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2 yo runner

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My DD just turned 2. She runs from me. Today, while visiting relatives, she ran down a long hotel hallway so fast that I had to run (at 35 weeks pg) to catch her. All of the "what ifs" were running through my head. What if she gets to the door at the end of the hallway and runs into the street? What if someone comes out into the hall and grabs her? She does this at home as well. I've rearranged furniture so that she has obstacles to get around. We've had to lock and childproof all of our doors since she likes to open them and run out into the yard, driveway, road, etc. I realize my patience is thin right now, but I don't have a clue of what to do. It's dangerous. This is not safe behavior. She's very developed with her language, both receptive and expressive. But this is a game with her. Mommy chasing the toddler. This is such a scary situation for me. Please help!
post #2 of 11
Don't know if this will work, but I figured I would offer that maybe you could play chase with her somewhere safe (in a fenced in yard, in your home, maybe even at a playground with boundaries you set?) Or better yet, have DH play with her since he is probably more up to it. Maybe that way she would be less tempted to "play chase" where it isn't safe and it might help explain that it is fine to play chase when you are in a safe place to do it, but not just anywhere and definitely not in the road.
post #3 of 11
I can totally relate as I had a two year old runner when I was pregnant too and one day had to chase him across a parking lot at nine months preggers and pulled a groin ligament in the process. Ugh.
I use a trick from Supernanny. BTW....I agree with teh above post, let her know when it is acceptabel to run with you and let her get it out of her system. Taht being said, thsi is how I handle runners..... Get down on her level and explain simply and clearly that she needs to listen when you are out together. That she may walk near you but when you say "STOP' in a firm voice and hold up your hand she MUST stop. If she doesn't stop like a big girl listner she will have to hold your hand. I garuntee you teh first time or two she will not stop, but will test this new "game" When she does not stop, get back down to eye level and remind her she needs to listen and stop when you say and msut now hold your hand for a bit. After a minute or so let her go again. I would advise doing this in an open, safe area like a field or yard till she gets it. I like thsi technique better than the harnesses or anything liek that as it puts the choice to listen and be free in their court.
post #4 of 11
My first was a runner. I hope my 10 month old doesn't become one but so far so good. Anyway...I just had to maintain contact anyplace I didn't want her to run. Parking lots, the mall, whatever. I got a monkey backpack with a leash for a tail for places where I couldn't keep control over her.

I still remember the first time I ventured out alone with both girls. The 2nd was newborn, the older was almost 2.5. We went to a playdate at McDonald's. I had to pin my 1st against the car with my body so I could open the van door to put her in, with the baby in the other arm. I was one hand shy and had I let go she was ready to dart out into traffic. It was very stressful.

She's 3 now, and it's much better.
post #5 of 11
Do you think she'd be receptive to learning the game, "Red light, Green light?" The pp have great ideas about "Stop" and holding hands, but sometimes little ones just want to play at the scariest times. It's nice to have a last resort for those scary times if they forget the rules & consequences stuff.
post #6 of 11
My son was a runner. We taught him the "stop" game, and he loved it. It worked really well, and we played it as a game frequently to make sure he didn't forget. It triggered something instinctive in him to lay it out as a game. After we taught him, if he'd take off running, I'd yell his name, and then a sharp "Stop!" He'd freeze right in his tracks, and look back at me grinning, like "Oh yay, a game!"
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by Aliviclo View Post
My son was a runner. We taught him the "stop" game, and he loved it. It worked really well, and we played it as a game frequently to make sure he didn't forget. It triggered something instinctive in him to lay it out as a game. After we taught him, if he'd take off running, I'd yell his name, and then a sharp "Stop!" He'd freeze right in his tracks, and look back at me grinning, like "Oh yay, a game!"

Can you elaborate a little more about the "stop game"? I am very intrigued.

My 2 y/o dd is a runner and thinks it is hilarious when we have to run after her. We had some fun jaunts through the hotel hallways at the LLL conference.

We have tried STOP and that works sometimes, and we have also tried marching, and that works well at the pool for some reason (she loves to get out of the pool when I'm in the pool and dart off as I struggle to get out and get her! )
post #8 of 11
Yeah, the stop/redlight/freeze games never caught on with my kiddo. So I made sure I had his hand BEFORE we were going to be entering into or exiting into a space that was wide open and tempting for him to run (which was basically any place for a while ). Yes, it was annoying. I'd have his hand before I opened the back door to go across the deck to the car, I'd have his hand as he got out of his car seat before his feet hit the pavement. I would have his hand until we got to a shopping cart. I'd have it if we were in a restaurant until we got seated. You get the picture. It was just never an option for him to choose to not do...I mean, if he went limp on me, I'd pick him up and carry him (yes, hugely pregnant and then with a newborn/small baby strapped to me, too - 50+ pounds of kid I was lugging around on a bad day!). He had a choice to hold hands, be in a stroller or cart, or be carried. Period. DD was always in a carrier so both my hands were free for DS. I would also remind him and explain to him why it was important to stay near by me while we were out in public, and every once in a while we'd practice in a safer place like the back yard, until shortly before he turned 3 and he was able to not take off running. The phase lasted about 8-10 months IIRC. He got plenty of free run around time in our enclosed back yard (and we would have taken him to playgrounds if we didn't ahve a decent sized back yard, cause kids do need to run, no doubt).

Some kids just don't "get it", and no amount of talking, games, or punishment is going ot make it click until they are mature enough to get it on their own - and until then, it's the parent's responsibility to keep them safe. The alternatives are unthinkable, IMHO.

I'll be interested to see if my daughter is the same way or not.
post #9 of 11
Hey son, we're going to play a game! It's called "Joshua STOP!" You ready? OK. You're going to run, super fast -- as fast as you can, and when I say "Joshua STOP!" you stop and freeze your body, ok? If you stop when I say "Joshua STOP!" then you win! Ready, go! (He starts to run across the room/yard/wherever). "Joshua STOP!" If he doesn't stop: "Uh oh! You forgot to stop! I WIN! You want to try again? This time, remember to stop so YOU win! Ready, go! "Joshua STOP!" YAY! You WIN! Now you get a BIG HUG and a BIG KISS and a BIG TICKLE. Let's play again!

We played the Joshua-stop game all the time, in places where it didn't matter if he ran. On a neighborhood walk, at the park, in an uncrowded mall, on our sidewalk, at the zoo -- anywhere it's safe to let him run fast. We made it super fun. Two rules: Mommy starts the game (for some reason, just giving him this rule made him cut back on the fun running away), and no matter what, you always have to stop when Mommy says "Joshua STOP!" The trick is that if you do get into a dangerous situation, like a parking lot, and he takes off, you have to do your very best to sound chipper and happy when he takes off, like you're playing the game. My son is 7 now, and he'll STILL occasionally takes off running (like if he sees a friend across the school parking lot or something), but yelling "Joshua STOP!" triggers him to stop, without him even thinking about it anymore. That's the goal.
post #10 of 11
You know, another thing we do, which I never thought much about until reading the PP, is that we consciously work on teaching the kids to stay close in a store, from the minute they can walk. I can't hold everybody's hand or carry kids all the time, so as soon as they're old enough to want to walk through a store instead of ride in the cart, I have them put their hand on the shopping cart. Our family rules for being in a store are no running, no touching, no asking for things, and stay close to Mommy at all times. As they get older, I allow them to walk alongside the cart without their hand on it, but as soon as they wander off, or fail to come with me when I start walking, they have to put their hand back on the cart. If they get mad and refuse to do that, they have to ride. We've just always done it that way, and it works really well. This works with a baby stroller too -- hand on the stroller.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. We've been playing red light/green light or stop/go all weekend. Her nana and I took her shopping on Saturday and she did want to run amongst the racks. Of course, I'd left the Ergo in the van. It's nice to know there are other runners out there and that you made it through this stage. Thanks!
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