What are some suggestions for helping young children (2-3 Years) make a transition from playing at the park or other play group or activity to getting into the car or stroller?


Dear Frustrated,

Be sure to let your girls know the day’s itinerary and time frames so they will know what to expect and how the transitions are going to look. Once you’ve decided on the schedule and procedure, practice at home. Turn the role playing into a fun game and do it several times a day for a few days until everyone has got it. My suggestions: Use a timer to designate when it’s time to leave. Make a game of getting to the car/stroller, “I’ll meet you at the drinking fountain!” Get there in phases so you can “meet” them at several designated landmarks each time. Use the same landmarks each time too and instigate the “one hand on the landmark and wait until I get there” rule. Hold their hands if they don’t follow the rule of waiting. If they start whining take a “whining break”, where everyone, you included, sits down and whines for several minutes, Set the timer for that too, the whiner can decide how many minutes she needs, and try to go the distance, it’s funnier. Once everyone is laughing again, off you go till the next landmark. Before you know it you are in the car. Try to let your girls walk whenever possible since strollers at their age are a set up for power struggles unless they really want to be in it.