September 23, 2012

The One About the Time We Left Kennedy at the Park…

Because an honest parenting confession is good for the soul, I have a story.  It’s the story of how we corrected Kennedy’s problem of refusing to leave a place when it was time to go.

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On a very lovely afternoon about two weeks ago, we took the kids to a local park after church to play and have a picnic lunch.

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Kennedy was having such a fun time – climbing and running with her brother, and getting pushed on the swings by Daddy.

Eventually, nap time drew near (as it always does,) and we told her that it was time to go.

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“No,” she said.  She then camped out on the ground by the swing set, refusing to move, laughing at us.

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“Bye, Kennedy,” I said.  We started packing up our things and walking to the car.

It should be said at this point in the story that the car was only a stone’s throw from the playground.

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She really didn’t believe that we would leave her.  I mentioned to Andrew how I go through this every day with her.  “Bye, Kennedy,” I say.  She never believes me.  I always end up turning back around and going to pick her up and drag her – crying – to the car.

“Get in the car,” said Andrew.  I did.  Andrew buckled Bennet in to his seat, got in the car, started the car and backed up a little bit out of the parking spot.

“NOOOOO, DON’T LEAVE ME,” said Kennedy.  She tore off running to the car, stepping off a curb, falling and skinning her leg up.

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“When Mommy and Daddy say it’s time to leave, we listen to Mommy and Daddy,” said Andrew.  He buckled her in, and we drove home to the sound of her sweet, little tears.

Flash forward to two weeks later, and all mommy-guilt has been absolved.  I recommend pulling this stunt on your obstinate toddler to teach them a lesson.  Kennedy knows we mean business now when we tell her it’s time to leave.

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“Don’t leave me,” says Kennedy.  When she refuses to leave play groups or child care at the gym, when she is upstairs refusing to come downstairs so we can leave the house, when it’s time to walk home from the park – She knows.  She knows.

Have you ever tough-loved your kids to teach them a lesson?


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