worth it…We have faith that in the end things will work out.
Sense of humor (not sarcasm or derision) help! Seeing mistakes, gaffes, and faux pas of our children with affection and understanding will help us remain calm, and able to fight this pressing need that sometimes we parents feel about everything having to be perfect (ugh! what an ugly word …).
Patience will help us:
– To not abandon what we try to do, however difficult or tiresome it may seem.
– To persevere in our plans until we finish them, even if we do not receive the reward for all our efforts right away.
– To feel willing to set goals for the future, knowing that we will then be rewarded
In short: PATIENCE IS ABOUT HAVING GOALS AND ENVISIONING THE FINAL RESULT AT THE BEGINNING
And let me make a brief reflection. Do not fall into the confusion between having and/or practicing patience (which is a decision, an active thinking purpose) with passivity or apathy (where we can get carried away). Always, at all times, we must be aware of what our state of mind is and fight to remain focused.
I wish you a very successful 2013!