"Please COME!"

The ongoing challenge of transitioning from one place to another. From the house to the car. Leaving a friend's house. Saying goodbye to the puzzles at the library. I give warnings, talk about what we'll do next, recommend obedience, warn again...

Finally it breaks down to "please come NOW!! Do you want to come all by yourself? or will I have to carry you??"

Fortunately, the idea of "you're too hot and need some water" broke through and I had a moderately compliant toddler all the way out to the car. At least he wasn't kicking and crying. Or performing his own rendition of a Limp Noodle.

I just read an interesting article in October's issue of "Parenting: Early Years" about this very topic.

Here are some phrases to whet your appetite:
"When you repeatedly call but your child doesn't show up until he's ready, you're actually teaching him to ignore you."

"A toddler can't tell time but will quickly catch on to your progression of heads-ups." [5 more minutes or 2 more trips down the slide]

"It helps to let your child know you understand his point of view: 'I bet you wish you could stay in this toy store forever, but it's time to go now. Hug the toy doggy one more time(!!). Now here are my keys to hold.' Warn, distract, have your way."

I wish I had remembered the toy car in my purse that I had said I would keep safe for him until we left the library. That might have been the perfect distraction...