How do you get your kids to walk NEXT to you when you are out?

Katrina - posted on 06/19/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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The majority of the time that we take the girls out (4 & 2yo), to shopping complexes etc, they tend to walk several feet away. Now they do stay WITH us, but don't walk in a straight line (understandable) but they just don't watch where they are going, walk directly into other people...I feel like I am forever grabbing them to pull them to me if I can see a collision about to happen.
There are times when, if they are doing it deliberately, they HAVE to hold hands/trolley etc. but they generally are well behaved and I believe it is just absent-mindedness.
Any tips to help me "wake them up" so to speak? I understand that they will grow out of it eventually but it would be great to be able to speed that up :) It gets so annoying having to spend the whole trip apologising for them...

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Kate CP - posted on 06/19/2011

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Well, they are old enough to understand actions and consequences. The next time they start to wander off give them one warning: "If you can't stay close to me and Daddy then we will leave" and mean it. If they wander off again then gather them up and leave. Or, you could tell them that if they don't stay close they'll have to ride in the stroller or shopping cart. The key here is to ALWAYS follow through.

Katrina - posted on 06/19/2011

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I have used them before, but they are more of a nuisance than anything. As I said, the girls do stay close but just further than is helpful :)

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