Have a plan for going out with your child


Remember that transition is easier with a little preparation. Use the following tools for transitioning to and from any activity with your child.

Priming: this is what we expect will happen. This can be a written, drawn or verbal explanation of the schedule. “We are going to Jack’s house at 12:30. We’ll stay until 2:00, and then we’ll get ice cream on the way home.”

Predicting: this is what might happen. When predicting the outcome of an activity or event, use your knowledge of your child and things that have set him off in the past. For a play date with Jack, the scenario may go like this. “Jack may not want to play Yu-gi-oh cards.” Together, think of alternatives with your child ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to Jack’s house and set up an agreed-upon structured activity.

Countdown: this indicates how much time until an activity begins or ends. “It’s 1:30, we’re leaving in a half an hour. It’s 1:45, it’s time to pick up the toys and get ready to leave. Its 2:00, time to say good-bye.” This provides an easier transition for our kids.

Wrap-up: this involves assessing how it went. What worked? What didn’t? You can discuss this with your child on the way home if he is up for it. “Did you enjoy playing with Jack? Do you want to go back?” It’s also helpful to consider the things that went well and why, or if they did not, what can you do next time to make it smoother?

Reward: a little grease to get the wheels moving! “Aw, I don’t want to go!” “Don’t forget, we’re stopping for ice cream on the way home, so let’s hurry up and get your shoes on.”

Courtesy of AAPC

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