Avoid tantrums at the park

Avoid tantrums at the park

This works 👇

Preschoolers don’t understand time. “5 more minutes” means nothing when you have no concept of a minute, so no wonder kids get frustrated when suddenly they’re pulled from the park. The 5 minute warning meant nothing.

We can make it CONCRETE and easier to understand when we tell them what they CAN do. Personally I love to say “one last play” - this can mean one more go on the monkey bars, one last bit of swinging, one more round of the obstacle course. When it’s nearly time to leave I say “we have time for one last play before we head home to (insert something fun and motivating here), what are you going to choose?”.

With practice and consistency, my kids have learned to choose wisely and do one last thing.

They often will. Mine do too. It’s fair enough - again with zero understanding of time, kids haven’t a clue why we’d have to leave the funnest place ever. They’re allowed to feel sad. We can:
⭐️ acknowledge their feelings. “You really want to stay at the park, it’s so fun here.
⭐️ hold the boundary kindly. “We have to (next step) now”.
⭐️Support them to leave. Gently place a hand on their back to steer them or pick them up.
⭐️ Talk with interest and intrigue about the next steps. “I WONDER what free fruit they’ll have at the shops today. You might choose an apple”
“Shall we skip or jump to the car? Let’s have a race.”
“Oh my GOODNESS I’ve forgotten how to drive!! Can you hop in the drivers seat and show me how the wheel works?!”.

Transitions between activities are HARD for kids so you’re not failing if your child is losing it. They’re allowed to feel feelings. Remember that play is their language, so if we can support them to the next step with play, things will often be more successful.

Have you tried this? Let me know in the comments and share this one with a fellow parent.

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