Help Me Tame the Wild Child from Running in the Street-- PLEASE!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-02-2010, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has any pointers on gentle yet serious discipline on how to get a toddler from running away as though it is a game. My 2 year old DS has decided it is hilarious to take off running the second he gets outside-- and he has recently figured out how to open doors on his own-- even the front and back doors (fortunately not if they are deadbolted).

I am seriously afraid he's going to run out in the road at some point, thinking it is a game, and a car will be right there. I am terrified.

I don't believe in spanking and time outs are rather in effective with him. Please help!

Thanks, and take care,

Sarah
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#2 of 15 Old 05-02-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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At 2, your best bet really is prevention. I'd make sure that your doors are always deadbolted, I'd get those door knob covers in case the deadbolts fail and I'd consider getting a door alarm (you can get ones for about $20 that attach just to the door and aren't a whole house alarm) so that if he does escape, you know.

when I was outside with him, I'd explain to him clearly where he was allowed to go "stay on the grass" "stay on the sidewalk". (Telling him where to go is more effective than telling him where not to go.) I'd tell him that if he didn't stay safe, we'd have to go inside. Then, the first time he ran into the street, I'd go inside. I'd wait maybe 15 minutes and try again. He needs to get a swift and clear idea that going into the street is not OK.

Make sure he gets lots of places where he can run and where it's OK to play chase (like the park). Part of the thrill of running into the street is that mom runs after you!

Finally, in parking lots and the like, you need to have a firm hold on him. I'd suggest either a backpack leash, wearing him or a stroller. The rule in our house was always: you hold my hand or you're in the cart/stroller. And I didn't have kids who were runners.

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#3 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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mama i agree with Lynn.

2 is the running age. it is not the taming age. it is the prevention age.

this is the time when you keep teaching them over and over and over and over and over again and hopefully by 3 or 4 they will get it.

we have all been down that road. now my dd stopped running almost immed. at 2 ONLY because of my reaction which i dont want anyone to try. i put her down for one second after helping her out of the car seat on the street and she TOOK off. i lost it and screamed and ran towards her. i totally FRIGHTENED her. and she totally picked up my freak out energy. you should have seen her face. she had no idea what was going on and looked at me as if i had grown antlers or a tail. it took her a few minutes to be reasuured that i was her mommy. she did walk out on teh street but never running head on.

one of the stories she liked then was did everyone have a mommy and daddy. so i would tell her if she ran out - she would be broken and daddy and i would be really really sad and cry and cry and cry.

however with everything else - the hitting, throwing food, seh took a long time before she stoppped doing them.

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#4 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 12:52 AM
 
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yep. Prevention. Do not give him a chance to have it happen.

-Angela
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#5 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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Practice listening with red light green light simon says type games?
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#6 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 03:59 AM
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They make metal latches that you can put near the top of the door. Prevention is the only thing that works at this age. When going outside with him make sure he is holding your hand before you open the door. If he tries to let go of your hand put your fingers gently but firmly around his wrist.
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#7 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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at that age, I wouldn't have walked with ds on the sidewalk unless he was buckled up in a stroller.

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#8 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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I think that prevention is the key as other posters have said. I also taught my dd that she either held my hand or had to be carried when we were outside walking. If we were playing in the yard I shadowed her and if she started to go towards the street I would tell her to come back towards the yard or go inside and I would follow through with bringing her inside if she didn't go back toward the yard. She loves being outside so this phase was very short for her.
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#9 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 03:34 PM
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We also had a "hold my hand or I'll pick you up" policy. We had a "look only, stay by mommy/daddy or I'll pick you up" rule for shopping.
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#10 of 15 Old 05-05-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I'd consider getting a door alarm (you can get ones for about $20 that attach just to the door and aren't a whole house alarm) so that if he does escape, you know.
If you look around you might find them for MUCH cheaper. I had paid out the butt for those alarms (my ds has autism and has been escaping since he was 1). Then almost 3 years ago when we moved here I found the same darn things at the DOLLAR STORE! Yes, $1 for the alarm (much cheaper than buying new batteries!). I stocked up They do not damage the door or frame as they are just sticky back (very strong sticky back). We have them on all of our doors so we can hear if ds escapes. If he ever tried to escape out a window, I would have the alarms on those too. At 6 1/2 he still escapes randomly but it's definitely less than he used to!

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#11 of 15 Old 05-05-2010, 11:51 PM
 
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As for running in the road.... I used a harness with ds. I used that sucker for YEARS, until he finally learned I was serious about not running in the road. Now, at 6 1/2, he doesn't wear it anymore but there have been times he's running towards the road and the sound of my screams is the only thing that stops him. I am well on my way to completely gray hair... and I'm only 26

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#12 of 15 Old 05-06-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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One more chiming in with a vote for better door locks (or just higher ones until he's older) and prevention. During this phase my rule was his hand in mine before his feet hit the outside ground (or, he was in a stroller or cart). So walking out the door to go somewhere I already had his hand, walking from the car to a store I had his hand as I was getting him out of his seat, walking from the store back to the car I had his hand before we were out of the store, etc. It sounds tedious but it became second nature and didn't require any thought at all after a week or so, it was just what we did. his phase lasted from about 18 months until just under 3 years old, and then suddenly he didn't run anymore. Also made sure he had plenty of runaround time in our fenced in backyard and fenced in playgrounds. My DD loved the carrier, so I always had her in that, or did the same hand holding thing with her too.

Good luck!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#13 of 15 Old 05-06-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeye_bebe View Post
Practice listening with red light green light simon says type games?
They're great games to practice and they'll work in about 2 years. Kids are 4-5 before they have enough reliable impulse control to be able to play those games. At this age, once they start an action, it's really, really hard for them to stop. Hence prevention.

Nice to know that you can get door alarms cheap!

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#14 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 04:03 AM
 
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We put doorknob covers on, a security chain up HIGH on the doors and locks on the outside of our fenced in yard.

When we were out and about my son HAD to hold my hand. Always. He just turned 5 and I would say it has only been about the last 6 months that I will let him walk next to me and not hold on.

Good luck. My son was so fast that preventing him from running was the only solution. I wouldn't have been able to catch him if he had a head start.
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#15 of 15 Old 05-12-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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Yes, amen to what everyone else said about prevention.

I'll add that he also needs to not see this as a game. At his age, this means that you have to set up his day and his excursions outside so that he doesn't have the chance to run away if you don't have time to do the calm, emotion-free return to the house bit that LynnS6 described. This may mean having a good grip on his wrist (not as easy to yank away as a hand) or having him wear a harness before you go outside.

When you do have time to practice, I highly recommend what Lynn said in a safe spot (or if your front door isn't safe, then practice when your dp or a friend can be waiting outside to stop him if necessary). I think one of the keys is to be as matter-of-fact as possible so that getting a big reaction out of you doesn't become exciting and rewarding for him!
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