Everyone has to wait. Whether it’s waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting on the sidelines at a sibling’s soccer game, waiting in the lobby for dance or karate class, or waiting to be picked up by the bus or carpool for school, life just has a lot of waiting.

This teaches all of us that patience is a skill that inevitably has to be learned. It can be one of the hardest skills to learn, but it is truly one of life’s lessons that cannot be avoided. Most of us are taught that patience is a virtue, but most of us are never taught why.

The definition of patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. The definition of virtue is behavior showing high moral standards. Combine these two and success will never meet failure.

Sometimes patience can feel like missing out on something. But it doesn’t always have to. To perfect patience you must be creative and realize that for every missed opportunity there is another waiting around the corner.

So the next time you are waiting in line at the store or even for dinner when you feel as if you are “starving,” come up with ideas to help you and your child accept the delay and show smart and outstanding behavior.

Here are a few from us:

  • Practice phonics at every chance. Sing songs like “f is for future, and u is for unique. P is for perfection and b is for beat”…or something along those lines.
  • Play “I spy” and practice observation. If you are waiting at the doctor’s office or the DMV, spot something and begin to give clues to what it is. Have your child begin guessing.
  • Go through the five senses. Ask your child what he or she sees, smells, hears, tastes or feels (touches) at that moment.
  • When all else fails, use imagination. Always carry a pen and a little notepad, and if you and your child begin to feel a little stir crazy, draw pictures or create a story.