Creating Opportunities for Waiting Skills

It’s 6pm and you’re trying to cook dinner. You may have a toddler at your ankles begging for a cracker, another young child screaming for you in the other room and have tried to occupy the children with Cocomelon in hopes that you will be able to cook dinner in peace. Waiting skills are vital for a parent to be able to get activities done in a timely manner but it can also be crucial for children to learn that not all things are immediately accessible.

Here are some ways to create opportunities for waiting:

  1. Take your child into the community to wait in line before accessing a play structure or fast food- this naturally creates a waiting time for your child.
  2. Any time your child asks for something, take your time retrieving it so that they learn to wait and gain more practice
  3. If you are on the phone talking to family members and your child wants access to the phone, tell them to wait and give them a visual or timer to help with the waiting process if needed
  4. When stopping the car and getting out, walk slower so that your child has to wait a bit longer before getting out of the car
  5. During a grocery shopping outing, take your time grabbing things off the shelf and utilize waiting language to increase the skill of your child waiting before holding onto the item they desire
  6. Have other family members practice this as well so your child generalizes waiting to multiple people

Implementing a few of these waiting strategies during your daily schedule will help your child to learn the skill of waiting so that in the future when you need a moment, your child will be able to understand and comply with the concept of waiting.