Patience

I was brushing my almost-4-year-old niece’s hair a few Saturday’s back when she cunningly tried to squirm away from me. On returning her back to the mirror I bargained that if she counted to 10, slowly, I would be done. She turned around, looked at me, touched my arm and said; “No Jodi, I need to learn patience.” I was speechless- what a mature statement! It got me thinking more about patience and how my sister-in-law has managed to instill the seeds at such a young age.

 

We are all familiar with the the saying that patience is a virtue and the Bible has numerous references to practicing patience.

  • 1 Corinthians 13v4 “Love is patient…”
  • Colossians 1v11 “… unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.”
  • 2 Peter 1v6 “And to knowledge self control; and to self control patience; and to patience godliness.”
  • Ecclesiastes 7v8 “…and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5v14 “… be patient to all men.”
  • Hebrews 6v15 “And so, after he patiently endured, he obtained the promise,” to name a few.

What does patience teach a child? The skill of delaying gratification is most definitely a skill necessary for maturity. Patience can develop the ability to think through and resolve difficulties and it can even counteract impulsivity. The value of patience lies in its ability to lead to inner calm and emotional strength of character.

How do we teach a child patience?  Teaching patience, by example, helps children learn resilience, self-containment and the ability to self-soothe. Listen carefully, suggest taking a breather, practice relaxation techniques and quiet time. Don’t come running every time your child asks you to do something. Do projects together that require patience. For example gardening and growing vegetables. Break out a sand timer occasionally. Stories are an excellent way to help little children be patient. You can use their dolls, stuffed animals, toy soldiers or puppets as characters in a story about patience. Instill self-esteem in little children with honest feedback. The better children feel about themselves the more able they will be to hold themselves together with authentic patience when the situation requires. Offer mindful coping for frustrations like breathing, counting, bringing them back into their bodies; touchstones; anger dance (shake it off physically and in a silly way; get them to lighten up). Lastly, deliver on promises.

 

 Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity  -Carl Jung

 

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DIABETES

SANOFI Diabetes – giving new hope to patients with key therapeutic solutions.

 It can be beat!

Last year I was approached by a well-respected Cape Town based dietician and concerned parents to help their 11 year-old daughter, who was recently diagnosed with Type 1- Diabetes (insulin dependent).

This brave girl, although initially nervous, was determined to not let diabetes get the better of her.  She came to the intake consultation with exact reasons whys she thought she could benefit from the therapeutic journey. Her main concerns were being scared at night and feared being alone. For someone who had just recently been diagnosed, this girl knew (in my opinion) more about her illness than most adults sufferers. Confidently, she was able to explain:  how part of her pancreas had stopped functioning, what a hypo, hyper was, the side effects of being diabetic and casually showed me how she tests her sugar levels.

Steve Irwin's Zoo- AsutraliaDiabetes is a group of diseases marked by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications. Worldwide, 366 million people are currently living with diabetes, and this population will grow to 552 million before 2030. Building upon its century long history in this field, Sanofi is committed to improving global diabetes management through its integrated offering of treatments, medical devises and services (www.sanofi.com).

Below is a personal depiction of how this girl saw herself with diabetes. Often speaking about life before and after being diagnosed. I have now completed 8 sessions of therapy and I am so proud that she has conquered her fears. She is one remarkable girl who doesn’t see diabetes as an illness, but almost apart of her- ‘just getting on with it.’ She has also had the wonderful encouragement of friends, teachers and most importantly family to support her through it. Proving that diabetes can be beat!

Me and my diabetes

 

 

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How to listen to our children – hints

I often hear parents say: “My child does not listen to me.” My immediate response is: “Are you really listening to your child?” Here are some handy hints on how to listen to your child

Mother going down to her daughter’s level in order to make eye-contact
  • For me, the most important tip is to lower yourself to your child’s level, look her in the eyes and touch her.
  • Listen with your whole body- smile, react, comment, laugh with her and share your stories as well.
  • Be patient. If you get impatient, it may well be the last deep conversation your child will have with you.
  • Don’t interrupt. Some pauses may be long as your child is processing and thinking before. Give your child time.
  • Respect when your child needs to be silent. You can’t try to force open an oyster and think the pearl will roll out! Wait for your child to open by herself.
  • Some children are not frequently talkative so you have to “listen” to more than their words. Look at their body language, facial expressions, sleeping and eating patterns, habits and schoolwork to make sure that all is well.
  • An emotional avalanche of words is part of some children’s style- if the story seems confusing, listen to the heart.
  • Try not to shoot down ideas when she shares her dreams with you. Be supportive, even if you think it’s crazy.
  • When some children complain they have a completely separate whiny voice. You should never respond to that voice or else it will become permanent. Say very calmly, “I want to listen, but you will have to use your friendly voice.”
  • Allow your child a fair chance to state their case. You may not have to do what they are proposing, but they deserve to be heard.

HAPPY PARENTING :-)

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