When you warn your child that an enjoyable activity needs to end soon, acknowledge that what he’s doing is fun. Make it clear that you understand why completing the task is important to him. Then ask how he’s planning to finish up the activity.
What you can say
“Jacob, this is a wonderful drawing. But you need to stop working on it in five minutes so you can help set the table for dinner.”
“I know you love to draw and that it’s really important to you. What else are you planning to add to this picture in the next few minutes before you have to put your supplies away and come set the dinner table?”
Why this will help
Acknowledging your child’s feelings can reduce his frustration about having to make an unwanted transition. Letting him come up with a plan for wrapping up the activity can help him feel more in control of the situation. It will also help him develop better problem-solving skills.