Homeschooling my kids could be a joyful AND a frustrating experience. It's joyful when the kids finally get it, but it's frustrating when they are trying to get it. For example, teaching my son to read was very painful for me! I barely taught my daughter how to read, and but looking at a bunch of YouTube videos with sub captions helped her excel in reading. Being in third grade, she could read close to a sixth grade level. She's also interested in learning different languages, so it's probably no surprise that words are her strengths.
Now with my son, he just wasn't interested in learning to read. Reading with him has been very frustrating. Hearing him read is like being in stop-and-go traffic! He would cry as he struggled to read, and I wanted to cry because I was so angry with him. However, I never once shouted at him, never once threw a fit, and I never did anything that showed how mad I was.
But now look at what happens. My seven-year-old son eventually wanted me to teach him how to read. His reasoning? "I don't want to be an adult and not know how to read," he said. Eventually, his reading has gotten better and better. Is listening to him read still like stop-and-go traffic? Yes it is! However, he is recognizing many words, especially the sight words (many of which you cannot sound out). I have given him B+ and A- grades on his reading. His confidence in reading is building up and reading isn't painful for him anymore.
My patience with him ultimately led to his improvement. I had patience because I knew what I wanted the outcome to be like. I want him to be an excellent reader and to love learning. Throwing a fit and shouting to God wasn't going to deliver the desired outcome. Having understanding that he's a child and that reading is not his strength, as well as knowing what the good outcome could be, helped with my patience.
In the same way, if YOU want better patience, you need to:
- Have a good understanding of the situation.
- Focus on the desired outcome.
Someone who wants to lose a lot of weight has to first understand the situation, which is that he didn't gain all that weight overnight. It took lots of time to build up all that fat and he won't lose it in one night. Then he needs to focus on what he wants to happen, which is to lose all his excess weight. If this person has neither understanding of the situation nor a focus on the desired result, he will give up in frustration quickly!
If you lack patience, then you lack understanding. You also have no desired outcome in mind. All you see is the situation as it is and you would just react to what you see.
Here's a good example:
Somebody is driving very slowly in front of you. Yes, even I get frustrated with such people, especially if we are on a one-lane road! So, an impatient person would not consider why the person in front is driving so slowly and would simply react with his or her feelings. This person would honk, shout, tailgate, flick lights off and on, and would even pull a dangerous stunt as driving pass the person as quickly as possible. Doing this, of course, could cause retaliation of the other driver or an accident on your part.
If the person is patient, the person would have the following in mind:
- I want to keep myself and my family safe...
- I don't want to get a ticket from a hidden cop...
- I don't want to invoke violence from the other driver...
- Next time, I just need to leave earlier!
You see, patience is POWERFUL and it could keep you from consequences. But in order to have this patience, you need to: 1) have understanding and 2) focus on the desired outcome.
Back to the car example. Being a patient person, I try to understand why a person is going slowly. The other driver could be in the wrong. You know, texting, chatting on the phone, trying to do her make-up, etc. But the other person could be lost. That person doesn't have me on his or her mind at that moment, so this person's slowness has nothing to do with me.
Now, that was my understanding of the situation. Here's my desired outcome: I want to get to my destination safely and without any consequences from the cops. Despite how I may feel about the other driver, my desired outcome will keep me from doing something stupid.
Patience leads to success in whatever area in your life. The more patience you have, the more likely you will see your desired result. But if you lack patience, you won't see any success...and you just might find yourself in trouble.
What if I just gave up on teaching my son how to read? He would be that teenager or adult who could barely spell his name. That consequence would hurt both him and me because I would have to read everything for him. He won't be independent.
What if a person who wanted to lose weight just gave up? That person would just get bigger and bigger and would have to deal with the health consequences.
What if a person who wanted to find a job just gave up? That person would just be on welfare, or living with parents....or just homeless.
What if a person who wanted to desperately pass another driver on the road did something dangerous to pass the other driver? That person may have gotten killed by on-coming traffic.
The lack of patience is dangerous and produces no good. But the more patience you have, the better off you'd be. You could conquer anything, keep yourself out of trouble, save many relationships and even build many relationships. Patience does make a more peaceful life!
You could NEVER lose if you have patience. But with the lack of patience, you could risk losing everything.