Today was yet another outing with a crappy ending. We struggled through the summer with this. My 2 older kids just turned 8 and will be 6 in January. Older one is a boy, 2nd a girl if that makes much difference.
This is not the first time I've dealt with this situation, and both of the older ones have done similar things. I don't have issues if the ending isn't sudden and it's just us, we do have issues if I need to have them be not the last ones to leave somewhere.
Today, we were at a park. The older 2 kids started an argument. There was screaming and name-calling going on. I had just started nursing their brother on a park bench. I called the kids over. Initially, neither one responded. After about a minute, my daughter came over. (What was being screamed was that she'd pulled down her brother's pants. I did not see it and did not get to hear from them, but what I guess happened is she didn't want him to take a turn on the sliding thing they hang from (no idea what it's called, it slides across, they hang from it and wiggle to move it.) and she must have tried to grab it or grabbed onto him and accidentally caused his pants to fall down.
My daughter said "What, Mom?" because I called her to me. I thanked her for coming to me when she was called.
Before I could say anything else, my son started screaming about how his sister is lying, don't listen to anything she says...
Remember, he is refusing to come close enough for me to *talk* rather than scream.
This is not the first outing where something like this has happened. We have talked about appropriate behavior before we go out. I say that I need them to come so I can talk and not yell. They at least *claim* to understand that what is going on with us needs to not cause a scene in a public place--screaming, name-calling, tantrum behavior, not allowed.
So, since I can't listen to my daughter through my son's screaming, and he is refusing to come and talk to me so that we can handle this without everyone at the park hearing it, I decided it was time to go home.
My little boys, ages almost 4 and 22 months, got into the van. My daughter took a minute or so, but she got in. My son yelled that he was not leaving and ran to the equipment.
I tried to follow and even tried to grab for a carry to the van. Missed. He ran. I opted to stop following him farther from the van.
When I went back to his siblings, he chose to hide. I opted for a trick that worked a couple of years ago--I actually drove away. (Away in this case being still in the same lot, in view of the playground the entire time.) Not proud of this move, but I had 3 other kids who so far were being patient and wonderful. And I haven't used this move for probably 3 years--when the 2 older ones ran different directions and I had the baby too. It involved starting to move the car a few feet, then they'd run and get in.
Well, today, it just ticked him off that much more.
Long story---stopped here---about 10 more minutes or so of sitting and pouting and finally a truce that involved letting him sit in the front seat so he didn't have to sit by his sister and we're finally driving home.
WHY?! We had this problem this summer. Also, we have a friend where a couple of times, we've gotten ready to leave, with plenty of warning but maybe the visit was shorter than he would've liked, and he pulled hiding in her house or in the playground across the street to stay. It was to the point that the friend and I agreed that maybe I should come next time with the other kids and not him--and this is another very MDC kind of mom. It just seemed like a natural consequence.
Seems like 7 closer to 8 than 6 should be old enough to realize that time to leave is time to leave. Should be old enough to realize you are coming to a park again. Should be old enough to realize--especially since we've talked about it because it's a recurring (but not CONSTANT) problem that invitations to someone's house are for the time they say they are and if you do not leave when they need your visit to be over, you might not be invited back.
Today was a Wed. They get out of school 2 hours earlier on Wed. We usually do a special outing. Today, I told them if they want that to continue rather than sitting quietly at home because Dad (who works overnights) is still asleep, then they HAVE TO come and listen when I say. They do not have to be happy about leaving, but they need to come to the van and buckle up. I told the 2 bigger ones if they can't listen and come with me when I say let's go, then we will have to save outings for when their dad or another adult wants to come along. I explained that I might need them to do this for an emergency reason, that I'll tell them when they get to the van, but their job is to DO IT.
I don't want to take away Wed. outings. I love it as a time to connect and do something special with them. And I think they NEED that. I think that's part of oldest DS's issue--there's also some stuff I posted on the Learning at School board.
What would you do? (today the enticement of ice cream didn't even really work. Not a bribe with food--it was about afternoon snacktime, and I agreed with one of the kids that they could have ice cream when we got home.)