Solution: Start a different activity at home first. For me, baking is the foolproof activity that will get the kids back home in one piece. For instance, yesterday, I wanted to take them to the park. I told them we would go to the park, but first I wanted to bake some cookies. They agreed and helped me with the cookies. We popped them into the oven while we found our shoes and coats. Then, right before we left, I took them out of the oven and let the girls see them. Of course, they wanted a cookie right away, but they were burning hot. I told them that we had to let the cookies that they helped to make (making them active participants and invested in the cookies more than they would be in some prepackaged sweet that I would promise in vain hopes of getting them to leave the park.) In this way, the cookies as an object and as a fun activity were stamped into the twins' minds.
When it was time to leave the park, they started to give me trouble. I was able to say, but our cookies at home are cooled now! They remembered that activity with fondness, and they remembered the smell of the cookies and how much they'd wanted the sweets before we left for the park to begin with. They were suddenly eager to get back home, and we left the park with the least amount of trouble I've ever had.
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