Does the child have a bike of her own?
If ds wanted to "ride the bike to the car as we were leaving the park", I would engage and connect with what he LOVED about the bike!
'You really like this bike because it is purple and has a basket?!' 'Oh, it is a big girl bike and has dangle-y things in the handle bars! Wow! That looks so fun! You'd really like to ride the bike?! Hmmm...we don't know whose bike it is. What if we get a snack from the car and then ask around to see whose bike it is? Maybe you could have a little ride on it before we go. Or do you want to stop on the way home and get some ice cream and ride your
bike? Oh, do you think we could buy a basket for your bike, when we run errands on Saturday? You'd like that. Ok. I don't see whose bike it is. I don't believe they'd mind if you ride it right here back and forth a bit. Wow, that is a fun bike! Hop off and let's look at it again. Do you want to take a picture of the bike with you on it? Ok, let's do that. Well, let's go race to the car and you can ride your bike some more when we get home.' (obviously, not exactly those words, but the *intent* is to SHARE THE JOY!)
If ds's distress is just too far gone (HALT), that any talking just makes everything worse, I would SIT DOWN and offer to hold ds while he experiences his big emotions. I have sat down in the Walmart, at the store, and at the park on several different occasions, just as I do at home. I give him my undivided attention and support as he moves through the emotions with me
, rather than against me. This works for us *connect*, so that he is not flailing through his emotions unanchored.
I am reminded of one of the first lessons about scuba diving, "there is nothing at the surface that you do not have right here (air tank)". This allows me to realize that *leaving* a situation isn't necessary. Just BE together, right here. That helps us work through things together
, rather than ds trying to get me to stay, and me trying to leave. The energy is flowing in the same direction, when I meet him where he is.
The challenge was for me to learn to be calm in the face of his physicality, since I have a lot of childhood triggers to being hit. Just helping to block or move back from any striking out, prevents me from being hit, and helps to de-escalate ds when I offer "I want to help, what do you need?"
This provides an opportunity to use language to meet needs, instead of the physicality that many young children default to when stressed and overwhelmed with their emotions. Hitting is not necessary, when we are working together.
Here is another thread that addresses how to help children with their Big Emotions. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=723411