A real-life scenario that recently played out in my life: My 4-year-old was at the playground going down the slide when another child who was wobbly on a skateboard broke his arm. The entire playground sprang to action to help. My child, however, chose this exact moment to take off like a lightning bolt through an open gate and—gasp—ignore my frantic calls to come back.
We caught up with him quickly, but I found myself in a dilemma: Do I reprimand in this moment since it’s relevant and top of mind? Or do I cool off since I’m still in my fight-or-flight zone? I brought my question to two different child development experts, who both told me that not only should I hold off, but that I should hold out for a specific time of day: bathtime.