The children do not know “enough” and do not understand that certain things come to an end and have to stop. Judging by the worn-out parental nerves and the tears of helplessness, it is extremely difficult for the little ones (to put it mildly) to accept the end of something. Most often, but not only, this is:
- the end of an interesting game because it is time to eat or go to bed
- the end of the cookies or chips
- the end of anything, because it’s time for a bath
- the end of the bath
- the expiration of the time for watching TV or playing a videogame
- leaving a birthday party or a playground
- reading a book before going to bed
- singing songs before going to sleep
In these situations, there is a serious risk of hysteria in the young child and/or retreat to infinity of the parent which leads to a situation of total hopelessness.
This can probably be largely related to the observation that probably every parent has, namely that young children (up to 2-3 years) feel protected and safe when they repeat the same situation over and over again. experience almost equally pleasant or fun. It may seem silly to us, but for them it is more than normal.
You’ve probably also noticed that little kids are almost horrified when something important or enjoyable for them is over. Both shaking and dramatic reactions are then almost always guaranteed.
However, we parents do not always have the strength, time, nerves, or other necessary resources to respond to these children’s desires. Then we can enter an officially undeclared war, in which no one wants to give up for a long time. The loser of this war then begins to feel quite frankly afraid of the next similar situation, in which such a thing as from the list above must end.
When my kid was less than a year and a half old, more like playing and joking with him at the same time, I inserted a phrase – “That’s all folks!” in our daily conversation. We were watching Looney Tunes together and he liked it a lot.
It all started with reading books. At the end of the last words, I always said “That’s all folks” Then I used the expression at all times that I could. The little one liked it a lot because the phrase itself was repeated often and it was obviously fun. Every time I said it, he pronounced it after me as much as he can.
So, at first without any strategy, I just used those words every time we ate the last cookie; when it was time to get done with playing; when it was time to leave the bathroom.
As I mentioned – for children of this age, repeating something interesting to the point of going crazy is a wonderful activity. So it was fun to hear it so many times a day.
Slowly I was getting him prepared.
Every time when we had to turn off the TV and go to bed, I would come and say ” Five more minutes and That’s all Folks!” He started accepting the fact that when he hears the phrase he would know that whatever he’s doing has to stop soon.
The amazing thing was that when I said the phrase, my kid did not go crazy, did not stumble, did not shake endlessly, but cooperated – somehow he understood the end, he accepted it quite normally and moved calmly to the next thing to do.
Children are different. Yes, for me it started somehow unplanned. But it worked out – maybe because I did it with the idea of having fun together. So, why not try to purposefully use such an expression to teach children that everything regarding their comfort will eventually end? With the proviso, of course, that you must be patient and apply it in absolutely all situations that require it.