This is us if my 2.5 yo gets even a little tired. It's so hard. Sometimes I remember to remind my DD that I know she can do it (exit peacefully). This seems to help her shift her focus from fighting me on getting in her stroller / from the fact that we are leaving, and helps her focus on the challenge of doing what I need her to do. So the act of leaving becomes less about what she is leaving behind and more about how she leaves it. Does that make sense? I say things like: ok, it's time to go. I know it's hard and you don't want to leave, but I think you can do it. I know you can do it! I think you can cooperate! Show me how you sit in your stroller. Great! I am so proud of you! I knew you could do it! That was great cooperation. You are really helping me by climbing into your stroller peacefully. Thank you! (Hugs, kisses, high fives like she scored a goal in the world cup).
I do sound crazy in public, but it sure beats the alternative.
When I don't show how irritated I am, this approach works like a charm. But sometimes I get frazzled and forget and then we have quite a scene on our hands. I think kids who do this tend to be pretty intense, driven, goal-oriented people, and so I decided to try to tap into that. DH is very intense and driven and he has noted that DD seems to have an extra gear. It is so challenging to channel this kind of energy positively, but I have to hope that somewhere down the line this extra gear will work to their advantage. Let's hope so!