Hey guys! Here's another toddler-mom question:
Q: I’m a single mom, age 31. My son will be 2 soon. Every time I try to leave or tell my son it’s time to go he starts throwing a fit. I usually end up picking him up and having to carry him out of where ever we are at. How can I get this under control?
A: Give him a two minute warning to let him know a transition is coming up. Simply say, "Two minutes, and we have to leave." Then at one minute, give him a one minute warning. When time is up, it's up. You will still have to carry him out sometimes - it's just difficult for toddlers to transition. But be absolutely consistent - always leave when you say. And do not go more than two minutes, or he'll get the wrong idea of what "two minutes" actually is. Eventually, all you have to say is "two minutes" and he'll know exactly what you mean and be cooperative. My kids are older now, and I still give them a two to five minute heads up - it just creates an environment of respect and lets kids know what to expect and how to behave.
Chapter Four of Life with Toddlers is devoted to things you can do to promote positive behavior and increase cooperation with those daily difficulties - and transition is one of them!
Stay consistent! It is so hard with the little guys, but they need it - it gives them security and control.
Best of luck to you!