You should NEVER threaten to leave your child behind during a tantrum, claim experts

We’ve all experienced this – a child who refuses to leave the shopping centre or playground.

It’s terribly frustrating, but as tempting as it is to threaten to go without them, some parenting experts say should never threaten to do this.

Here’s why….

You should NEVER threaten to leave your child behind during a tantrum, claim experts

Experts reveal why you should never threaten to leave your child during a tantrum

Eight out of ten parents are EMBARRASSED by their toddler’s public TANTRUMS, survey finds

In a Facebook post, Big Little Feelings authors Kristin and Deena writes, “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? (Real talk, even WE have been guilty of this in a pushed-to-our-limits moment).

“‘Okay, I’m leaving!’ → toddler still playing, ignoring parent →’Okay, I mean it, I’m leaving now’ – starts walking away → toddler still plays, looking up from time to time → ‘Okay BYYYE!’ → toddler shrill screams, NOO!!! And sobs, running towards parent.⁠”

Kristin and Deena explain that when we tell our kids we are leaving we are saying their feelings don’t matter and there’s a change you might leave for real one day.

“Leaving the park – or somewhere fun – is TRIGGER-ZONE-CITY for toddlers. They don’t want to leave the park, they feel sad, and they want to STAY,” they add.

“When we tell our kids “I’m LEAVING YOU BYE!” we’re accidentally telling them: Your feelings about wanting to stay don’t matter, I’m leaving now, get over it. And, there’s a chance I might leave you for real one day.⁠ This is pretty scary for their little brains.⁠”

You should NEVER threaten to leave your child behind during a tantrum, claim experts

So how can you get your child to leave the park?

  1. Acknowledge they are having fun and you understand it’s difficult to leave
  2. Tell them it’s time to go home now and be firm but kind
  3. Ask them to think of something fun they can do when go back home

“The key is: Boundaries. Don’t wait until we’re in full meltdown mode,” the authors add.

“After the first 2 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.”

”And yes, they may be VERY upset at this boundary. It’s ok for them to be upset. We’re okay with that feeling.

“But we’re keeping their emotional (and physical) security in tact, while showing them that it is time to go home now. No fear involved.”

8 out of 10 parents are EMBARRASSED by their toddler’s public TANTRUMS

4 proven ways to stop your child’s tantrums getting out of control

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