Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Have you ever lost your patience with your child and have regret afterword?
Questions are proven to be incredibly powerful. When you change the dialog in your mind, you change the information you focus on receiving. Have you ever bought a new vehicle or were interested in a certain breed of dog? Than you started noticing how many of those vehicles are on the road or how that breed of dog appears everywhere? It’s because your focus had changed. When you start asking yourself certain questions, you may be surprised as to the answers you will get. When you start noticing you are losing your patience, ask yourself, "Why am I feeling this way?". When you start asking yourself this question, you will get answers. When you get the answers as to why you are losing your patience, you can start finding solutions and be proactive.
If you notice yourself getting frustrated or losing patience:
2)Take a deep breath, or a few if needed,
3)Ask yourself, "Why am I feeling this way?"
4)Keep asking “Why” to get to the root cause
5)Find a solution
Sometimes the answer to your question can be easy:
-For example, sometimes when I ask myself, "Why am I feeling this way?”, when I am starting to lose patience with my child, its because im hungry. I know I start to lose my patience and get frustrated more easily when I start to get hungry. So, I make sure I eat and have healthy snacks on the go for me and my kids.
However, sometimes it’s not as simple as that and you need to keep asking why:
In my early safety professional days there was a simple investigation tool that was used, and it was called, "The 5 Whys". Essentially, you keep asking "why" until you get to the root cause. It can be more than 5 whys, but I try to not have less than 5, unless it’s a very clear root cause.
-For example, 1st Why Question: "Why am I losing my patience with my child?”
Answer: "Because my child is acting out"
2nd Why Question: "Why is my child acting out?"
Answer: Are they seeking attention, are they tired or hungry?
3rd Why Question: "Why is my child seeking attention?"
Answer: "Because I am always on my phone" or "I have been working more hours lately"
4th Why Question: "Why am I working more hours?"
Answer: "Because I have too much on my plate at work".
5th Why Question: "Why do I have too much on my plate at work?"
Answer: "Because my boss just laid off my coworker and I am taking on their work load."
When you get the cause of why you are feeling the way you are, you can find solutions.
For example, talk to your boss about the work load, see if you can delegate or prioritize your workload differently so you can get home a bit earlier. When you get home earlier, spend that extra quality time with your child so you can give them the attention they need so they don't feel they need to lash out to get your attention.
This technique of asking questions, and more specifically asking "Why", can provide immense clarity in most situations. When you start feeling impatience creeping in, stop, take a breath, ask yourself “why?”, and find a solution before you have the regret of losing your patience.