Most parents see it at least once: your son or daughter refusing to participate in a super-fun activity, for no apparent reason. It can be frustrating, and even confusing, whether it’s a play date, a birthday party or a gymnastics class. So what’s a parent to do?
Usually, we follow our instincts, which tell us to convince them: “Look how much fun they are having!” “It’s your turn!” “You’re missing all the fun!” “Why don’t you want to play?!”
But we soon learn that you can’t convince a three-year-old of much, especially when the issue is control (which it often is.)
At The Little Gym, we have found that the best technique is to take all the pressure off. When a parent says, “You can sit with me or join the class—either way is fine with me!” the child discovers that the fun of controlling the situation is gone, and it’s a lot more fun to participate in the fun activity than it is to sit with Mom or Dad, watching.
It works like a charm (usually.) Give it a try!
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