Yesterday was one of the first beautiful spring days after a LONG winter! My boys (3 1/2 and almost 2) couldn't get enough of our newly sodded yard and the sand box that finally has sand in it. They loved being outside so much that when I said it was time to come in they ran crying in opposite directions. The older one began yelling that he wasn't going in because he was "still trimming the bushes" and the younger one cried while rolling down a hill. Needless to say, the bliss of a warm sunny day soon faded into longing for the containment of indoors.
The parent in me wanted to scream and tell them no more TV, snack, or anything else if they didn't go inside and stop drawing the attention of the entire neighborhood. The behavior analyst in me prompted me to remain calm, approach each child, and provide a firm direction to go inside while pointing out the positives of going in (TV time, yummy dinner, playing cars, etc.).
Who won? Well, a little bit of both, my older son was able to "clip" three more branches and went inside when reminded that he could build a fort with the pillows on the porch. The younger one could not have cared less what I was saying and needed to be carried inside kicking and screaming. At that age no amount of talking or "reasoning" could have changed his mind and actually would have just delayed him going inside. So I guess I broke even, at least until the next challenge....the dinner menu :)