First Playdates

Solutions for Common Social Dramas

The scenario: Your toddler has a death grip on his favorite truck and won't share it with his pal. Tears ensue.

The fix: Say, "Tommy, will you let Sarah know when it's her turn?" Toddlers won't mind giving up a toy as much if they feel they have some control.

The scenario: The kids don't want the playdate at the park to end.

The fix: Give warnings. Start with, "Fifteen minutes until we go home!" and count down every five minutes. Then, make sure they have something else to look forward to, such as a toy waiting for them in the car.

The scenario: Even though you made your office off-limits, you find your kid's pal poking around there anyway.

The fix: Distraction is your best bet. Take the nosy visitor by the hand and say, "Why don't we go color in the den?"

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the February 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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