Hey, Vicki. Cammy wrote in asking, “How do I have more patience with my toddler?” I've got some ideas. Do you?

Vicki: Yeah. Let's talk about it.

Paul: Cammy, we got your back. Stay calm. We can break that down into a tool. So, let's start with C in calm stands for care. Meaning self-care.

Vicki: This is so important with toddlers.

Paul: You have got to sometimes just take a step back when you are starting to get frustrated and impatient with your child. Make sure that they are safe and that they are cared for, for a minute, then step aside. Do whatever it takes. Take a bath. Do some reading. Go for a quick walk as long as the child is safe, right? You are just going to get a moment to take care of yourself.

Paul: One of the barriers that you'll come up against especially with toddlers is that they require full-time supervision. And that's where we get stuck sometimes. But like you're saying, Vicki. Take whatever steps are necessary to provide for the needs of that child. And it might mean that you have a neighbor or friend or a sister or someone nearby that you can just at a moment's notice, say, “Hey, I need a mommy timeout.” Whatever you call it, okay? And this is for self-care. I guarantee that bringing a more functional mom to the picture is good for your child. So, do whatever it takes to to take care of yourself. And honestly, we can't expect our kids to take care of us.

Vicki: You know, that is one of the biggest things I think with children. Sometimes we get stuck in that idea that “Can't they see I'm getting frustrated? Why can't they change this?” They really can't. And so you must to find a way to take care of yourself and take care of the situation. Even if you can't leave the child, there might be some things you can do. Put them in a stroller, strap them in and then go for a walk. That might be enough to get your brain kind of cleared out.

Paul: If you can get your body moving, that's good. You want to get the blood circulating. You want to pay attention to some really basic things like your diet, your exercise, your sleep. These are all important to keep you on board as a momma. And hopefully we can help you out here on the channel too. Does this help? When we have these conversations? I'm hoping it does.

If you view the episode at Live On Purpose TV on YouTube by the same name as this article, leave some comments, maybe tips and tricks that help you and you could help others. Continuing with our acronym. Calm, right? Stay calm. A is next. The “A” stands for attitude.

Vicki: Oh, that is such a buzzword. So, tell me what do you mean by that.

Paul: Our son, our second son Adam, is in flight school. He's learning how to fly airplanes. The word attitude has special significance in the aviation world. Because it means the position of the plane relative to the ground or to the horizon, okay? Sometimes we think of attitude is how we feel. “I've just got a really bad attitude today.” Grumpy about everything. Okay, attitude is not how you feel. Attitude is your position toward what's going on in your life. Your position. When you think of it as position it's a lot easier to assume a positive position even if you're feeling grumpy. Even if you're not feeling great. So, a positive position would be, “I love my life.” Okay, that doesn't necessarily reflect how you feel in the moment. But you are choosing that position regardless of how you feel in this moment. Your attitude might be “This is perfect for me and my family.” Vicki, this can get hard.

Vicki: It gets really hard.

Paul: We have a friend whose little 3-year-old is going through cancer treatment. How could that be perfect?

Vicki: Right. It's so hard.

Paul: Yes. it's hard and it's important to notice that sometimes we don't get to choose what's going on. I don't think that little three-year-old’s parents thought, “Oh, let's sign-up for cancer treatments.” No. Who would ever do that? But that's what showed up for them in their life. Now, attitude while you're experiencing the big difficulty of that situation, you can still maintain a position that, “This is perfect for our family.”

Vicki: Or we can do hard things.

Paul: That might be why it's perfect. To teach us or demonstrate that we can do hard things. To teach us that we are unified in purpose as a family. To teach us that we will choose love no matter what and even if.

Vicki: Another thing about your attitude is you can remember that your child is probably right on schedule. So, when you are getting frustrated with their behavior, remember they are right on schedule. They are probably behaving the way you would expect a toddler to behave.

Paul: Right. Exactly. Attitude leads to L because L is about laughs.

Vicki: You know, this reminds me of a time when our very first child was a toddler and he had some sort of a paper sun. Do you remember this? And he had taken and ripped it up all over the house. It was a mess. I was like, “What are you doing?” I just started singing a little song I knew about scattering sunshine. So, you just find some humor in the situation. Laugh as often as you can as a mom.

Paul: Honestly, you are probably going to be in a position a lot of times where you need to choose to either laugh or cry. And you just come down on whichever side you would prefer on that. But I think there is a lot of really entertaining things that in the moment don't feel so. Well, we had an experience just this morning with one of our puppies having an accident all over the living room floor. Not so funny in the moment. Right? But this is the kind of stuff that seems a lot funnier later on. Every stage that your kids go through especially the toddler stage and then maybe followed second by the teenager stage, is just fraught with things that are hilarious as long as it's not you. If you can back up a little bit, remember to laugh, lighten it up. This is going to help you to be a good mom or a good dad as well. To be able to laugh at the situation and take something that would normally be difficult or painful and find the funny. Which one of my speaking colleagues Jeanne Robertson talks about this all the time. Find the funny in everything that you look for. That's just a way to lighten it up.

Vicki: That leads us into the last letter of our acronym M. So, this is standing for memories. Make memories. Take the situations and find a way to make a memory out of it. And even maybe jot some things down that you can remember later so that you can make a memory book or memory page about these special years that actually go really, really, quickly.

Paul: They really do. Babies don't keep.

Vicki: You know, it's kind of joking when we first read this title. I was like “Well, the way to stay patient with this toddler is wait a few years. Then they won't be a toddler.”

Paul: Then you won't have a toddler anymore.

Vicki: But, you have to be patient with the next stage. So, find a way to make some new memories. They can be poignant ones as well as funny ones. Or educational.

Paul: This is a key when you understand the dynamics of your family and how this stage is not going to last forever. In fact, it's not even going to last very long at all. Capture it where it is and there are so many ways to do that now. You mentioned a few, Vicki. Taking pictures, jotting down notes, making a little memory book. Where did our kids go? Well, our kids turned into teenagers. And our teenagers turned into young adults. And our young adults turned into parents. And they are gone. They no longer exist as children in this world. All we have is our memories of when they were young. And so, if you can capture that, that's going to change your patience level with your toddler today.

Cammy, I hope we answered your question for you. You know, we just love being on your team. You're positive parents, you're good parents. You are benevolent, generous, loving, parents. If we can help you further, we would love to do that. If you need some one on one coaching, you can make an appointment to find out what we offer at www.drpauljenkins.com/breakthroughcall. Thank you.