We can't leave the park without a tantrum... - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > We can't leave the park without a tantrum...
GISDiva's Avatar GISDiva 04:18 PM 05-10-2010
Maybe I just need someone to tell me he'll grow out of it. Lately, we can't leave the playground without a giant tantrum that lasts for the whole walk home and often then some. I do give him warnings, but I try not to give too many either so as to not water down their meaning, you know?

He leaves day care (which he adores) every day just fine if I just spend a few minutes there so he can "finish up" whatever fun thing he was doing. Then he has to say "Bye Friends" and "Bye Sandbox", etc and everything's fine when we leave. I've tried using the same routine at the park, but that only worked a few times, now there's just screaming and crying.

In the end, we always do leave when I say we're going to leave, so I guess at least I'm being consistent. *sigh*

In short, he's 2 years old. Enough said I guess. LOL! Thanks for letting me commiserate...

btallen's Avatar btallen 05:21 PM 05-10-2010
DS does the same thing. I have a few things that work some, but not all, of the time...

1. I tell him it's almost time to go and he can do X for X more times. So, if he's sliding, "DS, it's almost time to go! You can slide 2 more times, then we have to leave." I then count each time he slides.
2. Sometimes if he's just playing and not doing anything specific, I give him a number of minutes before we have to leave and then count down. When "time's up" we leave. Normally, I do 5 minutes and count down. And since he's 2 and doesn't really know what a minute is, it doesn't matter if your time is exact!
3. Bribery and re-direction! "Hey, why don't we go home and do X?!" Of course, you have to follow-through, so don't make it something too extravagant.

Of course, there are many times that I have the screaming kid doing the limp fish, laying in the parking lot on the way to the car.
elmh23's Avatar elmh23 05:31 PM 05-10-2010
It's normal. My dd used to have horrific meltdowns when leaving playgroup (kicking, screaming, hitting) and now my ds is doing it too.

For awhile I did the "slide 2 more times" but ds figured out that if he didn't slide anymore then we wouldn't have to go (at least in his mind) so I started doing the 10 minute warning, 5 minute warning, 2 minute warning and 5 second warning. He still flipps out, but at least he can't figure out a way to get out of it.

And in the end, I just pick them up and take them to the car. I stopped walking to the park (1 mile away) without dh when dd was 2ish because of this. It's a lot easier on me to just strap them in the car rather than dragging their limp body all the way home. ETA: A great way of preventing the kid getting out of your arms while getting them to the car is to hold them under their crotch with one arm (going back to front) and have your other arm over their shoulder. If needed, you can lock your arms together and it makes it very difficult for them to kick or hit or bite you and it doesn't strain your back either
ellemenope's Avatar ellemenope 06:24 PM 05-10-2010
I try to not to go to the playground with set time I need to leave by. I understand a lot of people have chaotic schedules, older siblings to pick up, etc.

Well, then maybe it is better to just skip the park than trying to squeeze in 15minutes of playground in.

I spend a lot of time at the park because we live in the city (no backyard). I see all to often parents stop by the playground for 15 minutes and think they can just call their kids off the equipment after a couple warnings.

The kids just got into a rythm of play and now they are screaming and crying on their way to wherever. Was all that really worth it?

I like to go to the park in the evenings after dinner. I let my DD know we can go home and play whenever she wants. But, when the sun goes down.. Well, you can't argue with the sun. It's time to go.

Many many many time she has come up to me after an hour of play and asked to go home. Go figure. Kids cannot play on the playground forever.
elmh23's Avatar elmh23 06:27 PM 05-10-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemenope View Post
I try to not to go to the playground with set time I need to leave by. I understand a lot of people have chaotic schedules, older siblings to pick up, etc.

Well, then maybe it is better to just skip the park than trying to squeeze in 15minutes of playground in.

I spend a lot of time at the park because we live in the city (no backyard). I see all to often parents stop by the playground for 15 minutes and think they can just call their kids off the equipment after a couple warnings.

The kids just got into a rythm of play and now they are screaming and crying on their way to wherever. Was all that really worth it?

I like to go to the park in the evenings after dinner. I let my DD know we can go home and play whenever she wants. But, when the sun goes down.. Well, you can't argue with the sun. It's time to go.

Many many many time she has come up to me after an hour of play and asked to go home. Go figure. Kids cannot play on the playground forever.
True, but my kids still have issues leaving when we've been there for hours and we need to go home because we ran out of the 5 jugs of water we brought. It doesn't seem to matter how long we're there for the most part.
lunarlady's Avatar lunarlady 08:52 PM 05-10-2010
I do the countdown thing also -- 5 minutes, 2 minutes, time for one more thing at the park, time to go. I also try to make it really clear about WHY we have to leave the park -- it's dinner time, mommy has to go potty, daddy's home waiting for us, etc. That helps somewhat, but othertimes I just have to draw a line and deal with the pouting, crying child on the way home. The "I love you, but I'm leaving, bye, bye..." works well too, but I really hate using that.
springmum's Avatar springmum 09:34 PM 05-10-2010
We do all of the above, as well as make sure we plan to go at a time he's not overtired, hungry etc.

I find that what I use more often is the distraction (after counting down/giving warning too)

"Let's go see how many dandelions we can get" or
"Let's see if there is a motorcycle, garbage truck, bobcat (or insert favourite animal/vehicle/task)" or
"let's walk home like an elephant, on our tiptoes etc."
Since our park has a long path before we get to the road, I find letting him walk, help push the stroller, race with me, look for rocks is all good motivation.

I find that "say goodbye to the slides/park/friends" actually seems to help bring closure for my 2 year old DS....sometimes.

It's hit & miss sometimes, but more often than not we are able to leave without too major a meltdown using one of the above. (shh.. I hope I didn't just jinx it!)
crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 09:55 PM 05-10-2010
DS hates leaving the playground and hates especially coming into the house after playing outside!!

I try to let him know a minute or two before we leave, "OK last time down the slide" or "You can play in the sand for another minute and then we have to leave" (he's only 15mos so I try to not make it more than a minute or 2).

Then I say "OK, say bye-bye to the playground!! BYE-BYE PLAYGROUND! We'll be back soon!! BYE-BYE FRIENDS!"

Then (we always drive because it's too far to walk) I put him in the car & sing a silly song about riding in the car, and hand him a toy for the ride home. Or, if we're coming in from the yard, I make a big deal out of taking his socks & shoes off (he loves taking them off) and then grab a book (another favorite activity)... In the process I also let him know that I understand why he's upset ("Yes, I know you love the playground and didn't want to leave, we'll go back tomorrow OK?")

So I guess what I'm getting at is, Warn-Say Goodbye-Acknowledge-Distract. And just do it every time, don't act ambivalent or wishy-washy, just get right into the next activity (whether it's walking home or whatever) with exuberance and make that just as fun as the playground. It works pretty well for DS and he's had very few meltdowns since I started doing that.
blizzard_babe's Avatar blizzard_babe 10:02 PM 05-10-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by btallen View Post
Of course, there are many times that I have the screaming kid doing the limp fish, laying in the parking lot on the way to the car.
Yup, I can be as proactive as humanly possible, and a good percentage of the time, I'm that mom with that kid. Oh well. This too shall pass.
gradstudentmommy's Avatar gradstudentmommy 10:45 PM 05-10-2010
I couldn't read this without responding. My DD just turned 3 and just the other day I was marveling at how wonderful it is to be able to leave the park without a tantrum. Up until age 2 or 2 1/2 she had a tantrum when it was time to leave no matter how many warnings or explanations we gave. It was EXHAUSTING. It will get better, hang in there!
SallyN's Avatar SallyN 01:30 AM 05-11-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradstudentmommy View Post
I couldn't read this without responding. My DD just turned 3 and just the other day I was marveling at how wonderful it is to be able to leave the park without a tantrum. Up until age 2 or 2 1/2 she had a tantrum when it was time to leave no matter how many warnings or explanations we gave. It was EXHAUSTING. It will get better, hang in there!
I'm sorry to burst your bubble. It'll get better, and then it'll get bad again. (normal developmental cycles of equilibrium/disequilibrium) So savor the easy months now, lol!

My 3.5 yr old has been doing this. Giving time count downs doesn't work. Giving activity count downs doesn't work (2 more slides, 1 more *thing*.) What *has* worked has been a) everyone leaving the playdate at the same time, or b) directing her in the preparing to leave process (so it's not so abrupt... okay your minute is up now we're walking out the door!) or c) focusing on what we're doing next (so the fun play is being replaced with something else as opposed to a gaping chasm of unknown boredom.)
GISDiva's Avatar GISDiva 12:59 PM 05-11-2010
Sometimes it helps just to know it's normal...thank you all for the good ideas too!
ellairiesmom's Avatar ellairiesmom 02:29 PM 05-11-2010
Yup. We can't seem to end anything without a tantrum these days. DD1 is 2.5. I also can't seem to be able to say no to anything without a tantrum.

I try all of the above including bribery. Unfortunately, bribery has the best outcome for us. I buy these all fruit ice pops & that has been a winner lately.

Of course, we get home, I give her the ice pop if she remembers & then she throws a tantrum when I won't let her have another one.

2.5 has been SO MUCH FUN!! LOL!!!
mizznicole's Avatar mizznicole 05:56 PM 05-11-2010
Bribes. Sorry to say it. But it's better than total meltdown. It's usually stuff like, let's go home and get a drink/eat something.
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