WFMW-Parenting Tip for Young Children

The other day, my hubby and I took the kids swimming.

We splashed and laughed and soaked up the Texas sun.

But we didn't follow our most important rule while out with our kids.

And because of it, we paid the high price of a tantrum in public.

It was a humdinger.

My best parenting tip: Leave while you're having fun.

I heard someone say years ago they avoided tantrums, over-tired, and just all-around cranky kids, if they left WHILE they were having fun. If you wait (like we did) until the 2 year old starts rubbing her eyes, yawning and whining, you've waited too long.

It's so easy to get caught up in good family fun! But timing is everything, especially with kids under the age of 12.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we visited the Bass Pro Shop in a neighboring town and spied animals, tasted fried turkey, and watched fish in a huge aquarium. And this time, we followed our own advice! In the middle of having a fantastic time, we packed it up and headed home. Wise choice.

I love my kiddos. But I can tell you, too much of a good thing is, well, too much. Leaving while we're having fun works for us, every time.

*Please mark your calendars-NEXT WEDNESDAY-is the "Mom, I'm Bored" Edition. Please share a tip for keeping your kids busy in the summer!

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Works for Me Wednesday Participants
1. It Feels Like Chaos (just stop)
2. Erin @ Closing Time (fun lunch idea)
3. Green Baby Guide (Stop Wasting Food)
4. Kirsty@Momedy:EASY $$$ MANAGEMENT!
5. Kate @ Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman? (Print eBooks Without Using Reams of Paper)
6. Megret - Electronic list-making and note-taking
7. TrentTribe (tidy totes for bath toys)
8. Smockity Frocks (Family Game Night)
9. Chicagoland HSN (Keepers at Home Club)
10. Daiquiri (upside down tomatoes)
11. Hoosier Homemade(Summer Survival Kit)
12. Hannah --Traveling with Young kids
13. The Diaper Diaries (prevent choking)
14. Home School Dad (Turning Off The T.V. For The Summer)
15. exhale. return to center. (our mud pit)
16. Saving Money on Haircuts
17. A Simple Walk (rebel organizing)
18. ilovemy5kids (EASY RECIPE)
19. Kate @ Stolen Moments (versatile stir fry)
20. Inside The White Picket Fence (System to Memorize Scripture)
21. Amy @ Finer Things (washing windows)
22. Sunnymama (stick puppets)
23. Lisa (Summer Salads)
24. the Animator's Wife (growing basil)
25. 5intow (kids' chore habits)
26. Jordan @ MamaBlogga (one day potty training)
27. Abbi (cleaning hard water off with Vinegar)
28. Mother Hen (online car shopping)
29. Effortless Savings (Staying Cool)
30. Many Little Blessings {Easier Book Keeping for Small Businesses}
31. Homemaker Barbi (Patching Jeans)
32. MyFrugalAdventure: Tips for Cutting Spending
33. Weird Unsocialized HS'ers (organizing school stuff)
34. Sharon @ Because I Must (frugal summer fun)
35. Sara @ Learning the Frugal Life(storing spices)
36. Sandwiched (EASY Journaling)
37. A Heart for Home (Mess Proof Hand Towel)
38. ElizabethG (healthy taco soup)
39. Jen (toothbrushes & toilets)
40. Caroline (reward jars)
41. Mama Jenn (how to display blog awards on sidebar)
42. Meagan @ Homemaker In Progress (A Few Frugal Tips)
43. Carolina Mama (kitchen quick TIP)
44. That's FAMtastic (reward jars)
45. Denise @Fullnest (cloth diapering without extra laundry)
46. Anita (How to read a book)
47. Donielle @ Raising Peanuts (Making dinner w/ a newborn)
48. Canned Laughter (Keep cooked mushrooms white)
49. Family Focused Fun (Diaper Tip)
50. Angie (getting kids to read Bible)
51. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting (cooking with kids)
52. Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam(CVS video tutorial)
53. Joy @ Five J's (Homeschooling Outside)
54. A Beach Cottage Head Clearing
55. Saving and Giving (The Cure for Brown Bananas)
56. Rachel (Meeting financial goals as a team)
57. Christy Klein {The Miracle Beauty Wand}
59. Stretch Mark Mama (Best. bibs. ever. I. promise.)
61. Headless Mom(5things/5min.)
62. Renee (Frugal tip - Summer Fun Bags)
63. Beautiful Calling (FREE chore chart)
64. Zoe in England (Pre-Ordering)
65. Jenni (Dyeing STAINED CLOTHES in Front Loader)
66. Monica@DailyDwelling (entertaining kids while working in kitchen)
67. Steady Mom (let your child save face)
68. Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers (using dryer lint in the garden)
69. ParentWonder - TV and Children
70. Thrifty NW Mom (Using online calendars for organization)
71. Beverly (roasted Corn)
72. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates (Dog Shedding Solution)
73. Maren - Big Lots
74. Raising Olives (homemade playsilks)
75. Tracey @ Girls to Grow (Packing Made Easy)
76. Jolanthe (Free Magazine - fun kid's ideas)
77. BusyMom (gardening)
78. Girls in White Dresses (teaching resilience and persistence)
79. Cardamoms Pod (Quick Thaw)
80. Kim ( Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary)
81. Multi-Tasking Mommy (cleaning highchair trays)
82. HealthBeginsWithMom (Healthy Summer Treats for Kids)
83. Fruit of the Womb (freezing strawberries)
84. Shannon (beef fajitas w/ cumin vinaigrette)
85. Stephanie (*How I Make My Summer Schedule*)
86. Jen (Summer Tote)
87. Susan @ Practicing Thrift (pick your own berries)
88. Lori @ The Book Lady (Easily Pack Healthy Lunches for Work or School)
89. MC (Easy Lasagna)
90. Simply Practical (Dusting made easy and green)
91. Moneywise Moms (writing to customer service)
92. Brilliant Moms (favorite uses for vinegar)
93. KLee (big girl room)
94. Alicia (toy storage system)
95. Melissa @ Frugal Creativity (quick dinners and a craft giveaway)
96. Counting Sprinkles (Motivating kids)
97. Sandra (kids activity center at home)
98. Common Cents Mom (Using Social Media in Ways that Matter)
99. Marcy (book review- Boundaries w/ Kids)
100. Becky (haircuts)
101. Val@Team Hill (Being Kind)
102. Richella (Chalkboard eraser holder)
103. The Shabby Chic Cottage (kids reading nook)
104. Newlyweds (Garden Veggies)
105. Unfinished Mom (Teaching Kids to Pray)
106. Bake at 350 (disposable pastry/icing bags)
107. Suzanne@ Adventures in Teething (Removing Pen Marks)
108. LANA- Another Great Tiime Saver
109. Bailey's Leaf (Adoption Process Tips)
110. Penny Raine
111. Everything Moms (Kids craft:garden rocks)
112. Kitchen Stewardship (Local Strawberries WFM)
113. Tara @ Feels like home (bread machine pizza dough)
114. The Happy Housewife ~ Balancing Life and Blogging
115. Angie @ Annies Home (replace your bugspray)
116. MominIN (DVD Storage)
117. Holly @ A Mommy's Blessings(kitchen shears)
118. Vanessa @ Simple Bliss (Universal Wishlist)
119. Sandra (learning letters activities)
120. Heather (Great Hair product)
121. Liz @ Frugally Blonde (Eating Healthy on a Budget)
122. Sissy & Sassy (toys worth buying)
123. Jess (homeschool Art)
124. Jackie @ Blessings Overflowing (Cleaning with "holey" socks)
125. Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers (Homemade Corn Dog Muffins!)
126. Molly Green (frugal yarn organization)
127. Lynn's Kit Adv (PB Baked Oatmeal)
128. MomsMagic - repurposed baby item
129. Lewis Land (Facebook for Babies)
131. Beth (Easy, Mini Cheeseburgers)
132. Fly Away Family (10 Tips To Stay Healthy & Trim)
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134. Jessica (blueberries and milk)
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137. Megan (family calendar)
138. Michelle (suggestions wanted)
139. Radkitten (Wordpress Notes)
140. cool dad (Target vs Wal-Mart)
141. emily (make a baby splatmat)
142. Jen @ What's Shakin'? {homemade taco seasoning}
143. Paula @ Organizing Tips (Making the most of Corner Cupboards)
144. kristen (twixits)
145. ET @ Titus2:3-5 (quick easy beauty tip)
146. Amy @ CouponPsycho (All You Mag)
147. pennypinchinmomma(summer reading programs)
148. K@In The Lord's Path (Healthy afordable kids breakfast)
149. Superchikk (Cook Once, Eat Twice; With Recipe)
150. Beverlydru (Steam Cleaning)
151. se7en (science experiment ideas for kids)
152. Mommy's Idea Book (Camping)
153. (peanut butter cupcakes)
154. Condo Blues (peanut butter cupcakes)
155. Julie From Inmates (TiVo)
156. Abigail's Mommy (Powdered Laundry Detergent)
157. Mrs. Jones (Changing Trash Bag Faster)
158. Cheerios Underfoot (Preschool/Homeschool links)
159. Kat Keeping Mommy Friends
160. Stacey (avoiding the" I Wants", sadness, and tantrums with an easy trick)
161. Tanya (summer notebook)
162. Emily@ A Place of My Own (Yummy summer corn recipe)
163. Arrowsprings (frugal cleaning)
164. Wanda (letting go)
165. The Messy Mom (flying with a baby)
166. MrsScotsman - Free Regal Movie Schedule
167. Amy @ muddy boots (paying off debt)
168. Pam at BeyondJustMom (uplifting book giveaway)
169. Lindsay @ Passionate Homemaking (natural laundry detergents: homemade and more)
170. Joanna @ Grace In The Home (Getting Kids To Floss)
171. Kisses of Sunshine: Low Maintenance Gardening Tip
172. BandSP (Inventory)
173. karen @ Mommy, I'm Home
174. Jennifer (a year's worth)
175. Organizing Mommy (Organizing spaces!)
176. Christine @ becomingp31 (Making summer cleaning quick and effective!)
177. Maygan (encouring toddler to try new foods)
178. It's Frugal Being Green (Defrosting and Using Meats)
179. Missy@Simply Red(board game storage/organization)
180. Raise Them Up (Rose Care)
181. FamilyMakesCents (Buying Flowers- Annuals)
182. Tara@Not So Perfect(Diet Journal)
183. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker (Window Cleaner)
184. TidyMom (Saving Change)
185. Jenna (Easy magazine article storage)
186. Sandra @ A Lot of Savings (How to get coupons)
187. The Gaines Gang (Frugal Kids Snack)
188. Perfectly Provident (Homemade Crayons)
189. Mama Said ($6/year Dedorant)
190. Cooking Up A Family-netflix for working out
191. Sarah Mae (Living Unbounded By Feminist Fear)
192. Teri Lynne @ Thoughts & Ponderings (kids rooms)
193. Kristin (Creating Extra Storage in Child's Room)
194. petersonclan (too narrow shoes)
195. Jamie/penguinsandladybugs (alternative to soda pop)
196. Saving Money Ideas (refinancing)
197. Hip Mama's Effective Discipline
198. Lori-Not So Superwoman (1st WFMW post: Beach/Park Day Tip)
199. Nichole @ A Call to Higher Places (Scrapbooking for Baby!)
200. Jenny @ Another Jennifer Speaks
201. FishMama @ LifeasMOM (coupon storage)
202. Kari (Keeping Up With Kids Information)
203. Planning a Free Picnic
204. Amy @ Tiny Blessings (good garden dirt)
205. Amanda (my bread machine story)
206. Amyswandering (Aoutomatic Shower Cleaner & coupon)
207. JM@princesswithahalfpricetiara(Budget Keeping)
208. Heather@Thoughts from Holland (teacher gifts)
209. Kristi_runwatch (early bedtimes!)
210. Diana @ Be home happy (grocery tips)
211. Pam - 30-Day Shred
212. Adventures in Mommydom (traveling with preschoolers)
213. Jodi ( Summertime Money Saver)
214. Jenny @ agreaterhand (reward sticks)
215. mombrud (parenting inspiration)
216. Jill @ MoneySavinDiva (cost breakdown to making pantry staples)
217. Lis (Pandora Online Music Station)
218. Mandy
219. Jess (Cock a Doodle Doo Decor and More
220. Judy @ Frugal at Home (Keep that trash can clean!)
221. Jan (be prepared)
222. Niki @ Free 2 Be Frugal (Cheap Movie Nights)
223. Harper @ Trial and Error Home Ec (diet mind games)
224. Kali (I'm New)
225. missy @ missysthrifty home made laundry detergent)
226. Grateful for Grace (cheap medical treatment)
227. Kali (Paint Storage)
228. Janis @ SneakPeek (ready to go diaper bag)
229. A Mom Learning More Everyday (2o min cleaning)
230. Andrea (Running with Perseverance) - calendars
231. angie ( cell phone madness)
232. Aunt Mommy (Vinegar on the Wall!)
233. Bahama Shores Mama (no excuse exericse)
234. Simply Sweet Home (country fried steak recipe)
235. Alison Liley
236. Carolina Mama (Best of Carolina Giveaways)

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Kirsty said...

Easy Money Management!

Erin @ Closing Time said...

Fun lunch idea!

Smockity Frocks said...

Family Game Night

Hoosier Homemade said...

I don't see Mr. Linky.
Summer Survival Kit

thanks for hosting!

thediaperdiaries said...

Protect your kids from choking

ilovemy5kids said...

What a neat idea...I've done both and paid the price...

I don't see Mr. Linky...

I have a easy recipe this week with pictures...

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Great suggestion! One I should have followed on many o' outings with my 3 kids! Here is the link to my post

sunnymama said...

Stick puppets

Kirsty said...

LOL Toooo much truth to this one. We stay 5 minutes too long every time!

Quinn said...

System to Memorize Scripture

Erin @ Closing Time said...

This is so true...great tip!

Hoosier Homemade said...

Yeah! Mr. Linky has returned!
So glad to see him!

Dave @ Home School Dad said...

Excellent Tip. That also us true for devotions. You only have so much time 'til an eruption. Teach (and have fun) prior to the eruption.

momof4sweetsisters said...

I agree...All of ours would get so bummed out when the party was over. They wanted it to go and on. They take after me in that way.
But too much fun isn't fun anymore!

Sharon said...

YEP! Another big supporter of leaving before the fur flies! Thanks!

Daiquiri said...

Ooo- great tip. My problem is tearing MYSELF away from a great time! We do the "okay kids, we're leaving in 5 minutes" (whether it will be 2 minutes or 20 - it sorta gets them mentally ready to wind things down).

I have a WFMW request for you - would you mind sharing how you got advertisers on your blog?

BTW - your "strict" pic cracks me up. Oooo - scary! I took the quiz - I'm strict too, evidently :-)

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

I never thought of doing that, particularly because our 9 year old gives us that tantrum you spoke of because he's having too much fun! lol

I forgot to put my title in with my name, and Mr Linky is acting up and won't let me edit and/or delete. Bah!

Mine's about cooking with kids ;)

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

That is a great tip! The tantrums usually do happen when kids are tired, hungry, over-stimulated, etc. Such good advice - it's like you're an expert! :)

Sarah Mae said...

Mental "noting" that tip - thank you!

What works for me? Living unbounded by feminist fear:


Cardamoms Pod said...

How true! When we went to Disneyworld a few times with our children (8 at the time) my husband said "we're leaving at 7pm - no later." BUT - what about the fireworks? What about the parade? No - we did that once before, and it was so difficult to herd 8 sleepy children in the slowly moving mass of people making the exit from the park. By leaving early, we walked at a fast pace, got right on the ferry, didn't have to wait for the parking lot ride, and were out of there before the log jam. I agree - leave early and don't give in to the pleas - everyone will be happier in the long run and there will be lots more pleasant memories.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Oh, that rule is so true, SO true!

The Book Lady Online said...

What a helpful tip.

Sandy Toes said...

Don't miss those moments!
sandy toe
p.s. when they get older they just sulk...but it's quiet :)

Heather said...

Yes! Great tip! Thanks for sharing and for hosting Works for Me Wednesday!

Liz @ Frugally Blonde said...

This is so true! Our oldest is 2-1/2, and we've been learning this after much trial and error! I now know that I often have to discipline myself to leave while I'm still having fun, if I want to avoid the toddler meltdown.

becca said...

We've also found that giving LOTS of "we're leaving in x minutes" warnings helps. We'll give a 30 minute, 15, 10, 5, 3, etc. Doesn't matter if it is accurate b/c 2 year olds can't tell time :) But they can tell the numbers are getting smaller and smaller and then the actual leaving isn't such a surprise.

Amy said...

Yes! That does work for most kids.

I love my son Corey because he's pretty good at 'being done' with things. He'll go crabbing with me for like 2 hours, then he's ready to go. I love it because I don't have to sit around going "Come on, I'm ready to go.."

My friend's kids throws a fit if you leave before he's ready, and if there's no crabs to catch that day you're in trouble.. cuz he'll never want to leave. We had a whole big thing where I had to physically make him get his bike, etc. Oy.

Jennifer said...

Great tip. I have a two year-old and tantrums are common here in our neck of the woods. I'll keep this in mind. =)

Happy Wednesday!

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

So true! It is always better to leave on a high note. Learned that one the hard way - over and over again.

Beverlydru said...

I never knew... cleaning can be fun and easy. I'm kidding right? Do I have a fever?

se7en said...

I really am so with you on leave while you are still having fun... In our house it is referred to as the "Window of Opportunity" and then suddenly the "Window is Closed"... !!!

se7en said...

I really am so with you on leave while you are still having fun... In our house it is referred to as the "Window of Opportunity" and then suddenly the "Window is Closed"... !!!

Maddy said...

Not joining in this week but yes, you are absolutely right about that. It's tough to leave when they are having fun, but most children have a time limit when it comes to fun because all too often it also comes with a does of 'over stimulation'.

Mrs. Jones said...

That is some very wise advice. How did I raise 3 kids and not figure that one out?

I just now took a close look at the silhouettes on your header. Hilarious!!


Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Great tip! Seems like we have spent the last 19 months leaving in a frantic rush, because our kiddo has STOPPED HAVING FUN!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an idea to me.


kristi said...

My son is autistic, but verbal. Our community pool has an ADULT SWIM and he does not understand! It is horrible!

Finally, last year, we bought a big pool.....much, much easier.

Pam at beyondjustmom said...

Always great advice. I'm offering inspiration from my friend Cindy LaFerle today-- a book giveaway: Writing Home.

Organizing Mommy said...

I agree. Leave before the nonsense starts.
I wrote on organizing today.

It's sort of about parenting.

maygan said...

That's such an important rule to remember! The problem is that my dh just doesn't get it so a lot of times we end up lagging until that meltdown is just about to hit.

Trish said...

Thanks for your tip. My son always finds it hard to leave, but we do normally try to leave while it's still fun. :) Unfortunately, it's usually not fun while leaving...

Wendy said...

Wow, such a simple idea... I hope it will work for us!

Rebecca said...

Great tip! I find it can be hard to do with the slightly older ones because then you get the, "oh, but I don't wanna go home yet..." comments, but you are right...leaving on a positive note is much better than dragging your child behind you while the scream and point at the cotton candy stand.

Not that I would have a personal experience with that, ahem.

Amanda T said...

I absolutely abide by that parenting rule. I, like you, have suffered the consequences of not.

Jenny said...

I'm new to WFMW. And I did need the reminder of leaving before it's too late! :) Jenny @

misty said...

great advice... just had us happen to us!

so like you, i have learned the hard way! haha

Kali said...

I'm sorry...I tried to delete my duplicate posting. I'm new at the whole Mr. Linky thing!

Janis @ SneakPeek said...

Absolutely true nothing like a public meltdown to change tour ways!

aunt mommy said...

Ah, and what a gift it is to find that golden moment "just before melting point ..."

Thanks for hosting WFMW!

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

Can't WAIT for next weeks WFMW! I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but know I'll get all sorts of great ideas from my bloggy community!


MM said...

I'm about to post my first WFMW. I meant to do it early, but life happens. =) I'll definitely come back next week and be on time.