Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Time to Leave

These are the words that cause Lauren to lose her mind.
At Grandma's house, at friends' houses, any family's houses, the park, the Play Place, and even the grocery store (from time to time).
We try and prepare her very far in advance - "would you like to leave now or in 15 minutes", we count down the minutes to leave starting at 10.
We stay as calm as possible, and sometimes end up carrying her out to the car.
I am at the end of my rope with this!
Today we were leaving a friend's house and she had the most epic tantrum ever - screaming at me, stomping her feet, crying.
Luckily, my friend is very well acquainted with this behavior and has seen it happen many times, so it was nothing new to her, which makes it slightly less embarrassing for me.
I'm just so tired of it.
So I'm asking you, moms who follow my blog, moms who are way more experienced than I am, moms who I have received awesome advice from in the past.
Have at it - let me know ANY suggestions you may have about what to do.
I've already exhausted every avenue we learned about in our Love & Logic class (which helped at first, but not anymore).
So please, I beg you, HELP ME!
The Holidays are here, which means a lot of parties, and a lot of leaving houses and places that are fun.
And I will be able to get a lot of practice with whatever genius suggestions you all give me :)


Carrie Medford said...

You've already mentioned my solution to the problem: the countdown. My only suggestion would be not to ask her if she wants to leave. Just make it an absolution. It will happen in 5 minutes. Period. But that probably won't work. It sounds like you already do that. I really think you and I should go to therapy together with our daughters. They are way too much alike.

Holly Strong said...

I so wish I had fabulous advice for you...but really just keep doing what you are doing, it WILL get better. Some of it is age and personality. Ady just had a "stomp foot" "stick out tongue" moment at McDonalds today and I HAD TO GET HER TO SCHOOL, which she loves. It was odd for her, but life. Try to stay calm and keep the count down tactic going, it will click and she will get better. HUGS!!!

The Byers Family said...

Part of it is age and part of it is definately that wonderfully stubborn personality she has (which I think in teen years you might be thankful for as she probably won't let peers pressure her too much, but you'll also be sick of for the same reasons you are now) with Lauren the choice thing seems to really work, try changing the choice, instead of asking now or 15 minutes say something like we will be leaving in 15 minutes, you can either come home with us like a good girl or you can have a fit and loose a (insert privlege here). That way she still comes home but when she gets home she might not be able to play with her favorite doll for the rest of the day or week or whatever. Try changing the choice and see what happens, and it might be she chooses to be a brat and loose the privledge, but it seems the choice thing works for the better with her. Time just doesn't seem quite tangible like a toy or movie would. Just a thought but not sure it'll work. GOOD LUCK!

Kiersti said...

Shara - that is a VERY good idea! I've tried giving her delayed consequences, like when we got home after the fit yesterday she said she wanted to take a nap in her princess dress and I said "oh no, little girls who throw fits and scream when their leaving somewhere don't get to wear their princess dresses to bed" which started another freak out, but I'm not sure she got the point. So I think it's a good idea to be up front with the consequence and see if that works!

Lindsay said...'s been awhile but we went through that too and I'm sure it's going to come back around. Peanut was the worst. Major sobbing.

Clay won't stand for it. I think that was a huge part of it. But when it was just little old me trying to juggle a sobbing screaming child and a carseat and a diaper bag, things are different.

I put everyone/thing else in the car & walked away from him without a word. When I came back, sometimes he was just done realizing he wasn't affecting what I was doing.

If he was still mid-fit, I would give him the choice of walking or being carried. (I tried out Love & Logic too.)This was THE choice. I let him know it was not up to him or up for debate when we leave or that we are going to leave. We are leaving & he can choose how he wants to do it. If the protest continued I'd pick the kicking kid up and buckle him in the car.

I find this is MOST difficult at grandparents' homes. They hate to see the kids cry. I don't mind a bit. If my kid is being a pill, we're going to deal with it. But grandparents tend to get right in there and coddle or bribe or whatever. Made me crazy. :) So if he acted like that, we made a point of NOT going to grandma's house for awhile & made sure he knew that it was because of his behavior. Sad for them, but really I couldn't take it.

If we're at the park for a picnic or something, I tell the kids they have 5 minutes left. I spend the 5 minutes packing up our stuff and then I come back and say it's time to go and then I GO. I don't even look back.

I have appauled many other park-going mom's many times by getting in my car, starting it, honking, and I start backing out if need be. They know I mean it. They see that I am going to leave and they come running, sometimes sobbing. I always park somewhere where they will be safe running to me. Like RIGHT next to the park sidewalk. Some people probably think I'm the devil, but whatever. I'm not going to stick around and have them negotiate, "just 5 more minutes" and all sorts of nonsense.

If I say something, I want my kids to listen. I believe it's for their safety and to learn respect. I started that when they were probably late 3. Otherwise they were picked up and put in the car. At 3, they got the choice to come.

This is the same for leaving the grocery store. I walk and if they want a ride, they better be following. My mom thinks this is the worst thing ever. But hey, it works for us! :)

Lindsay said...

So.......I just commented and the comment box REJECTED me for leaving a comment so huge!!! Wow, that's never happened before.

I'll come back when I feel like typing the whole thing out again or I'll just email you. :)

Jennie-O said...

I think you're doing the right thing already as well, but I like shara's idea of a specific privilege being lost. we don't have this particular problem with m but there are other things that she does and knows exactly which privilege she will loose (usually tv time). I think you've got it handled, it just sucks dealing with it everywhere. Sorry :(