Almost 3yo Keeps Running Away!!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-29-2012, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So DD will be 3 in mid-October, and recently (as in the past week) she has begun taking off running in potentially unsafe environments, and when I call to her to come back she just keeps running, laughing like it's a joke. And maybe to her it IS a joke, but to me it's terrifying and frustrating as hell to know what COULD happen to her. She ran out towards a parking lot, she took off down the beach, and the other day we were getting ready to go outside and while I was getting my shoes on she went down the stairs and out into the driveway!!!! This may sound like I'm just not watching her, but please believe I am watching her very closely, especially after this happened the first time. But when she runs off, it's very spontaneous and I don't know she's going to do it, and of course because she WAS listening to me prior to this past week, once she starts running I expected that I would be able to call out to her to come back and she would.

 

I have explained to her the importance of staying by me and DH when we are out and about, and I have tried calmly but firmly explaining what could happen to her if she takes of running by herself (and then today I yelled at her because I was so frustrated), but I don't think she's getting it. What method(s) have you found to work? I'd rather not have to put her on a leash.... but I'm starting to consider it. :(


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#2 of 5 Old 08-29-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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Some kids stay close, and some kids bolt. You have a bolter. Most kids start getting a bit of sense by 4, but that's a while away. So you need some kind of management tool.

You can either:

Hold hands every single time you go out

Use a stroller part of the time to contain her

Use a leash (understandable IMO for keeping a child safe if you have a bolter.)

Bring an extra adult with an extra pair of hands when you go out

Some combination.

I have had one bolter and one clinger. Bolters are very difficult. It's scary. I didn't use a leash but sometimes I wish I had. One time she just about ran into a busy street, and I grabbed her arm so hard I left a bruise (small, but still!) I felt horrible! But it was like an instinct. Grab hard enough there's no way she can get away and pull away from the street. I don't know if that was better than a leash. I kind of think a leash would be better, particularly when I might not have caught her before she got out into the busy street.

Be warned: there are those who think there is never a legitimate reason to have a leash. I disagree, based on my experience. I think they can be misused, but if it's used just to keep them safe and not to discipline them, it seems like a good choice to me. At least as much as the other choices don't seem better. It's like a situation where there is no great choice and you have to just do the best you can.
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#3 of 5 Old 08-29-2012, 07:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Some kids stay close, and some kids bolt. You have a bolter. Most kids start getting a bit of sense by 4, but that's a while away. So you need some kind of management tool.
You can either:
Hold hands every single time you go out
Use a stroller part of the time to contain her
Use a leash (understandable IMO for keeping a child safe if you have a bolter.)
Bring an extra adult with an extra pair of hands when you go out
Some combination.
I have had one bolter and one clinger. Bolters are very difficult. It's scary. I didn't use a leash but sometimes I wish I had. One time she just about ran into a busy street, and I grabbed her arm so hard I left a bruise (small, but still!) I felt horrible! But it was like an instinct. Grab hard enough there's no way she can get away and pull away from the street. I don't know if that was better than a leash. I kind of think a leash would be better, particularly when I might not have caught her before she got out into the busy street.
Be warned: there are those who think there is never a legitimate reason to have a leash. I disagree, based on my experience. I think they can be misused, but if it's used just to keep them safe and not to discipline them, it seems like a good choice to me. At least as much as the other choices don't seem better. It's like a situation where there is no great choice and you have to just do the best you can.

 

 

This.  I had bolters.  You don't get it until you have one.  "They" say, "Well, you just have to teach them to stay with you."  I welcomed any of "them" to try.  LOL.  

 

Both of mine went through a phase, less than a year's time, when they had 2 options:  Hold my hand, or be strapped into something.  It was non-negotiable.  They were not always happy about it (my daughter especially - but I became public-tantrum-humiliation-proof by the time my she was 3), but the alternatives (me running like a crazy person to be right on their tail, or having them get run over or lost) were unacceptable.  I quite literally had their hand in mine before their feet hit open pavement.  Hand in mine before the house door was open, hand in mine before they got out of their car seat, hand in mine getting out of the shopping cart.  You get the picture.  They got run around time in the back yard and at enclosed playgrounds, so I didn't feel badly about squashing it when we were out and about in public non-playground places.

 

All of that was obviously accompanied by discussions and reminders, and the occasional "practice" of them walking and staying with me (which I knew was probably not going to work so I only did it when there was no danger).  Somewhere around 3-1/2 they got it better.  But honestly, they're still runners, and I still have to remind them sometimes (they're 8 and 6 now) - but at least now they listen to me. 

 

I didn't use a leash with my son (the older), but did with my daughter (the younger) because she was just....faster, and more obstinate, and I had the older kid to keep track of, too. I used it a handful of times when we were in busy public places where it would have been easy to lost track of her (festival, crazy busy bowling alley, museum).  She was SO much happier with the harness than holding my hand or being strapped into a stroller....so it was in fact the lesser of all evils.  Peple can have all the opinions they want, but if the options were: 

- child screaming bloody murder in a stroller

- child limp noodling on the floor while screaming and holding my hand

- child being lost and having hysterical mother screaming for child

or

- child happily walking with bear backpack harness

 

guess which is the one that was happening.  They could tsk and clutch their pearls or think how awful I was for treating my kid like a dog, I did not care.  :lol


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#4 of 5 Old 08-30-2012, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh you ladies made me feel so much better, thank you for responding to my cries, lol! I knew this wasn't something that was only happening to me, but sometimes it feels that way, ya know?

 

I do try to get my daughter to hold my hand when it is necessary, and many times she does, but often enough she says, "No, hold Maya hand!" Meaning, she wants to hold her own hand. It's cute, but tell me how that's supposed to keep her safe crossing a busy parking lot???

 

We do have a puppy backpack/harness that I think I'm going to start using more. She likes to wear it, and we'll really only need it for certain times. The time she took off running at the beach (which is not exactly a place where I would put a harness on her), I have to admit I wasn't really worried, because she knows not to just head out into the water (and she is fearful of going under water), and I think she'd start getting nervous if she ran too far down the beach and couldn't see us anymore, but there's still that chance that she'd suddenly get over her fear of going under water, or that she'd suddenly become a social butterfly and wander into a crowd of beach-goers.

 

Perhaps in her own way, it's a sign of independence and spirit.... and that's a good thing, right? ;)


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#5 of 5 Old 08-30-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayasMama88 View Post

I do try to get my daughter to hold my hand when it is necessary, and many times she does, but often enough she says, "No, hold Maya hand!" Meaning, she wants to hold her own hand. It's cute, but tell me how that's supposed to keep her safe crossing a busy parking lot???

 

 

Gotta love preschool logic.  I always presented the two options, gave them a chance to decide, and if they hemmed/hawed I would just pick, whether they threw a fit or not - I'd be sympathetic to them not being happy about holding my hand/being carried/being in a cart, but remind them that being safe comes first, and they could have another chance to try walking with me another time or next time or whatever.  Sometimes, if it was an empty store/etc. I'd let them try to hold onto the cart and/or walk with me, but if they couldn't they'd go right into the seat.  I just am not a fan of shadowing/chasing a kid around a store when I'm trying to do something, and trying to make sure they don't run into displays/other shoppers/get run over by carts.  Maybe that makes me uptight, but there it is.   I was pleasant, but firm on it.  


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