@lil_spitfire: As I arrived at the playground with my daughter, the truck parked at the curb roared to life. Immediately I saw three kids running and jumping off of the play equipment, heading over to the truck. They climbed in, the dad behind the wheel helped them buckle up and drove away. There wasn’t a moment’s hesitation once they heard that truck start up.
All I can say is Wow.
Athol: When the girls were little we had a very simple rule for taking them out somewhere fun like the park.
“If you cannot leave happy, I’m not bringing you back here.”
The rationale is quite simple, if this places make you cry, I’m a monster for bringing you here and making you cry. I’m not going to be a monster.
Some other parental tips and tricks….
(1) Copious trips to the park and playgrounds, i.e. we really will be back. (It’s free entertainment, but you don’t know that lolz.)
(2) “There is no X until Y”, i.e. Please clean up the toys and then we can go to the park.
(3) Catching them when they are being good, i.e. Thank you for being good girls, yes we can have an ice cream from the truck.
(4) The Faux Sense of Control Choice, i.e. You can be mad and we stay home, OR you can be a good girl and we can go to the park. Either way I win, so I don’t care which you choose. The kid gets a sense of self-control mattering.
(5) Speak like a Klingon to toddlers. Alpha dominance, coupled with stripping away all the excess verbiage. Toddlers have limited language skills and you can overwhelm the message by too many words. Just limit the words to directives firmly spoken. Anglo-Saxon words are best.
Nap. Now. Quiet.
Dinner. Go. Table.
Shoes. Coat. Get Ready.
Carry to Car.
(6) Invent a older sibling that you killed shortly before they were born for their insubordination. i.e. “That’s how your brother died.”
It’s important to smile bigger and bigger and finally laugh with that last one and get them to know for sure it’s a joke. If they start to cry though, tell them their mother dropped them when they were a baby, so you’re actually the #1 parental option.