- Make sure you have explained clearly to your child why it is important to leave at a particular time;
- Whenever possible, tell your child at least 5 or 10 minutes before it is time to leave that they will need to stop what they are doing, and how long they have left;
- Remind your child what the expected behavior will be when it is time to go (e.g., “when it’s time to go, you need to stop what you’re doing and come along without an argument”);
- Validate your child’s feelings about leaving while reinforcing the actions that you will take (“I know you are having fun and are disappointed/angry/sad that we have to leave, but that doesn’t change the fact that we will be leaving in five minutes”);
- And when it is time to leave, leave, even if it means struggling to stay calm while you pick up your screaming child and carrying her/him out the door. Even if you are in a public place, if you allow your child’s tantrums to delay your departure (in other words, if you give in and stay longer because you are afraid of being embarrassed by her/his behavior), then he/she will learn that tantrums work.
Be firm. Be fair. Be calm. Be loving. Be honest.