Being able to wait is an important social skill for children–see earlier posts from this week. I enlist the help of a few stuffies to show kids some waiting strategies. A stuffie conversation may go something like this:
Well, hi there guys. Today, we’re going to take you for a walk in the stroller, as many of you as will fit, but first we have to put the dishes away. You need to curl up on the bed and just play quietly for a few minutes. Can you handle that? No wild jumping around. Here’s a few books to look at and we’ll be back soon.
After a minute or two check in with the stuffed toys and tell them you notice how they are looking at books and waiting patiently and let them know you are almost ready. After a couple more minutes, bundle them into the stroller, let your child push them and enjoy the walk. Now, normal children are not as quiet as stuffed toys but they have been shown what is expected and heard how it all works. The next step is to build in some activities so they can practice, too. Baking some cookies and waiting while they cool is one idea. For a special upcoming event let your child mark off the days on a calendar and sympatize how hard it is too wait. Planting seeds and waiting for them to sprout needs lots and lots of patience. The cookies, the special day and the little green sprouts all reinforce that good things come from waiting along with our words of encoragement and appreciation to our kids. What are your stategies for helping kids deal with waiting?