Saturday, April 23, 2011

Patience Cup

During Holy Thursday Mass, Father was talking about the many blessings that God gives us and how difficult it can be to see those blessings when we are so busy, so overcome with the day to day tasks. I smiled contently, thinking of my blessings, the three little ones at home with Jay (which was a blessing in itself, not fighting them through mass) and the one little blessing sitting on the altar as a server. And I almost laughed aloud, thinking how just a few hours earlier, I wasn't feeling so blessed.

Thus became The Patience Cup.

By 6 p.m. Thursday night, my patience was gone and I had resorted to yelling. Katie was really hurt by this, saying she didn't do anything wrong. So, I showed her this cup and told her to imagine that this cup is my patience. Then I drew the first line:
"That first line? That shows how much patience Natalie used up, by screaming from the moment I picked her up at daycare until the moment she went to bed...with just a few exceptions. She used up that much of my patience all by herself."

"The second line? That's how much patience Maggie used up, with her screaming tantrums and throwing fits every time I asked her to do anything. Even picking up her own shoes resulted in a fit. So, she used up that much more of my patience."

"That left this little area for you (Katie) and Lainie to share, just a little bit of my patience left. And, although you weren't being bad, the constant 'Mommy, look here!' 'Mommy, I need this!' 'Mommy, she touched me!' 'Mommy! Hurry up with supper! We're going to be LATE!' used up the remaining little bit of patience until my patience cup exploded:"

"And it's never pretty when a Patience Cup explodes. So, I promise to do my best to not let my Patience explode if you could please just walk away for a few minutes when it looks like the cup is getting full. Okay? Sometimes all it takes is 60 seconds of quiet to restore the Patience Cup."

The lesson must have sunk in a little, because I've probably been asked a dozen times today, "How's your patience cup doing, Mommy?" Gotta love that girl of mine!

2 comments:

Alison said...

That is genius! What a wonderful way to explain to children that a parent's patience is not limitless. I am absolutely going to use this with my kids. THANK YOU!

Sarah (La Maison Boheme) said...

Brilliant. I'm using this TODAY.