Has your child ever protested or refused to get ready to go when you tell him it is time to leave a friend’s house? This can be a very annoying – not to mention embarrassing – situation be in. When it happens, parents often don’t know how to respond.
The following tip can be useful in these situations: Manage your children’s frustrations by changing their mood while still insisting that they cooperate.
The first thing you can do to ease some of the tension is acknowledge your children’s frustration and disappointment. That doesn’t imply giving in, it simply means listening and mirroring back what your children are feeling.
Sometimes that’s all children need to hear in order to feel less frustrated and do what they are asked to do. In the above situation, you could say,“I see that you are having such a good time and you don’t want to leave yet.”
If that doesn’t do the trick, you can give your children their wishes in fantasy.
- “I bet you wish you could stay at Davey’s house all night!”
- “You wish you could stay forever. What do you think you would play if you didn’t have to leave? On our way home, let’s come up with a list.”
By trying to change the mood with a little listening and imagination, you help your children gain control over their emotions so that they can move on more easily and, in the end, be more cooperative.