How can I get my three yr old to stop running away from me in public?

April - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My three yr old is my middle child who keeps running away from me in stores (glad we live in a very small town). I have tried discipling him, talking to him, time-outs, taking away toys or priviliges, nothing works. He usually only does this when his 5 yr old brother is with me. During the day when I take him on errands with me and his baby sister, he is fine. I am scared something might happen to him and need advice on how to get him to stop doing this. Any suggestions? Do you think I should tr using a child leash on him?

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I think a child leash is definitely an idea. Also, using the "rod" (wood spoon, willow switch, etc.) really helps childrens behavior when it comes to listening and obedience. So, if you have a good obedience training regime at home, then he will do fine in public. I learned this from the book "To Train Up a Child" by Michael and Debbi Pearl (a husband and wife team who raised 5 or 6 children, and who are now Grandparents). I suggest getting the book too!

Hope this helps!

Jane - posted on 11/04/2009

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try the leash, they're pretty inexpensive and it's better than losing him or someone grabbing him. he may stop after that. good luck.

Brandi - posted on 11/04/2009

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have you discussed Stranger Danger with your child yet??? My daughter and I began discussing it this past summer as we do NOT have a totally fenced in yard and there is an alley that drives right next to the yard (on the side of the yard that does have a fence) and I wanted to be certain that if for some reason i popped inside for a second, and someone should come into the yard or drive down the alley and try to coax my daughter into their car that she knew EXACTLY what to do. I began with what she should do in our yard (which is also in a very small town with neighbors that I am familiar with and in some cases related to). I gave her the simple instruction of DO NOT EVER get into a car with ANYONE *even relatives/friends* without talking to mommy about it first. also i said that if someone should come into the yard she should come to mommy IMMEDIATELY. after she was aware of what to do in that situation, i told her what she should do if we ever got separated in a store. I explained to her that strangers are people we do not know and COULD be very dangerous. By informing her on the dangers of not staying with me in public places she NEVER leaves my side *usually she is in the cart*. Plus if something should ever happen where she is separated from me she knows to find a clerk in the store OR to kick and scream like hell if someone tries to take her. I also told her to yell FIRE instead of kidnapper or rape or something like that as FIRE will get more attention from passersby than any other word or phrase. As she gets a wee bit older i intend to rehearse these types of situations with her in our yard, so she knows exactly what to do and feels TOTALLY comfortable with what she should do in a bad situation. The more you can help him to understand the dangers of breaking away from you without terrifying him of course (my daughter is afraid of EVERYTHING, but seems to feel empowered when she has the correct safety information) the less likely he will be to leave your side in public situations.

Heather - posted on 11/04/2009

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My son is three as well and we still use a safety harness on him. It can be tough though because like my son he pulls on it or lays on the floor at times. But to him it is better than being in a cart. We also explain to him that it is for his safety. So he does not run out in the middle of the road or something.

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