I need ideas how to stop my daughter from running away when we go out!

Lisa - posted on 03/31/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

14

22

1

My Daughter is 18months old and she is a busy busy little girl. she is normally very well behaved except when I go out with her. when I go out and let her walk or go to playgrounds and even out in the front yard with her she runs away. She has no fear and doesnt care how far away from me she gets. If I chase her to bring her back she thinks its a game even when i get mad at her and tell her off it doesnt make a difference she just laughs in my face. im out of ideas!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Vanita - posted on 04/09/2010

5

6

0

to keep the kids with us we always tell them what is expected of them before we go. For example when we go to walmart before we get out of the car we say if you run off you are getting in the cart. then if she runs off in the cart she goes even if she does make a fuss. as for the park tell her if she runs off you will leave, and when she does run off then leave she will figure out that you mean bussiness.

Keri - posted on 04/18/2010

6

15

0

All I can say is, she can understand the word NO. I agree you can give her a warning & let her know she can make the choice to sit in a stroller or shopping cart or wagon, if you have one, or she can hold your hand & stay by your side. You have to show her how dangerous it is to run away from you. I have 3 boys who ALL try to test the boundaries, & I have never used a leash or will ever use one. I have been at my wits end & made a comment or 2 about a leash, but really you need to take charge.

Pamela - posted on 04/05/2010

6

0

0

I can completely understand your frustration! My littlest one is 20 months and is the most independent, stubborn little boy I have ever seen. I just thought my older two were hard to handle, but then this little guy comes a long. The other day we were in the front yard and he was inching closer and closer to the road. Thankfully, we live on a rural, dirt road with hardly any traffic, but still the idea scared me. I kept calling his name and told him to come back over and over, but he just gave me one of his looks and took off for the road. Now I know that he is too young to understand the consequences of his actions, but he knew that he was going against my words. I quickly yanked him out of the street and spanked his bottom and then came inside to put him in time out. Since then he has thought twice about disobeying.

22 Comments

View replies by

Chidinma - posted on 04/18/2010

8

15

1

i think the bestthing to do is to talk to her about that re dangerous and hurts. like that she can fall and hurt herself, that cars re dangerous when they hit u etc

Tanya - posted on 04/18/2010

0

0

0

I tried the leash but my daughter hates it she doesnt want me to hold on to her in any way. Her coat, a leash,her hand nothing she wants to walk alone without me touching her. I bend down to her level and I say to her if you run off you have to sit in the carriage ok you get 1 more chance. She listens after that.

Julie - posted on 04/17/2010

631

96

24

Play a game... allow her to run around the house or your own yard.. and wear her energy thin and trust me, she won't stray far. And you are VERY perceptive - its a game to her... Gradually walk over to her and take her by the hand... let her stray far BUT SAFELY and then she will realise that you are FAR away and it will concern her...

Janet - posted on 04/05/2010

9

3

2

I like the responses especially Trina and Joedy's. Joedy mentions some principles that any parent will have to teach his or her child sooner or later - that is how to help your child take you seriously and listen to you. Every child needs love, firmness and when necessary some discipline (you may use other jargon like consequences or naturally occurring response cost) to learn to do the right thing. I personally never liked the idea of a leash. However, I accept the fact that it is helpful for some.

Theresa - posted on 04/05/2010

1,310

22

236

If you're going for a walk get one fo those back packs with leashes so that she can't run off. If you're going out to play when she runs you take her back in the house. Explain that if she doesn't listen then she can't go out and play. She will understand that and eventually start to listen. If you're at the park when she does it leave, just the same as I said with taking her back in the house. Tell her why you left and that you won't go back unless she listens.

Stacey - posted on 04/05/2010

24

55

5

at 18 months i would still be using a stroller
an 18 month old has no idea of the dangers of running away and shouldnt be able to do so
or use kiddy reigns
and when someone asks why you treat your child like a dog, you reply 'because i love my child, like my dog, i keep them safe, i love them, i feed them, keep them warm, because a reign is keeping my child who is unaware of the dangers, from running away'
at 18 months old though, i would be using a stroller
my son wouldnt dare run away from me now, he knows better, he knows if he does he looses the privledge of walking, and has to go back into his stroller

Joedy - posted on 04/05/2010

9

7

0

Yeah I went throught the exact same thing when my son was about 3. My husband and I took our son to the shopping centre and he disappeared in the food court only to find him in the toilets! He'd needed to go and didn't realise he needed to let us know first! I was in hysterics. He was so independant when he was that age it was scary. I came across this fab book at DFO called "From No to Yes without bribing or threatening". I used the advice and it worked for me. Just practise this at home. Before leaving home say: "We're going shopping soon, so let's practise how you're going to hold my hand. Then we can keep each other safe". (Practising the rule transforms it into a conditioned set of behaviours: your child learns to automatically do what you expect). Or you could say: "Remember, the rule is that we're suppose to hold hands to stay safe". And don't forget praise! Kids thrive on praise. Say something like, "Thankyou for holding my hand! It makes me feel good that we're safe"! For my own sanity I also used to make him wear those kiddies straps until he was old enough to know better. One last tip I've learnt raising my son (now 8.5 yrs), is that if you are laughing whilst telling them off for things like running off or swearing, they pick up on it straight away and think you're mucking around and not being serious. Always show a serious face while giving discipline, or you'll give them mixed messages. All the best! Hope that I helped in someway!

Claire - posted on 04/04/2010

309

39

44

We use the harness for both kids right now. It's a safety issue, regardless of other people's opinions. Keeping their arms up to hold onto your hand is also quite cruel, in my opinion. It hurts to have your hand up for even a few minutes, let alone a 15 minute trip through the grocery store. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are just too interested in the world around them to be good all the time. That, and we never want to have to wonder where our kids are. I have seen the backpack version and a purse version, but until the harness doesn't fit, we'll stay with what we have.
I can tell you from experience that the velcro on the Safety1st model is the best and will support a 35lb toddler who has suddenly gone dead weight or is trying to run.

Lisa - posted on 04/04/2010

14

22

1

Thankyou all for your great responses. its really nice to know that im not the only one with the problem. Its so easy to feel like a bad mother when this happens like i cant control my own child or something. the backpack idea sound great. i have never thought about using it although it may take a little getting used too. thanks again all :-)

Erin - posted on 04/03/2010

469

4

61

I thought I was the only one with this problem! My son is just over 2 and I have to chase him everywhere or strap him in. After reading all these posts I am seriosly considering the leash. I have thought about it before bet never can remember to get one. I don't and would never care about what people may say. As a parent you have to do whatever you can to keep your child safe.

Trish - posted on 04/03/2010

1

3

0

You might need to just accept this as a stage. She will reach the stage where she does not want to loose sight of you. Safety is paramount. Lots of praise when she does do the right thing. Try not to play the chasing game with her by only letting her run around where you don't have to be on the edge of your seat, and you know she is safe. Like enclosed playgrounds. Otherwise a pram for essential excursions where you know she is likely to run.

Caitlin - posted on 04/02/2010

1,915

5

172

I never thought I'd put a leash on my child, I thought it was inhumane. Now my daughter is 16 months, refuses to be carried anywhere and loves the independance of walking. She also refuses to hold anyones hand or walk beside me. I got a backpack animal thing with a leash. It's cute, she doesn't mind it so much and it gives her the freedom to walk. Another reason I started doing this is beacuse I'm usually pushing our younger daughter in the double stroller, so I can't just leave that stroller unattended all the time while running after her, it's just not safe, so the leash was my compromise.

Trina - posted on 04/02/2010

18

14

3

My 18 mo old tries to pull away from me on our walks, but i have her little hand. I don't know if it's a technique per se, but it works for me... I give her my index finger to hold while with my thumb and other fingers encircle her hand. She can't get away. We can walk 15 - 20 min like this. It allows me during those times she's tryin to pull away to grip her better. I hold on but not with so much pressure that it hurts her if you know what i mean. As for the park, I push the stroller to an open area, lock the breaks, and let her run in the grass area. We play right around the stroller's perimeter...which is a good amount of space. When she tries to go farther, I call her back. Or say no, no. When she doesn't listen, I guide her back to the area I want her to stay in. She can't get too far cause i'm right behind her. I have even had a "talk" with her, esp when we play in our courtyard, that if she 'acts' up or doesn't listen we'll leave/come back in. To date, we've never had to do so early. I doubt she fully understands all that, but I think it's good practice. She's too young, and not disciplined enough yet to go beyond my reach, literally. Get a harness thing if that'll work for you, but regardless of your 'technique' when you must re-direct, speak firmly and on her level (eye to eye) ex. "I didn't like that" and make sure she's looking at you. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 04/02/2010

6

18

0

I had, and still have, that problem with my 2 y/o. I bought a monkey "backpack". It works very well. And surprisingly, she loves it! Make it like a game with her. Thats what we all did with Antoinette. I know alot of people say they don't like the "leash" idea. I, honestly, was one of those people. But seeing how much Antoinette loves it, and also seeing how much easier it is using it, made me change my mind.

Nora - posted on 04/02/2010

7

13

0

Oh! Girl I have the same problem my almost two year old does the same thing, my eight year old never did this, I think I might get that harnest thing but I'm not sure my child is not an animal thay will have to learn how to stay within arms reach good luck

Sarah - posted on 04/01/2010

3,880

14

1082

You can get one of those leashes that allow them to walk, but keeps them close to you. What I tend to do is require them to hold my hand if they want to walk. If they don't want to hold my hand then they must go in the stroller.

Lea - posted on 04/01/2010

540

11

21

My son was the same and I just had to either follow him or take him to places that had fences and when we went shopping always strap him in the cart. If you can't do this, I would create a policy that she gets one warning about running off and if she does it again, you go home. You will need to explain to her firmly and simply what is going on and why. She isn't laughing at you, she just likes running around and being chased. She might think that your behavior is funny because she doesn't understand it and has no idea the danger she is in.

Louise - posted on 04/01/2010

5,429

69

2322

I have the same problem my 17 month old has no fear of strangers or big wide spaces and just this morning she walked out of playgroup with another mother and left me searching for her high and low. I always have her on reins when we are outside or she would be gone without a second glance. I also will only allow her to walk if she holds my hands if I don't have the reins with me as she goes off in any direction but the one I am trying to go in. I will be using a wrist harness when she is a bit older.

Lady - posted on 04/01/2010

2,136

73

221

Have you tried one of those little back packs with the leash attached, they look fun and I don't think most kids mind wearing them, plus as the leash can be quite long it gives them a certain sense of freedom but still keeps them safe.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms