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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering what other people do when their kid runs away (toward a busy street) at the playground.<br><br>
DS is 3. I think that he gets upset or jealous when I am nursing DD, and runs to get my attention.<br><br>
I have been leaving the park, telling him that he is behaving in an unsafe way and that we can't stay when he does this. I am wondering if this is an appropriate consequence for running off.<br><br>
I feel bad for him, but feel worse about the thought of him getting hit by a car!<br><br>
He does this at home too, so it's getting to the point where I am scared to let him out into our yard.<br><br>
Thanks for any advice...
 

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I think its fine. I would try to phrase it as, "<i>We can play at the park when you are able to be safe."</i> Is your yard at home fenced in? I would be scared too, if its not.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My yard is fenced, but he is able to open the gates.<br><br>
I have explained as carefully as I can that it is not safe for him to go outside the fence by himself. We live next to a very busy street.<br><br>
When we got home from the playground today, he gave me the "look", went to the gate and went outside the yard. He was really angry that we left the playground.<br><br>
I calmly got him, and told him that if he could not stay inside the yard we would have to play in the house.<br><br>
I discussed his actions with him, and asked him if he was jealous when I was nursing DD. He said yes, but I sometimes wonder if a child his age will always answer yes to a question that he doesn't fully understand.<br><br>
I told him that I love him very much, even when I am feeding his sister, and that I want him to stay near me when we are outside so that he is safe.<br><br>
I don't want to be too punitive with him over this, but also want this behaviour to stop so that we can enjoy a lot of park time this summer! If there are ways to impress the point without leaving the playground, I would love to hear of them.<br><br>
Sorry for the long post - I'm feeling really sad about how he must be feeling to act this way.
 

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Is it ONLY when you are nursing? I'm thinking that boundary testing is pretty classic, and not necessary bound up in terrible feelings or deep unmet needs, kwim? He's maybe just testing.<br><br>
Or maybe he has wanderlust in his heart. Do you take walks together? Hiking at the state park? That sort of thing? Maybe Daddy would take him on a hike sometime.<br><br>
As far as the gates -- how about locking them somehow?
 

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Can you put locks on your gates?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Things are worse when I'm nursing, but I nurse pretty often! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
This morning we went for a long hike and had a great time. It definitely seems to be that he gets upset when I can't help him do something/go somewhere because of nursing.<br><br>
We rent, but I think I will ask our landlords if we can put locks on the gates. They have a young child too, so will probably be in favour of it!<br><br>
I do hope I'm reading too much into this behaviour - maybe it's part new sibling, part normal three year old?
 

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I think that leaving the park if he can't stay there safely is completely reasonable. If this happens frequently when you are nursing, can you talk to him about it beforehand, remind him how important it is to stay close by, and maybe even give him someplace he *can* run to? Maybe he just has the urge to run and it would be satisfied if there was a tree he could run to and back from? I think the most important thing would be to talk about it when you first get to the playground and keep reminding him how important it is to stay close to you and safe. Good luck!
 

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You may already be doing this but ... can you nurse in the sling while walking around the playground with your older son? Maybe he'll feel your presence more that way. Do you have any other options for playgrounds? Maybe you could find one that's more safely situated.<br><br>
I know that with my older son the running away phase did pass and I'm sure it will with yours too!
 

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I have a runner, too, as well as a nursing baby, so I can relate to what you are going through!<br><br>
For a while I was having nightmares that my son ran out the front door of the house into the road and was hit and killed.<br><br>
It took a lot of time and some trial and error, but here are the main things that I have found that help:<br><br>
-I accept and expect that he will run, especially if we are in a new large open space. I try to let him do is so long as it is safe, even if it is not very convenient.<br><br>
-Set clear consequences: "You may not go further than (neighbor's driveway, other clear physical location) because I can't see you/want you to stay safe, etc. If you go past that point, you are telling me that you are ready to go home/inside."<br><br>
-Try to avoid running after child as much as safely possible. My kid LOVES to be chased, so running after him will only make him go faster. I try to walk quickly when he is not looking at me and be still when he turns around to make sure I am in pursuit. (I am sure this doesn't look good to other people around, but it is what works for us. I have had several situations where someone else started chasing my kid when he was running away and I was terrified that they would chase him into danger.)<br><br>
-He will not stop if I say "Stop!" but sometimes he will come back if I ask for a hug, or say, "Wow! Look at this!" and point something out to him.<br><br>
-We have always been clear that trucks go on the road and people go on the sidewalk, and he is very good at stopping, even when chasing a ball, etc. I thank him for remembering the rule and tell him what a good listener he is.<br><br>
-Try to schedule appropriate chasing time each day (I am terrible at remembering this, but it really helps!) and baby loves to watch us run around the circular floor plan in our house or outside in safe running areas.<br><br>
The result of all this is that I have stopped having nightmares, although we still have regular running incidents.<br><br>
Good luck,<br>
-dflanag2
 

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i cant help thinking that if he wants to disrupt your nursing the baby and get your attention, then that it is working - as you have to stop nursing to leave the park. could you take a stroller with you and have him sit in it with a snack and a drink (strapped in so he cant escape) while you feed the baby, and let him out when you are finished?
 

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I was going to suggest the same thing-keep him close, either in a stroller or sitting on the bench next to you when you need to nurse. Explain that you need to keep him close so he can be safe. Either bring a snack or a drink or a book, something he can do while sitting. HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Those are good suggestions - thanks! We'll see how it goes this coming week...
 
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