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Getting 4 year old to leave without tantrum

(11 Posts)
nmd Mon 22-Jul-02 09:41:55

My 4 year old has recently decided to turn into a complete monster whenever it's time to leave a friend's house / park / wherever. She's always been pretty good even if she doesn't want to go, and I always give her plenty of warning - 10 minutes, 5 mins, start clearing all our stuff up etc. Last week at a farm she stripped off down to her pants and ran off, then after I'd dressed her she kept running off then coming back to taunt me "you can't do anything about it"!!! As I also have a 2.5 year old who I can hardly tether to a lamppost while I deal with dd1 I'm getting to the point where staying at home is just easier. Any suggestions please?

nmd Mon 22-Jul-02 09:43:03

I've also tried reminding her of things like ice cream after tea / her favourite toy is waiting for her / we can get the paddling pool out, but also to no avail.

shiv Mon 22-Jul-02 22:35:30

Hi nmd,
I'm afraid I have no advice but man do i know where you are coming from. my 4 year old ds has just starting to do the same thing. even though like you i tell him how long we are staying, and give him lots of warning beore we go we always have the same tantrum, tears, shouting etc. it is so wearing. he gets so upset, sobbing and carrying on, like you I have a 2yo as well and it's just easier to stay at home.

mears Tue 23-Jul-02 00:27:43

Try walking away as if you don't care. They soon come running after you.

tigermoth Tue 23-Jul-02 07:23:41

How trying for you, especailly as your children are both so young and you can't let either of them wander too far away.

Like Mears, I adopted the waving goodbye and walking away strategy. If you are in a safe place, not near roads, etc, could you try it, if you haven't already?

If I were you, after giving the 4 year old warnings about leaving, I'd then concentrate on getting the 2 year old ready to go. Tell your 4 year old that you are leaving the moment your 2 year old is in the pushchair etc.

Then say to the 4 year old, we're leaving now. If she refuses, wave goodbye, then start walking away slowly, not looking back. Takes nerves of steel! If I do this with my son, he usually comes running once he sees no negotiation is possible. Of course there are times when it doesn't. I have to time it, and look back now and again for safely's sake. But even if you do this, you can still keep walking. If my son is defiantly standing still, I wave good bye again, turn my back and continue walking. It's a matter of who cracks first, and once my son knows I mean business, he comes running.

I don't know if this would work for you - I first started doing this when my son was coming up to 5 years old. At that time I had no other children to worry about, so I was in an easier situation than you. I still use this tactic now I have a 2 year old. My older son is 8 years, but of course I do not have to watch out for him as much now.


Azzie Tue 23-Jul-02 10:52:08

I've got a 4yo and a 2yo too. Recently my ds (the 4yo) has taken to throwing himself theatrically to the ground and shrieking when I suggest it is time to go. I just calmly warn then walk off - seems to work (doesn't stop him whingeing, though). Funnily enough when we were on holiday dd decided to give this a go too - obviously she's been taking lessons from her brother! I did the warn and leave routine, and she suddenly switched off and trotted after me as good as gold, so they must have noticed that I mean what I say .

KMG Tue 23-Jul-02 18:15:09

I haven't had any experience of this .. one of the few things my two haven't done! They are now 3 and 5. But they do throw tantrums at other things. For me what works best at the moment, is discussing the situation BEFORE you go to the park, and say if you leave nicely at home time without the screaming habdabs, then ... fill in your current treat - video when you get home, sweets on the way, icecream for tea .. or whatever. Then remind them of this promise of a treat when you are giving them their five minute warning. If they don't cooperate, they don't get the treat.

Or you could try telling them we are going to the swingpark today, and if you leave nicely then I will take you again on Wednesday, but if you don't, we will have to stay home on Wednesday. But the important thing is to discuss it way beforehand, and repeat the threat/promise, so it is firmly in their head while they are still thinking/feeling rational about it all.

And of course don't forget to praise them like crazy if they ever do leave nicely!

Good luck! Don't forget to let us know how you get on, and what works for you.

tigermoth Wed 24-Jul-02 06:57:49

Just another general tantrum avoidance tactic that's worked with both my sons: I get them to say good bye to the thing or place we are leaving ie 'goodbye swings - see you agian soon'. This little ritual doesn't exactly cheer them up, but it does take the edge off an immiment explosion of anger.

nmd Thu 25-Jul-02 08:18:59

Thanks very much all. Will see if we can manage a more dignified departure from creche this morning!

nmd Thu 25-Jul-02 12:53:20

Unfortunately despite warnings & explanations both in advance and when it was time to go she still didn't want to come quietly so will be reminding her at length next week why we're not going. Let's hope it works soon cos I need my trips to the gym!!

Mammasweetpeapod Wed 24-Aug-16 12:14:55

Hi, I'm having the exact same experience as OP at the moment except mine are 2 and 6 months. Going anywhere is fine on leaving the 2yo transforms. I've tried leaving her and walking away but she just waves and says bye bye. I have rains but she just lies on the floor and I'm not dragging her home. If I pick her up i cant control her kicking and wriggling and the pram too. I really feel like a recluse and bad mum as I feel like I can't go anywhere by myself and the kids and it's not fair and any of us.

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