I've always considered myself to be a patient person. Until I had children. Children can be loud. Children can be demanding. Children could even make the Dalai Lama lose his cool. It's easy to lose your patience when you're stressed out and your kids are stuck on repeat of, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy," or "Daaaaady, Daaaaady." But it is possible to keep your composure — it just takes practice.

Empathize

We have to remember, just as children must learn how to do physical acts such as walking, talking, and riding a bike, they also must learn to master the emotional and psychological aspects of life. Children aren't able to act maturely or make wise decisions, even moments after hearing us tell them exactly what to do. They just aren't wired that way. The next time your child struggles to obey your rules or follow your directions, remember that she is learning how to behave. It's your job to help her.

Anticipate

Most children have triggers that lead to crazy behavior. It could be hunger or sleepiness like with my children. They also seem to know when you are the most stressed out, and as a result, feel stress themselves which can cause them to act out. Knowing what your child's triggers are for unacceptable behavior can help you avoid those triggers and maintain a calm home, allowing you to stay patient and in control.

Breathe Deep

No matter what we do, our children will ultimately cause us to become frustrated and angry. But no one ever feels good after mom has yelled, including mom. When you feel that frustration boiling up, the best thing to do is walk away, take deep breaths, repeat a calming mantra, or count backwards. Whatever works for you is best.

Clean Up Your Act

Children have their own personalities, but they also learn many of their behaviors from us. Chances are, many of the ways your children respond to stress come from watching how you respond to stress. Pay attention to how your child is acting, and ask yourself if they have picked them up from you. If so, try to alter the way you handle stressful moments, especially when in front of your children.

No matter how easy it is to lose our patience with our children, practice will make perfect. So even when you slip up and lose your patience, cut yourself some slack. Like all achievements, practicing strong patience will take hard work.

Have patience with all things, but first of all, with yourself.   St. Francis de Sales