Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #96: Pack your patience pants (Dad)

You know that every time we have traveled, at some point or another during a flight delay, one of us says, “OK, everyone, put on your patience pants.”

You know what it’s like to see people lose their cool: yelling at gate agents, snapping at loved ones, and otherwise being overcome with anxiety, stress, and frustration. While immediate resolution would be great, sometimes these kinds of reactions make the delays even worse. In fact, being a calm presence in the face of such frustration can help to lower the anxiety of the room, helping those around you to breathe a little more easily and possibly move things along.

Other places you may need to break out the pants:

  • Grocery store checkout counter behind someone buying their groceries for the year
  • ATM behind someone making many transactions
  • Stop-and-go traffic that is more stop than go
  • The car in the driveway, waiting for the rest of the family to hurry up and get in the car

In the end, there are some things that are simply not worth getting worked up about. Sure, sometimes there will be injustices to confront, but for the times when delays, interruptions, and other inconveniences are out of our control, put on your patience pants and, if you need to add to the ensemble, your composure cardigan, your serenity socks, and your “take a deep breath” top hat.


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