Lately we have been having a common type of experience, and I think
that it is a phase that will last a little while, so I'd appreciate

My girls are soon to be 9 and 6, my son 3.5. He is a delightfully
curious, into everything sort of 3.5, and is also now fully
expressing opinions about what he does and doesn't want to do.

What we are running into more often than ever before, are situations,
usually when out, where I've tried to accomodate his need to meander
and check things out, but the girls are getting to a point where they
are done, and either need to go to the bathroom, need to just get
home, get in the car, whatever, and they are no longer interested in
waiting around for him. I totally understand their perspective too,
and try to make sure that we are accomodating their needs to
see/do/get also.

We do also run into regular differences of opinion about what to do
or not do in a particular day. Usually in this case, it is more one
daughter wanting to go and one not, and my son has no problem going,
it's when we're out and about that we run into the other issue.

Just this past week, we experienced this. We had a few things we did
in a neighborhood nearby, including visiting the toy store and then
getting tap shoes for my oldest daughter. After we were pretty much
done, though, he wanted to go back again to the toy store, but the
girls were absolutely done, and needed to get to the car. It was
challenging for a while, as he kept running back down the block from
the car to the toy store a few doors down, and the girls were not
happy about me leaving them there.

I totally understood everyone's situation, empathasized with
everyone, and felt like I really just tried to communicate
understanding of their needs; however, in the end it just came down
to a disagreement over what each wanted to do, and most usually it is
the toddler meander-ing-ness that creates the ultimate issue.

We do talk a lot about what we're going to do when we're out, so that
everyone has an idea of what will happen when (although, of course,
living in the moment, plans do change too). I try to always make
sure that I have food/drink, or make sure that we stop when
necessary, so that we can keep moods and energy levels up. I also
try to make sure that we don't have more than about two stops if
running errands, and give ourselves plenty of time if we are going
somewhere like a museum, etc.

As I said in the beginning, I think it's a phase, and really, in the
grand scheme, my children are pretty patient with each other most of
the time, but I know that I can always do better in helping them, so
would appreciate any communication ideas, trip planning thoughts, in
the moment success stories, etc.




Sometimes, I have purposely done the less desirable task first and
used the fun one as the last one. That way you can spend more time
in the toy store checking things out without the worry of any of the
kids wanting to go back.

I would inform all the kids of the agenda of the day and how long you
think would be good for each destination, allowing more time at the
funnest and last one.

I have had to deal with this very same issue a lot over the years
because my kids are 7 yrs apart in age and their needs are soo
totally different that it's hard to combine things.

What we do lately, is wait for dad to be home on evenings or weekends
to do stuff, so that I can go with one child and not the other.
During the daytime I can take the younger daughter and leave the
older one home and that seems to work good too. I know that may not
work with your age group, but soon it can.

Other than that, I would suggest bouncing it back to the older kids
on how to handle the problem. They may have some good ideas on how
to accomodate the needs of everyone. Try to keep it fun and light.

Little kids may have a harder time in transition, so perhaps this
should be the focus for a while, finding ways of transitioning.

For a long time now, we've been starting at the back of toy stores
and working our way to the front and out the door. It seems to work
pretty good. I also like to keep distractors in my bag or purse or
pocket. As soon as the younger child seems to be feeling the pull to
go back or stay and be upset about leaving, I pull something out of
my bag of tricks as a distractor. I might even say that I have
something cool out in the car, if there is actually something cool
out in the car. I try to keep hidden treasures out in the car for
those occasions. Food is a good incentive to leave a store. The
draw of something yummy waiting out in the car for you can be a nice
incentive too.

I don't know if any of those things will work for you, those are just
some of the things that I've used to help a younger kid leave a place
that they want to stay in when others are ready to leave.


> I would inform all the kids of the agenda of the day and how long
> think would be good for each destination, allowing more time at the
> funnest and last one.
> Other than that, I would suggest bouncing it back to the older kids
> on how to handle the problem.

I think that between these two is a new option that I can try. I
always try to make sure that we talk about where we are going and in
what order. Usually this happens at home, and then periodically as
needed throughout our outings. Definitely, we have done the
chorelike places first when we can, although, sometimes the kids want
to go to the toy store first, so that they can have something to play
with while we go somewhere else, so I'm flexible on that.

What I probably have an opportunity to do better is to talk to the
girls before we get started at any particular place, and to let them
know that if they can give me a little bit of warning before they
feel like they are done, that will help, because I do need the
transition time with their brother.

The positive with that approach, is that the girls will know that I
am really recognizing their need to be done at some point and I think
that they will be willing to give me the warning, because it will
benefit them.

Interestingly enough, I just came up with a new phrase, which is
based on the old game "Don't Break the Ice." Their cousin has the
newer version, which uses marbles on a wet kleenex. Recently I said
that I was on my last marble about something to help explain it to
them, and they really got it. I think that they might be able to use
that phrase themselves.

Of course, a big part of the solution is just more, earlier and
better communication. It helps me tremendously to hear other
examples and figure out how I can work that into our experiences.