The dreaded words, 'it's time to go' don't have to be so catastrophic and this parent coach has one simple way to deal with it.
Kids throwing tantrums can prove to be quite troublesome for parents in public places. Though resistance is a natural part of a kid's behavior when asked to do something they don’t want to do, there are more decent ways to deal with it. Parents can adopt several methods to deal with these emotional outbursts. Parent coach, Dr. Chelsea Hauge Zavaleta—who goes by @drchelsey_parenting on TikTok—shared a simple trick to making your and your child’s life easier.
Dr. Zavaleta shared a video of a dad trying to get his kids out of “play time” by saying, “We’re gonna leave in five minutes.” Zavaleta responded to the video saying, "This is gonna end in a meltdown.” She went on to explain that due to different perspectives in the adult and child brain, there is bound to be a clash in opinion which results in tantrums. Zavaleta went on to use the example of the dad in the video and said, “This dad is future-oriented. He’s focusing on what’s gonna come next,” elaborating on his message of leaving in 5 minutes. She then explained the “clash” saying that the child’s brain, on the contrary, is focusing on the present.
Zavaleta then said, “You have to focus on transitioning from a child’s preferred activity to the less preferred activity. You’ve got to work with your child’s brain, not against it.” She then gave a simple trick to ace the same. Simply rephrase the statement commonly used. “Instead of saying 5 more minutes till we leave, say five more minutes to play.” She then said, “I want you to join your child in playing, especially in the last few minutes.” Zavaleta went back to the dad video reference and explained that though the dad did give the kids time, he didn’t shift his perspective or words to that of his kids.
Further explaining why this needs to be done, Zavaleta said, “Until you deliver the information in a way that matches their experience of the world, it's going to be tricky.” She also picked one plus point from the dad’s video. That was having extra time to stay in case your child doesn’t listen. “Set yourself up that way,” she said. Next, she mentioned the whole idea of a negotiator. The child who will bargain in every possible way to stay. “Because I know that one child is the negotiator, I will be firm with my timing,” she said.
A few ways to deal with the “negotiator” were also mentioned in the video. She mentioned having a certain way of giving directions using a melodic intonation. For example, a tune, or sing-song and even illustrated the same. Zavaleta said that these directions can be given as per your child’s age using the tune of a theme song or something popular and so on. She also suggested being close to your child while giving directions. She said that proximity matters and arm-length or a little closer is preferable and can grab a better grasp on your child’s attention.
Zavaleta concluded the video by highlighting the two major points being matching your child’s perception and position. The fellow parents in the comments section thanked the parent coach for her wonderfully sensible suggestions. @the9thwasmine said, “We go, ‘It’s almost time for us to leave. How much more time do you need to finish playing?’ Works for us!” @hypepersona said, “5 more minutes to play worked for my kids. They need to plan the last thing they need to do and 5 works.”