He was distracted by everything as he always is and when it came time to walk to the car the last thing he wanted to do was leave. He was refusing to walk in the direction of the car no matter what I said. After giving him multiple reasons we needed to leave and he flat out refused to comply, I began walking towards the car without him. I tried the old leaving without you tactic that works about 50% of the time and he decided that old trick wasn't going to change his mind. He stood in one spot with moms coat on making it very clear he was staying in those woods with or without me and I was growing frustrated trying to think of something that would get him to just take one step in the direction of the car.
We stood there, 30ft apart, and I sighed because here we go again. The strong willed 6 year old and the tired out of effective tactics mom were in yet another face off for control. I made typical mom threats to take away privileges the rest of the day unless he listened to me. I even offered bribes like a Little Caesars Pizza because that always works when I use it but not that day! Then I said to him “I really need you to listen because I am cold and want to leave.” That statement changed everything and suddenly he quickly began walking in my direction. While he was closing that 30ft gap between us he began to unzip my coat he was wearing and by the time he reached me he had taken it off. Then he handed the coat to me and said “put it on mommy” and continued walking ahead of me towards the car refusing to take the coat back. He asked if I was okay by the time we reached the car and climbed in without any kind of argument.
My son is six years old, he’s autistic, and didn’t care about losing or gaining privileges to motivate him. The only thing that motivated him in that moment was his care for someone he loves.