How can I make my toddler more patient?

Anyone have tips on how to tell their toddler to hold on a second without triggering them to throw a tantrum? Every time I tell my 19month old to hold on a second, or to wait, while I’m cutting up fruit that she wants, or refilling her cup, she turns away and cries, being very upset. You’d think I said no to her when all I needed was a minute or two to get what she wants. How do I turn it into something positive? :pensive:


Following because I’m having the same issue with my almost 3 year old whom chooses to scream whenever I tell him to wait

My grandson used to do this he’s 19 months I got a step stool so that he could watch me prepare his snacks at the counter and it helped out with the outbursts to the point he doesn’t get upset anymore when he asks for something because now he can get on the stepstool and see that I am actually making his snack or getting his juice etc and I talked to him about what I’m doing while I’m doing it

I say ‘Be patient’ don’t give in right away,….i was a nanny started at 1 and worked wonders and I do this to my 2 year old. Just keep enforcing it. Eventually they’ll get it.

Give her one piece while you finish the remainder. If she still acts out don’t buy into it or she will think she can act like that to get her way. She is not too young to behave herself but you have to teach her.

Toddlers are very egocentric and don’t have the same concept of time. They want what they want and they want it NOW! They learn it by waiting and seeing you’re meeting their need. I would just explain calmly what you’re doing. Like “watch mommy fill your cup…pour pour pour…here you go!” Then they will see that everything is a process and these things don’t just appear the second they want them

Teach them what it means (to you) to be patient (and be consistent. I use a specific phrase EVERY TIME). Practice patience. Practice moments when they need to be patient. And acknowledge them but don’t respond to their wants/requests right away.

So for example, my daughter will say “Can i have a smoothie?” and if I’m cooking (or even if I’m not, just to practice patience), I’ll acknowledge her and say “You’d like a smoothie? Sure! But Mommy is doing something right now. I’ll get it for you in a moment. Can you wait PATIENTLY?”
And sometimes she says yes and sometimes she says no lol. I have different answers for each.
I’ll say “Thank you! Let me XYZ and then I’ll get it” and continue what I’m doing. If she says no I say “I need you to wait patiently for a few moments while I XYZ. Remember what that means? waiting without fussing or repeatedly asking. And if you find yourself getting frustrated, try to calm yourself down!” (I don’t always say the entire thing, but I’m consistent with those words - without fussing/repeatedly asking/calm yourself, etc).
and then I give her the smoothie and say “you did it! you waited patiently” and give her a high five.

This is what has been working for me. my daughter is 3.5. It doesn’t work EVERY time but that’s the entire point of practice.


You can ask if maybe she wants to help you refill her drink or put the fruit on her own plate. If those aren’t an option, try explaining to her what you’re doing- “I’m going to fill your cup, do you want to come with me?”

“I’m starting to wash and cut up your fruit, I’ll be right back/do you want to come help?”

Just some suggestions. I know this doesn’t apply to all scenarios. <3

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Honestly let her cry. Tell her please wait so I can do this for you etc. If she cries, continue what you are doing and when finished simply say “I am sorry you had to wait but it takes time to do things. Crying doesn’t make it faster.” Then continue on with life. Worked very well with my now 2 1/2 yr old. It’s quite funny though because now when I ask her to do something she will tell me “wait a minute mommy I’m busy”! :rofl: I tell her okay but please hurry I need xyz done so we can xyz.

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Invovle your toddler in what you are doing.
Let her help cut up the food and fill up her cups of water.
They make kid safe cutting utensils, cups, and water stations.
Children this age LOVE practical life activities.

A cute song that you sing with her.
A small kitchen timer.

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Just be consistent and don’t give into her… children need to learn that life can be met with disappointment and waiting. She won’t die from waiting for you to cut up the fruit? She will figure it out eventually

Toddlers are savages haha!

You model patience. It comes with age.

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