Is your 2-year-old the type who'll calmly sit and play with your keys in the grocery cart seat at Trader Joe's when the line is all the way back to the dairy aisle, or does he go into hysterics if you're even a minute slow serving his dinner? It can be baffling figuring out why some kids have more tolerance for delays and frustrations than others, but if you're an astrology maven, you understand that a child's patience might be determined by their zodiac sign.
In the astrological world, the 12 signs of the zodiac are divided into four elements: water, fire, air, and water. Like the signs themselves, each element is associated with certain personality traits. Air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) are the intellectuals and communicators; earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) are practical, hard-working, and persistent; fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) are energetic, optimistic, and ready to lead the way; and water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) are emotional, intuitive, and imaginative.
With that in mind, it's not that difficult to figure out which signs are most and least likely to be patient — which can be helpful when you're trying to understand why your little one behaves the way she does.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
Patient? Ha! Children born under the first sign of the zodiac are natural leaders, energetic, and persistent. They're also headstrong kids who plunge right into new adventures without thinking too much about worst-case scenarios. That go-for-it attitude means that your Ram toddler won't take kindly to waiting or frustration; according to Astrostyle, Aries folks hate to be told "no." But they also thrive on praise, so be sure to compliment your little lamb for patient behavior, such as waiting till you're off the phone to ask for something.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Slow and steady is the Taurus motto, and people born under this sign are considered to be extremely patient, according to astrologer Deb McBride. Still, it's best not to test that patience to extremes. Keep your little Bull waiting too long, and you risk a major meltdown. They respond well to logic, so explaining why they can't do something now will help them keep their cool. ("The pool isn't open yet, so it's not time to go. We'll get ready when you see the little hand on the clock go to 9.")
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Sociable, curious, and independent, your little Gemini is also one of the most adaptable signs of the zodiac, according to ZodiacFire. A Gemini child won't raise a fuss at having to hold on a second to talk to you if you're in the middle of a phone call. However, Twins are also restless and hate being bored, so get in the habit of toting board books, crayons, and small toys in your purse or diaper bag to keep your Gemini toddler happily occupied for longer waits, such as a line to be seated at the restaurant.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Cancers are well known for their sympathetic nature and willingness to help, so your midsummer-born toddler might be the one calming you down if you're stuck in a traffic jam or on an endless hold on the phone. But little Crabs can also get sad and pessimistic easily, said Astrostyle, and if your child gets gloomy over a delay, you'll have to remind them to look on the bright side. Cancers are all about comfort food, so a homemade chocolate chip cookie could mean the difference between a patient wait and utter despair.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
The charming, affectionate, and cheerful Leo child loves attention, and they're not shy about letting their feelings show, said Tarot.com. So when their patience is tested, you can expect a mighty roar from your small Lion. (It's a Fire sign, remember.) Luckily, Leos don't hold a grudge for long, and the little emotional thunderstorms quickly die down. If you need a way to keep your summer-born toddler occupied without getting frustrated, suggest that they sing a song or invent a dance while you're waiting in line. Leos were made for the spotlight!
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Earth signs are typically more patient than the rest of the zodiac, which is happy news for any mom of a Virgo toddler. This sign doesn't like to get into arguments, said YourTango, but they can be passive-aggressive, so your child might let you know they're tired of waiting by humming a little "I wish we could go home" song to themselves. Virgos thrive on order and neatness, according to ZodiacFire, so putting your little one to work sorting crayons or organizing the books on their shelf will help pass the time happily.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
The level-headed Libra has a laid-back temperament, said ZodiacFire, and they're not likely to start a fight with you over having to wait a few minutes longer to hear a story. Even the littlest Libras have an innate sense of fairness and justice (they're represented by scales, after all), so your child won't mind taking turns in Candy Land if you explain that their friends need a chance to play, too. But Libras can tend to be so concerned with making others happy that you might even need to remind your child to say no sometimes.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Your determined Scorpio child is actually more patient than you might think, according to ThoughtCatalog, but don't test their patience for too long, or else they'll lash out with that famous sting. A little Scorpion tends to be possessive about toys, said Mom365, which may be a problem during playdates. But Scorpios are also sensitive little guys, so appealing to their emotions will help: "You wouldn't like it if Jayden didn't share his cars, would you?" Trust and honesty are a major issue with this sign, added FutureScopes. If you've promised your Scorpio child a trip to the frozen-yogurt store, they'll be willing to wait till you're ready to go. But if you have to go back on that promise, tell them truthfully and explain why, or else your little one will take it as a betrayal.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Adventurous, independent, and bold, Sagittarians also don't like to be told that they can't do something, said AstroStyle. So as you can imagine, patience isn't their strong suit, especially since Archers also have no sense of time. Your little Sag just doesn't see why they can't just plunge ahead with an activity when they're ready. The key to success with your Sagittarius child is flexibility, suggested Building Beautiful Souls. Instead of making them wait to go to their favorite store until after the shopping is done, try switching around your schedule if you can.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
A Capricorn has one of the hardest work ethics of any of the zodiac signs, so a mom of a little Goat will be happy to know that their child will be patient as long as they know that there's a goal in sight. They'll not only understand that you need to finish vacuuming before you can play a game, they'll probably volunteer to help! Still, added Babycentre, Capricorns do need to learn flexibility, since they can be single-minded. Use the opposite approach with them that you might use with a Sagittarius child: "I know I said this morning that we had to finish the cleaning before we went to the park, but you've been so patient, and it's such a nice day... how about going now?"
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Intelligent, innovative, and energetic, little Aquarians can also be stubborn and absent-minded, according to Mom365. So when the situation calls for patience, your Water Bearer toddler may either forget that you told them to wait, or get pouty that they have to wait in the first place. They're a sensitive sign, so scolding will only make them tune out. Instead, distract your Aquarius by challenging their quick mind. Have a puzzle or a set of toddler locks and keys on hand to help extend their patience level.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Dreamy, empathetic, and artistic, Pisces children are often described as "old souls," said Kidspot. Whether or not they're patient depends on their mood at any given day; when they're feeling cooperative, expect smooth sailing; if they're cranky, they're usually beyond any cheering up. To help your little Fish keep their cool when patience is called for, tell them a fairy tale to spark their wonderful imagination. Pisces kids are also very visually oriented, according to PopSugar, so posting a daily schedule with photos in your child's room will help them understand the structure of the day and realize that snack time comes after their nap.