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tips for conveying how serious it is......

578 Views 19 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  mum5
my 2 and a half year old has taken to trying to, or actually running from me in a parking lot, right as i am about to put him in the car, not tryingf to get away, more of a "chase-me" kind of thing.....we have talked about it at length, but for something like this, i want hime to know just how serious it is........any tips?????
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My 2 yr old also thinkis this is hilarious, as well as pullling away from me in the street....

this is what I do.
1.Pick him up if he won't hold my hand. No questions asked.
2. I never let him away from me to begin with in the parking lot/.alley, etc...he must ALWAYS be holding my hand, even if we are opening the car...I just don't trust him to fight his running instinct.
3. When he does "get away" or run, after he does it, I so everything possible to not let him think it's a game (not running after, etc) ...and say in a very "scared" sounding voice that cars can be dangerous and he can get hurt.

We're really working on this b/c we have number 2 coming in sept and I need to be able to trust him.
I agree with Canadiangranola. It's our job as parents to never let them get away, so if that means constant contact, that's what I have to do. My dd isn't much of a runner, but on the couple of occasions that she has gotten away, I thank goodness that nothing happened and swear up and down to never let it happen again.
Buy a harness.

*Puts on flame retardant suit*

Now before I get flamed hear me out. Child doesn't like stroller, child wants to walk, Child Wiggles hand loose off child goes..SPLAT smoked by car faster than you can blink.

Buy a harness, you are letting your child walk like he/she wants, and in case child wriggles loose from your hand, you know they can't really run very far.
Can you try offering a choice? When my DS was 2, our rule was he can either

A.) hold my hand in the parking lot
B.) have me carry him
C.) ride in the stroller.

Any other option just isn't a choice. He MUST do one of the 3, but he can choose which one. If he can't choose, I choose for him. And yes, I have carried a screaming 2 year old across the parking lot to the car (very un-AP) but safety is number one.

Now that he's 3, he very willingly takes my hand as we cross parking lots.
Getting in a car from a parking lot, I'd not put him for one minute on the ground. he'd go from my arms or stroller or carrier right into the car without question. i'd have something to hand him as i was strapping him ito the seat. If we were getting out of the car, I'd carry the toddler or hand him a book or small toy or cracker as I strapped him into a little umbrella stroller. I *simply* wouldn't take the chance. he's too young to reliably understand that degree of danger.

I would also not 'trust' that a toddler could learn this for every single occassion or remember the danger every single minute. When I had two small children 16 mos apart, one was in the sling or backpack and the other was in a little stroller. Not to sit in forever, but for as long as we were in a dangerous spot. 2 yr olds are too young to be be reliable in a dangerous, crowded, busy parking lots full of speeding cars and distracted drivers. it has nothing to do with being good or bad, but has everything to do with not being developmentally ready to understand danger. Its a parent's job to keep a toddler safe. As hard as that is.
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well, thanks i guess for all the responses...i did not expect to be made to feel guilty by them....i understand that a 2 year old can not developmentally understand all the time about safety....and he does always hold my hand in a parking lot, but today he managed to let go as i was about to put him into the car, he is 2, and he thought a game of chase would be fun, i was not coming here to a bunch of mom's whose opinions i respect to hear about how i need to keep my kid safe in a parking lot, i know that, and honestly, that is not the issue....i was looking for some suggestions about how to talk to him about it other than the obvious - you always hold mommy's hand, cars can give big boo-boos etc........
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How is sharing our own experiences with toddler issues and growth, guilt-provoking? Talking about developmental expectations is taking the guilt *away* from the parent. I didn't feel guilty that my children weren't ready to be free in a parking lot--it was good to know he/she simply wasn't ready for that step at 2. Nobody said, "karin, you silly fool, don't you know anything?".
I mean, gosh.

Reassuring a person that toddlers aren't quite up to the parking lot challenge isn't about guilt, girl! I would think it obvious that we're all going to tell our wee ones 'Let's be safe. Mommy will hold onto you now (or put you in the stroller so she can carry the baby. Or put the baby in the stroller so she can carry you). The cars are going so fast! It's dangerous!". I just assumed that was a given. Now maybe I should feel guilty for reading that into your post!
Remembering how children develop isn't about not talking to your child about what's going on.

I can't say that I have any other words for a 2 yr old other than what you're already saying. One can't get too dramatic- "You could die and then Mommy would be so sad..." I mean, that wouldn't be appropriate. You could show something little getting squished by something really big and fast, but i am not sure a toddler can apply that to the parking lot. A 5 yr old might, though.

I like to write directly what i am thinking...that whole dance of 'Please, i am so sure you are already doing this, or already know this, but just in case, I'm going to say it anyway' gets tired and to me, seems condescending. Finding the right posting style for all the different personalities on the board is impossible. Plus, I find that if MDC psoters think someone iswrong or stupid, they go right ahead and say so.
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i guess i misunderstood your tone then
: , as is easy to do via e-mail etc.....i just see so many people where to get their message across when it is sooooo serious would spank....and i thought one of you other gentle disciplining mamas must have some secret phrase or tool or something that was escaping me, and that is what i was looking for.....seeing everyone say "hold on to him" made me feel dumb. i DO hold on to him.....
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My tone can be too direct. I'll try to work on that.

What you're doing-- holding him, and talking to him, is right on. There is nothing magical about it.
I swear. Toddlers challenge us, but I have not found any magical one -size- fits- all soultion for anything. Except maturity, growth etc. Human children are dependant on adults for a long time for a reason. Full brain growth takes time.

Trust yourself. I know it seems that other parents have certain answers you don't- and sometimes we can share good ideas with each other. But you are no less competant than any of us. You might be newer to parenting, but you still have instincts. Little children need to be kept safe, and we often do that with our bodies- we carry, comfort, hold. Those are all right things to do. Toddlers are barely out of infancy. Their experiences are limited. Not less important, just limited. We care for them as they gain knowledge. You most likey won't need to carry a 5 yr old, your words will be enough. They just aren't enough right now--and you knew it.
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Sing it, girl! Little songs and poems is how I learned geogrpahy. A hand -holding song sounds great!
My personal tip is to teach your DC to respond immediately to the word STOP. Practice at home and make a game of it. Let him/her tell you, too, so you can demonstrate exactly what to do when you hear the word.

The few times my DC has gotten away from me in a parking lot or near a street corner, I yell, "STOP" in a commanding voice and he always stops immediately. Again, you can't count on it so you still have to hold them etc. but if/when they do get away this helps.
I don't know if I have successfully managed to convey how dangerous it is, but literally every time we get out of the car, I remind my 3.5 yo that she must hold my hand in parking lots because that's the safety rule. We have very few strict "rules" in this family, but that one is non-negotiable. So "it's the rule" is my parking lot mantra. Sometimes she reminds me before I even unbuckle her car seat straps. ;
We do the same thing as beth568. Every single time we go in/near a parking lot, I say, "hold hands in a parking lot." I also talk about how she's little and the cars can't see her very well, but I'm bigger so they see me better.

Originally Posted by mamazee
We do the same thing as beth568. Every single time we go in/near a parking lot, I say, "hold hands in a parking lot." I also talk about how she's little and the cars can't see her very well, but I'm bigger so they see me better.
I do that too. Plus on the rare occassion we had a problem I screamed. (I only remember doing this once, though it's possible my memory is not accurate here.) Not *at* her, but more of a panicked - I can't see you scream "CATHERINE!!!!" I so rarely raise my voice it really got her attention. She could tell this was a non-negotiable.
We are having this issue too. In fact I was going to post about it! My dd who is 22 months has taken to having tantrums in parking lots/crossing streets because I won't let her walk on her own. For a petite little thing she has quite the shriek going.

I don't negotiate about this at all. I say, hold hands or Mommy carries. She says NO NO NO NO NO. I pick her up and let her scream - this is the only time this happens. It is getting harder as she is mastering "floppy tantrum body" and "board body" and I am getting bigger (29 weeks pregnant).

We tried a harness but she figured out how to get out of it.
She's very agile.

Sigh. My older daughter didn't do this kind of stuff. She did other stuff. :LOL

Just wanted to give you a
'cause I'm going through the same thing!
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oooo!! share the hand holding song!!!! and i like the idea of explaining that cars cant see him coz he is little, he likes the concept that i am bigger and he is little.......thanks!!!!!
Nicole, loved the "floppy tantrum body" and "board Body " visuals I got of my dc! LOL!
What I did and still do with her is when we get to the car and I am opening it, or putting dd2 into car I say " hands on the car please, right here" and I put a X in the dust ( bag on head!) and she puts both hands on the car.
Works pretty well for us, but not all the time!
I do talk to her about how the cars are very dangerous and they can hurt her badly, and that will make us sad, so we need to stay safe.
We have had many experiences of her doing the "dash" which is not a fun place to be in, and I have yelled her name and STOP, which worked until the X in the dust!
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