When working with children in The Son-Rise Program playroom there is one thing that happens quite often, especially when first transitioning the parents of the child. That is, the child goes to the door, either tries to open it when it is locked, asks for Mummy and Daddy or says “Open the door”.
The first thing to do is explain to the child that the door is going to be locked and exactly when the parents will be back. Sometimes, the child accepts that and drops it, other times, they continue to perseverate on the door.
Here are 10 things that you can do when your child does this.
1) Go on a hunt around the playroom to find the key, try different, fun things such as the tail of a toy dinosaur, the spout of a teapot, the whisker of a cat puppet, etc.
2) Get a pretend magic wand (e.g. a marker or drumstick) and create magic spells to cast on the door to see if it opens (e.g. “Hocus Pocus Diddly Deeze, make this door open with a sneeze”).
3) Sing a song about the door.
4) Write a letter to Mom and Dad and post it under the door.
5) Try and crack the secret knocking code that opens the door (e.g. is it 2 quiet knock and one loud?, 3 short knocks and kiss?, etc).
6) Draw different keys, cut them out and try each one.
7) Pretend that the door knob is too slippery to grasp and entertain your child as you try to open it.
8) Line up all the toys in the playroom with you and your child at the front and try and pull the door open with all the toys helping you.
9) Pretend to be the person that your child is asking for by impersonating their voice, wearing a wig, etc, and giving them fun things in the way that person might (e.g. “I bet Daddy would tickle you like this…..”, etc).
10) Brainstorm the things that your child might want that are outside the room and create them inside the playroom (e.g. if they want chips, make some pretend giant chips out of toy blocks, if the want Mom, offer them a hug, etc).
That is Awesome! I'm gonna use this today!!
Thank you so much for the tips, we will be reviewing this with our team and we will all try every one of these things and a few more!
I must say that this is the BIGGEST issue for our team right now. As soon as anyone else besides Mommy closes the door, he wants out. I (Daddy) just spent an hour with him trying to explain to him, comfort him, help him try to open the door, play by myself while he worked through it…but still crying and screaming until he actually fell asleep!
One big question I have is on another blog, you mentioned we should "help them see that in life you don't always get what you want and help them to work through that." I totally agree and I would LOVE to know HOW do we help them work through it??? Please do a list like you did here 🙂 Thank you Becky!!!