my 3yo son runs away. Down the street. Around the corner. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-04-2011, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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My son has ALWAYS been super independent -- he wanders off in the park and never once looks back to see if we are following him. He runs away from me while hiking and will not stop when I call him. When we're taking a walk he speeds up ahead and runs up the hill and around the corner and keeps going. I chase after him of course. But when I was very pregnant it was hard, and now carrying the baby it's also hard. For awhile we had great success with the consequence of having to ride in the stroller if he runs off. But it's a drag hauling the stroller on every walk, so I've stopped doing it. Now, he's opening the front door and just walking off down the street. If I'm changing baby's diaper, nursing, etc. He picks up a stool, hauls it to the door, climbs up, unbolts the THREE locks we've put up, and just takes off. Obviously we need another lock! But what else can we do??


My husband has spanked him 3 times about this. I do NOT agree with this approach. And it's not working anyway! Obviously, he still does it.


If we start out on a walk together, he just takes off and Will. Not. Stop.


We've practiced, over and over. Things will go well for a week, then one day, boom, he's gone.

I've talked and talked with him about safety issues, detailing possible problems that could happen (making myself cry every time I give specifics! like car backing out of driveway, someone snatching him, etc)


What else can we do??


Thank you!


Oh - he turns 3 in one month.

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#2 of 7 Old 09-05-2011, 04:48 AM
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Wow, that's a determined child.  

Have you tried a safety harness (leash backpack thing)?

What about going home immediately if he runs away or doesn't listen?

I doubt he's old enough to understand why it's not safe, so I'd save the explanations for later.

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#3 of 7 Old 09-05-2011, 05:03 AM
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Oh I feel your pain, I have a runner too. It is a HUGE saftey issue with mine. I have nightmares of her getting hit by a car as she is giggling and running off. :(  She does.not.stop. What I do is bring the stroller or her monkey back pack leash. She gets NO warnings. The minute she runs or doesn't come back when called she goes in the stroller or monkey. Now that my older kids are in school I'm sticking with smaller fenced in playgrounds too for a while.  As a preventive measure I'm trying to play a lot of listening/following direction games with her. This we will be playing a lot of red light/green light this week. Hopefully it will transfer when she starts to run off. Other than that I just try to aviod any places where it's a huge safety concern. Like for instance she still can't petal a bike because I don't like her out front near the road. I hold her through parking lots because it only takes a mili second for her to be off.  She is not ever allowed out of the cart at stores, etc. etc. 

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#4 of 7 Old 09-05-2011, 07:26 AM
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Anything that is disregarded when it comes to safety is an automatic game over here. And like meetoo, there are no warnings here or second chances when it comes to safety issues. My oldest boy was a bolter and while we were out, whether it on a walk around the neighborhood, at the store, or playground, if he ran off, we left immediately and went home. When we'd go out on walks, he'd either have to sit in the stroller or if he wanted to walk, he was not allowed to walk ahead, he had to be holding a grown ups hand. We explained to him we couldn't trust him (he was 3 at the time) and until we knew he would listen when we told him to stop and wait, he would have to hold hands or sit in the stroller. After a few times, we let him walk ahead of us, starting out just to the next house, ask him to stop and wait. We let him go a bit farther ahead each time and if he didn't stop and wait when asked or ran off, we would get him and we'd return home immediately.


As for the front door, do you have those door knob safety covers? My youngest (just turned 3) can't get those off.

Mama to my 3 wild things.

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#5 of 7 Old 09-05-2011, 11:43 AM
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Mine dont do that too much-although my youngest will at times.  What we do is play a game-tell them to run as fast as they can and that they must stop when we say stop.  So we let them run 10 feet and then stop until we catch up.  But I have my 6 and 4 yr old model it really well for my 3 yr old so he has caught on pretty easily.  Not sure it would work as well without someone to watch.

Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)

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#6 of 7 Old 09-05-2011, 12:02 PM
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Ah yes, I've got one of those kids as well. We joke,and it could be true as well, that he is one of those that you read about that gets out the front door and someone finds him 5 miles away. Yep, great fun. No real advice because my DS1 is 2 and doesn't understand much so we can't explain, he just has no idea, but I totally feel your pain. 

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#7 of 7 Old 09-05-2011, 12:19 PM
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Yeah, my 2.5-year-old is an escape artist too. I think all you can do is toddler proof better, because they just don't get it until they get it.
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