When do these little ones learn not to run off?
Wife to DH, Mama to DS1 (06/2007) and DS2 (06/2013), missing babies (mc 08/2006 @ 5 weeks) and (missed mc 06/2012 @ 11 weeks)
i think that kids this age are too young to really "teach" about a relatively abstract concept such as this. i know my son didn't respond to my calling out to him when he would run. instead, i would keep him in a carrier or stroller when we were walking around the neighborhood, so he couldn't make a break for it.
he definitely began to catch on to the "sidewalk only" rule at about 2.5 yrs. now, at 3, he's really getting it, recognizing the walk/don't walk signals but i'm just as watchful as i was when he was smaller.
Oh, and I love the comment that our LLL Leader had to say about the harness (at a meeting when we were discussing it and some negative comments came up). She said "Why don't you try walking around all the time with one arm up over your head and see how comfortable it is to you. The harness allows your child to safely explore the world around her."
I have rarely used it with my middle child, she has seemed quite content in the stroller for long outings... but it's in my car and I suspect that I will use it the next time I take my 18 mos son to the mall. He loves to walk but he kept running away the last time we went there to window shop.
As far as teaching your child about safety outside, I still have to remind my oldest (she'll be 6 in Dec.) to walk between me and the curb when we go down to the bus stop (we don't have sidewalks in my neighborhood). I think that it depends on the child as to what age they really grasp this concept.
Even kids who understand can be unpredictable or impulsive. But playing in the driveway or yard now neither go in the road and in general they wouldn't go in front of a car in any situation. They're cautious now. I'm not sure when that happened--around two for one and closer to three or so for the other.
At that age I gave them choices--wagon, stroller, or hold hands. Not worth it to do otherwise. We played in the back yard (far enough from the road that I could catch someone).
Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys!
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If we are out she has a choice of hand or sling. In the yard (tho I live on a very quiet st) I generally put myself between her and the road. I think I read a similar thread recently where people said they get it around 3, but I am sure it depends on the child. At this age though, I think it is impossible to teach them not to go in the street as sometimes the impulse just overcomes them.
Slowly, step by step with lots of practice and lots of social reinforcement for following directions.
This encouraged me b/c my son was doing this and I felt like there should be some way that I could get him to listen and obey and this reminded me that he is still a baby and that discipline is an ongoing.
So what I did with her was as a PP suggested and play the stop/start game and she got it pretty quickly. Now she is 3.5 and for a while now I've felt comfortable with her ability to listen to my requests (also talking out of the moment about what is expected and why).
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I have a leash for him, and have used it occasionally. It is a great tool when used appropriately, but I do feel self conscious about it. The one thing that I have also done is to hold his arm between my knees while unlocking the car, but he HATES it and will scream and cry the entire time (literally seconds, but still...). There just doesn't seem to be a good way to deal with the running for those few seconds without having him attached to my body all the time.
I am so right there with you mama.
We just found out the other day that we are expecting again in June, and I know that I have to help my oldest out as much as possible before the arrival of our 3rd. Wish us luck.
: in Canada
I suggest two courses of action:
1) find a word to use that specifically means to stop action - We use the word "Hold" for safety purposes around Archery, Thrown Weapons, etc. and teach it to the children. This avoids the dreaded "no" or "stop" that kids learn to ignore or dislike quickly and lets everyone know that there is a potentially dangerous situation so we should stop immediately and make sure we are aware of what's going on in our surroundings.
2) dullify your reaction - in a situation where there is not a safety concern, I might suggest eliminating the reaction thus making them bored with the activity, however in a safety situation this is not an acceptable answer. Instead, refrain from excitable speech and dramatic displays. Get ahold of your child and quietly but sternly remove them from the situation and place them in time-out. Explain simply and briefly their reason for being there and leave them to become bored. At 20 months old, your child is old enough for short time-outs. By doing this you've eliminated the exciting reaction and they've now lost precious fun time.
if sometimes u feel you ARE going to be at an unsafe place where you cannot have ur child run out then either put her in a stroller or a leash.
but she WILL get it.
with my dd since we played on the sidewalk i would explain every single time. then when she was 18 months old she ran out on the street in the split second i didnt have my eyes on her. and i reacted. i went ballistic and screamed and ran to get her totally terrified. and then in a calm voice told her never to do it again. since i screamed she kept looking at my face and just kept staring at me the whole time we walked back and talked. she is 6 now and has never run out on the street again. i think it was my reaction. my terrified look that made her realise how important it was that she never run out on the street.
i would also say practise, practise, practise.
also instead of just trying to stop her give her limits. she can run to a certain point and hten stop there. give her a specific v. visual boundary. i found and still do with my dd, that limits was easy on her rather than a no.
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