You’ve got Saturday Night Fever! Okay, so maybe not in the John Travolta, white polyester pants suit way. But, you’re all about a night of cocktails, dining and childless fun. You’ve got the sitter lined up, you’re wearing something that doesn’t involve yoga pants or your husband’s old college sweatshirt, and you’ve traded the diaper bag for an actual purse. And then, it happens: the meltdown. Check out these super-simple tips for getting out of the house, minus your tot’s tantrum.
1. Distract, distract, distract. With Mount St. Toys stacked in the corner, you’ve got your pick of gizmos, gadgets, buzzers, blinkers and all kinds of super-distracting options. Whether it’s a favorite stuffy, an all-engaging light-up play piano or something else, ask the sitter to keep your kiddo entertained as you make your grand exit. The more engrossed your child is in her play, the less likely it is that she’ll tantrum-out.
2. Choose your places and spaces. Standing in the foyer really doesn’t seem like a fun time, right? Instead of walking out the door as your child stands with you (and the sitter) in the hallway, save your goodbyes for somewhere that’s a million times more fun. Well, maybe not a million. But, at least go with a playroom buh-bye over a less exciting space. The cozy, comfiness of a family space may take some of the sting out of your absence, making your quick duck-out much easier on everyone.
3. Play it down. Yes, you want to prep your child for every eventuality. That said, sometimes too much is — um, too much. Constant questions that fall into the, “Are you going to be okay when mommy’s away?” and minute-to-minute reminders that you’re heading out may have the opposite effect when it comes to what you’re looking for. You want to make sure that your child’s well-informed. The constant questioning and slew of updates may just make her nervous. Downplay it and don’t make your night out into a “thing.”
4. Keep it short and sweet. It’s too late; the tears have started. Your instinct is to sit down and soothe your child. Of course! You don’t want to ever see your child sad. But, that 30-second hug is likely to turn into an all-out screaming session when you try to walk away. Give a quick cuddle, an “I love you” and get on your way. Lingering will only make the situation worse and keep the tantrum coming.
5. Prep well. A busy day, minus the afternoon nap, equals a cranky kid. Plan ahead and keep the day calm. It’s totally tempting to try to pack an entire weekend’s worth of activities into a Saturday afternoon out of guilt. You’re leaving your little one in someone else’s care, and you want to make up for it by taking her to the playground, the zoo, the pool, the park and just about everywhere else all at once. Now she’s beyond sleepy, didn’t nap and is about to break down at the slightest provocation — like your hasty departure. Stop the cranky tantrum from happening by making sure that your child gets plenty of rest during the day.
What’s your tantrum-taming trick? Share your ideas and tweet us @BritandCo !
(Photos via Getty)