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623ldn 

My toddler is so happy when he gets to visit all kinds of places (especially as spring is here). Problem is when we have to leave! Instant breakdown! Any good ways to ease the transition? (We often go to parks/playgrounds/etc)

TOP RESPONSE
Let's Ask Livvy 
Giving a clear warning is important and sticking to what you have said is key, as this gives a clear message and a clear boundary. Be careful not to shift your boundaries due to his tantrum - if you say 5 mins, but when 5 mins is up and it's time to go he tantrums and you say ok 2 more mins- he learns that leaving is up for negotiation. I agree with Mike Tantrum giving a choices can be really helpful as it can make the child feel more in control. If you do negotiate try not to negotiate up- e.g. Say we will be leaving in 5 mins, the child says no 10 mins, I would say ok 4 mins, they may say 8 mins, I say 3 and then they will settle on 5 thinking they have made the choice but you're leaving when you wanted to anyway! I also agree with Itstime Kids that making leaving not a bad thing i.e. This has been so fun, let's make a plan to come back - can also help to diffuse possible meltdowns. Hope this helps - this is a very common issue you are certainly not alone- get in touch if more specific strategies would help x
ALL RESPONSES
Mike Tantrum 
Hi there. My brother and sister-in-law used such a simple but effective technique with my nephew. The problem was that suddenly leaving a place would cause tears, so they let him know in advance that they would soon be leaving. The genius part, however, was to make HIM choose the time. They'd say things like "We can leave now or in two minutes". He would always choose 2 minutes (of course!) but then when it came time to leave they'd remind him that leaving in 2 minutes was HIS choice. No meltdown. Genius.
Jason Rohlfing 
Agree 100% with Mike's response. Giving options and allowing your child to feel in control is key. If this is an activity that they can do again I always ask the question, "would you like to come back again?" Also, I always give my kiddo the chance to express their feelings; "say goodbye and I'll miss you to the park and tell it we will be back soon". Finally, let them know what is going to happen next, "are you hungry, now we get to go eat lunch!" These steps help them mentally transition away from what they are doing. Setting a timer can also be extremely helpful tool. However, this is much easier for things that happen around the house (start getting ready for bed in 5 minutes....)
Mike Tantrum 
Great tip about getting them to express their feelings, ItsTime Kids. Letting them know that it's not going to be the last time they ever go somewhere fun!!
Let's Ask Livvy 
Giving a clear warning is important and sticking to what you have said is key, as this gives a clear message and a clear boundary. Be careful not to shift your boundaries due to his tantrum - if you say 5 mins, but when 5 mins is up and it's time to go he tantrums and you say ok 2 more mins- he learns that leaving is up for negotiation. I agree with Mike Tantrum giving a choices can be really helpful as it can make the child feel more in control. If you do negotiate try not to negotiate up- e.g. Say we will be leaving in 5 mins, the child says no 10 mins, I would say ok 4 mins, they may say 8 mins, I say 3 and then they will settle on 5 thinking they have made the choice but you're leaving when you wanted to anyway! I also agree with Itstime Kids that making leaving not a bad thing i.e. This has been so fun, let's make a plan to come back - can also help to diffuse possible meltdowns. Hope this helps - this is a very common issue you are certainly not alone- get in touch if more specific strategies would help x
Mike Tantrum 
Ha! Master negotiating tactic there, Livvy. I can just imagine the smug look on a kid's face when they settle on 5min thinking they've beaten you, and the equally smug look on my own face for actually winning. At least before I start to have doubts about who really controlled whom...
GorgeousGeorgesMama 
I always find getting my two year old to say bye to whatever or wherever we are helps. I give him a running commentary of what we are doing with warning of when we are shortly due to leave. Then when we leave we say "Bye Park/hot dog car/animals at the zoo/toys/shop lady". Seems to work. Gives him an ending to the last task and a reason to move on.

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