How do I keep my almost 3 year old son from running away from me. He bolted from the store we were at yesterday and started to run into the parking lot. HELP!!!

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Donna - posted on 03/25/2009

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1 of our boys did that when he was 3 to. The way i got him out of it was by bring the pram back. We told him when ever we were out he had to hold our hands or the side of the pram and if he was to let go he would have to go in the pram untill we went back to the car/house. Every time he let go, even if was for a moment. I told him off, put him in the pram and did the strapes up so he couldn't get out. I remember paying all the bills and having him screaming from the pram wanting to get out. What ever you do DON"T give into the nosie. Act like he's not making a nosie. If you are consistant and don't give up he will learn. But just keep in mind that it may not be a quick fix. All kids are different and some take longer to learn then others. Our little boys now 4half years old. As soon as he gets out of the car he holds on stright away. He will hold hands, pram or trolly. if he lets go all I have to say is 'do you want to go in the pram?' and he holds on again stright away. Good luck

Stephanie - posted on 03/25/2009

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I have a very bad runner! I bought one of those back packs that have a "leash". She hated it at first but it's a monkey and so we had her name it. now she begs to wear it & always makes sure someone is holding onto the tail. It's the best. People sometimes look at me like I'm horrible, some people have even said somethings to me about putting my kid on a leash. But I just tell them I'd rather do that then have a missing child.

Hannah - posted on 03/25/2009

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I dont want to come off as cruel, but if he is running into a dangerous situation and you have made it very clear to him what he is not supposed to do. You must take action right then-either spank his buttom or hold his arm point at him and say no. Then theres leashes, but those dont teach him. I like what Heather had to say as well. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 03/25/2009

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If talking to him about it doesnt work, this may sound cruel, but try to scare him a little bit? Take him some place safe and when he runs from you, hide from him. Wouldnt he get scared when couldnt find you? (make sure you can see him though!) Then talk with him after that about his feelings and how dangerous it is. I dont know, it sounds like he thinks its a game, so maybe this is a way to get him to think just the opposite? I havent tried this, because I havent had to, so sorry if its a crazy idea, but it just popped into my head?!

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Candice - posted on 03/25/2009

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walmart sells these cute little backpacks with stuffed animals on them...that have a strap mom can hold on to. i always hated the idea of "harnesses" on children, but these are so cute i got one for my baby and she can't even walk on her own yet!

Leah - posted on 03/25/2009

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I talk to my children at eye level and say I don't want to lose you. I ask them if they want that and normally, they say no. I tell them that if they run into the street, they'll get a big boo-boo and go to the hospital. They tell me no and stick with me. When I say stop, they stop because they know I mean busy. I used to say put your feet together and stay there. And I would praise them for listening to mommy. I had to make sure they knew the rules because I can't drive, so we walk everywhere. Consistent is the key. You can't expect anyone to learn in one shot. The leash is the easy way out. I did used them when we were first walking since I had TWO young children. Now that we have been walking more often, the leash is not needed or wanted. My children learned how to walk safely without constantly holding hands. It took A LOT of pracitice and patience.



I liked the leash at first but I thought that won't teach them the proper way to walk in different places. My daugther would pull on it as far as she could.

I have mixed feelings about it.

Tammy - posted on 03/25/2009

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Had the same thing happen with my daughter when she was about the same age. She thought it was fun when mom chased her. UUGGHHH! I made it very very clear after this happened only one time that it was unacceptable to leave my side for any reason. During shopping trips she was either in the cart of holding my hand wether she liked it or not. No matter how much of a fit she threw I was the boss and made her aware of that. I won't say spank or not because every parent has their own ways to deal with things and every child is different. Just make good and sure your child knows that in situations like that your way is the only way it's gonna be...period!



Good Luck



p.s. love your baby like there's no tomorrow....they grow up soooooo damn fast. My little ones are 17 and 14 now...sigh :(

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2009

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When my son did this I told him if he couldn't stay with me and the cart then he would have to ride inside. Anytime he started to wander away at all I would put him in the seat. It was a privilege to get to walk in the store like a big boy and help me get things off the shelf and put them in the cart. It only took a few times and then we didn't have any more problems. Good luck!!

Nikki - posted on 03/25/2009

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Im going with Hannah and Heather on this one, too.Immediate response and reaction along with some fear. Although in busy situations, I am all for the kid leash. the one with the backpack animal from walmart is fairly inexpensive. Maybe around 10 dollars? :-) Good luck!

Karen - posted on 03/25/2009

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At the store, let him "help" you push the shopping cart. I let my son grab the back (handle) end of the cart and push it for me. Of course, I am holding onto the handle so he is sort of penned in between your body and the cart. It is a little awkward for walking but he loves helping out.

Andrea - posted on 03/25/2009

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I agree with setting clear guidelines & consequences. 3 is way old enough enough to understand that. And, I suggest finding a consequence that will really bother him. My son gets to watch a cartoon in the morning while he eats breakfast & he knows if he bolts from me at the playground when it's time to go he loses TV. He hasn't done it since the first time he lost his show.

Also, we go over my rules in the car before we get to the store. I also do things like- if he sits in the cart while we're in Target at the end he can get out & look at the books or toys. And, I tell him if he runs away from me in a store he MUST sit in the cart or we leave.

Bev - posted on 03/25/2009

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i had the same problem when my son was younger. i know that a lot of people don't agree with this, but i bought one of those safety first harness that attaches to your toddlers chest and then has about a foot and a half lead on it. i did get a lot of dirty looks for it, but i would rather deal with the looks than deal with a lost child. hope this helps!

Amy - posted on 03/25/2009

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Yolanda,



I found a back-pack animal that has a tail/handle on it at walmart.  I have a two year old and a 4 month old.  Let me tell you it is a life and sanity saver.  I strap it on him before I pull him out of the car seat, put the loop over my wrist and then hold his hand.  If he bolts i still have the strap over my wrist to keep him so that i can get a grip on him again...I hope this helps

Cassydy - posted on 03/25/2009

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hi. I had the same problem when my five year old was that age but not anymore. He is three correct? That means that he can understand what you are saying to him. I don't mean to be harsh but a child only does what the parents allow. I had to draw the line when my son almost ran out into traffic. I treated it like everything else he was not allowed to do. Hope this works for you.

Tracey - posted on 03/25/2009

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Hi, I have the same problem with my 4 year old. Plus I have to push a pushchair so I invested in a wristlink which I attach to the pram and then have it around his wrist. I think if you have a runner then you need reins! Once you have him in them,then you can start training him to walk with you with the added safety of him not being able to run away. Hope this helps!

Bret - posted on 03/25/2009

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Set very clear guidelines before you leave the house. Where is he allowed to walk? Does he have to hold onto you, or the shopping cart? Can he walk without holding on if he stays where he can reach out and touch you? Also, give him an incentive to follow the rules, ie: "If you stay with mommy and follow the rules, we will have some time just for the two of us when we get home", or if hes a daddy's boy, tell him he will get to play ball with daddy tonight or this weekend, or something along those lines. Don't bribe with things, like candy, or presents, but with your attention and time. He will learn to associate good behavior with moms attention and time. It's a good reinforcement and a lesson he will grow with.

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It's such a scary thing when that happens! I make my son hold my hand when we are leaving stores and walking in parking lots. He knows that if he doesn't I will carry him, put him in a grocery cart and push him, or next time I will put his Elmo harness on him, or make him ride in the stroller. I always tell him over and over that he has to stay close to mommy in order to be safe. There are too many cars and he can get hurt if he doesn't stay close to me. Good luck.

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