Make sure you hold your kid’s hands when you are doing fun things and going to fun places instead of only grabbing their hands when you are doing not-so-fun things and taking them to places they dont want to be (e.g., time out, dentist, away from their play partners, etc.).
I have seen teachers and parents reach out their hands and the kids start walking (or running away from them). Yes, sometimes this is the kid trying to engage in an ill-timed game of chase, but it showed me the kids knew what was about to happen…only by seeing that outstretched hand.
In the case of a recent trip to a preschool playground, the teacher reached her hand out and it meant, “you have to come off the playground and go potty.” Those kids weren’t going down that easy. But it is not always when the kids had to leave the playground…it was at other times when leaving might have been something they wanted to do, they just did not know, so I think they were banking on their experiences of, more often than not, being taken somewhere they did not want to go (otherwise, they would have simply walked themselves).
If you need to take your child by the hand when they are unlikely to come to you…go to them. Don’t hold your hand out from 20 feet away when you are telling your kids its time to leave the pool. Its not likely to happen and you might run the risk of your outstretched hand becoming a warning sign saying, “RUN!”
Have fun when holding hands…they won’t treat you as if you have cooties on your hand at other times when it is more important for them to be with you.
Watch this…you dont want to teach them that when you reach for their hand it means something bad is about to happen.