Why you should NEVER threaten to leave your child behind when they're refusing to go home from the park or playgroundTwo child therapi
Why you should NEVER threaten to leave your child behind when they’re refusing to go home from the park or playground
- Two child therapists have revealed why you shouldn’t threaten to leave a child
- When they are having fun, you shouldn’t tell them that you are heading off
- Instead, you need to follow a four-step process that means they feel secure
- Kristin and Deena shared their exact four-step process for successful parenting
Child therapists have revealed why you should never threaten to leave your child behind when they are refusing to leave a venue, and the four-step process you should use instead.
Kristin and Deena, from the US, are the brains behind the Big Little Feelings parenting guide, and they share solutions to common baby, child and toddler problems.
In their latest tip, the mothers revealed why you shouldn’t tell your son or daughter you’ll leave them behind at the park or somewhere else fun, as this is ‘trigger zone city’ for children.
Child therapists revealed why you should never threaten to leave your child behind when they are refusing to leave a venue, and the four-step process you should use instead (Kristin and Deena pictured from Big Little Feeling)
Kristin and Deena posted on Facebook: ‘You’re on a walk with your toddler. You need to get dinner on, the baby is screaming and your toddler is walking backwards while looking for worms, despite asking him to get in the stroller many times.
‘How many times have we heard (or done) this at the playground?’ they wrote.
The mothers explained that when you say ‘Okay, I’m leaving’ and then they ignore you and you keep threatening saying ‘Okay, I mean it, I’m leaving now’, before they start sobbing and running towards you, this is ‘triggering’ for a child.
‘They don’t want to leave the park, they feel sad, and they want to stay,’ they wrote.
‘When we tell our kids “I’m leaving you, bye”, we are accidentally telling them: Your feelings about wanting to stay don’t matter, I’m leaving now, get over it,’ the therapists said.
‘And, [it’s like saying] there’s a chance I might leave you for real one day. This is pretty scary for their little brains.’
The four-step process to get kids to leave somewhere fun
STEP ONE: SEE THEM – Say ‘You’re having so much fun’.
STEP TWO: OKAY THEIR FEELINGS – Say ‘It’s hard to leave when you’re having fun’.
STEP THREE: HOLD THE BOUNDARY – Say ‘It’s time to go home’.
STEP FOUR: ORIENT TOWARDS THE FUN – Mention a fun thing you could do together once you both get home.
Source: Big Little Feelings
They said telling a child they need to leave somewhere is ‘triggering’ as it makes them think you might abandon them one day too (stock image)
Instead of doing this, the pair said you need a ‘plan’ or four-step process to get them to leave the park or any fun activity.
To do this, you need to first of all ‘see them’ by saying something like ‘You’re having so much fun’.
Following this, you should ‘okay their feelings’ by saying ‘it’s hard to leave when you’re having fun’.
Step three is ‘holding the boundary’, which is when you say ‘it’s time to go home’.
Finally, ‘orient towards the fun’ by mentioning something fun you could do together once you’re all home.
The reason why this works so well is because of boundaries.
‘Don’t wait until they’re in full meltdown mode,’ the experts said.
‘After the first two warnings, firmly, confidently hold the boundary by gently removing your toddler and helping them home. It sounds like this: “Leaving IS very hard. I’m going to help you now”.’
While this might upset them, by doing this, you are keeping their ’emotional and physical security in tact, while showing them it’s time to go home now’ – without any fear involved.
Thousands of parents who saw the simple trick were impressed and said they would definitely try to stop with the empty threat on their kids.
‘I feel bad, I do this daily with my kids,’ one mum posted.
Others said it’s a nice idea on paper’, but they might struggle to implement it with their ‘sassy toddler’ in action.