Can We Teach Patience?

posted in: Confidence | 0

While I’m a huge Simon Sinek fan, I don’t know that I agree with his suggestion that we teach millennials to be patient.  I don’t know that we can teach patience.  We can, however, teach kids to be more confident knowing that confident people are less anxious and, consequently, more likely to be patient. For it’s the anxiety we experience that begs a quick result.

Confidence and Success

So how do we teach kids to be more confident?  By helping them become more aware of their successes.  Let’s use the millennials that Sinek referenced as an example. They crave being impactful, yet they have no clear definition of what “impactful” means.  I suspect they view it as something big, grandiose.

The reality is that we are impactful every time we help another human being.  Listening to someone’s problem, giving them a reason to laugh, acknowledging something they did well, being happy for their success are all examples of having an impact.  More importantly, we’re able to have that success multiple times a day every day of our lives.

Remind your children of the impact they are having every time that they help another person.  Allow them to savor their success and the good feelings that accompany it.  It’s the memory of these feelings that will prompt them to behave that way more consistently and, consequently, enjoy more of these feelings throughout their lives.

Eliminating Failure

The second step is to eliminate failure from our vocabulary.  We will make mistakes every day of our lives, but we only fail if we didn’t learn from our mistakes.  Ask your kids what they learned from the mistakes they made.

Allow them to discover the answer on their own, they’ll remember the lesson better than if you provide the answer.  They’re also less likely to make the same mistake again.

By helping them view their mistakes as learning experiences rather than failures, you help them avoid hits to their confidence.  The more confident they become, the less anxious they are and the more patient they’re likely to become.


Interestingly, these simple approaches of creating awareness of the positive impacts a person has on others and converting mistakes into learning experiences can dramatically improve the confidence of anyone at any age.  It works as well for millennials and baby boomers like myself as well as for our kids. Help you kids become more confident and you’ll likely see them become more patient as well.

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