ALL parents will know the frustration that comes with a child who’s refusing to leave the playground.
And as tempting as it might be to threaten to leave them behind, experts have revealed why you should never do this.
Kristin and Deena, who wrote the Big Little Feelings parenting guidebook, claim that threatening to abandon your kids is “trigger zone city.”
In a new Facebook post, they wrote: “You're on a walk with your toddler.
“You need to get dinner on, the baby is screaming and your toddler is walking backwards while looking for worms, despite asking him to get in the stroller many times.
“How many times have we heard (or done) this at the playground? (Real talk, even WE have been guilty of this in a pushed-to-our-limits moment)🙋🏼♀️🙋🏻♀️
“‘Okay, I’m leaving!’ → toddler still playing, ignoring parent →’Okay, I mean it, I’m leaving now’ – starts walking away → toddler still plays, looking up from time to time → ‘Okay BYYYE!’ → toddler shrill screams, NOO!!! And sobs, running towards parent.
“Leaving the park – or somewhere fun – is TRIGGER-ZONE-CITY for toddlers.🌪 They don’t want to leave the park, they feel sad, and they want to STAY. 🚨
“When we tell our kids “I’m LEAVING YOU BYE!” we’re accidentally telling them: Your feelings about wanting to stay don’t matter, I’m leaving now, get over it. And, there's a chance I might leave you for real one day. 🤯 This is pretty scary for their little brains.”
The mums go on to list the four things you should do when you’re trying to get everyone home in four easy steps.
Begin by acknowledging the fact that they’re having so much fun, then tell them you understand that it’s difficult to leave.
The third step is to hold the boundary, telling them firmly that it is time to go home, before asking them to think up something fun they can do when they get back.
The mums add: “The key is: Boundaries. Don’t wait until we’re in full meltdown mode. After the first 2 warnings, firmly, confidently hold the boundary by gently removing your toddler and helping them home. It sounds like this: "Leaving IS very hard. I'm going to help you now."