Running toddler

Kerri - posted on 10/28/2008 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My son thinks it's funny to run away and won't stop when we tell him to. This has put him in some potentially dangerous situations. Any suggestions?

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Tara - posted on 10/30/2008

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Wow, this is serious. Running away is dangerous to them, to you and others around them. They need to understand why running away is wrong. I always choose what is most important when disciplining my children, and listening to me and safety are the top two on my list, constant running away breaks both of those.

We are rearing children, not raising them. We raise corn, wheat etc. They just need tlc, food and water. Rearing children requires much more. Think about training a dog. You see plenty of dogs on leashes. Some trained, some not...constantly pulling away and refusing the leash. Again, not listening and very dangerous, and will run away if they can break free. It's not TEACHING them. No different than children. I realize that I'll offend some people. I do understand with the individual that physically limits them to chasing after their children, but there are things you can do.

Start small. In your house. First and foremost, they have to understand that they must ALWAYS listen to you. Whether it's coming to the table for dinner, picking up toys, reading a book etc. Never let them NOT listen to you. Once this is established, then the running away factor would be easy. Give them two choices for discipline (toy take away, time out, whatever) as long as you agree and will follow through with each choice and it's the outcome that you like. 1. Listening to you or 2. time out/discipline etc. I never count for my kids. 1, 2, 3. They just know to listen to me. You don't want to have to count if your child is running in the street. If you yell stop, they should have the practice of listening to you to stop. I started the discipline the minute they started to bite...when the teeth came in. So, at the age of 9 months for me. How did I do that? I would say no bite, and place them on the floor away from me. They would then cry and crawl to me, and usually, they would bite again. Again, I would say no bite, place them on the floor away from me. This would continue, but not for long (a few mintues). Then, they would get the hint and not bite. Biting stopped within weeks for us. Also, when they throw a fit, same thing. The reward was always contact with us. I would stay away until the very second they were done crying and screaming. Tell them good job for calming down and go about our business. I also do the time out in grocery stores. Hey, it works. It is stressful and time consuming, however, worth the outcome. I always told my self that I have had 30 more years of stubbornness on me and I can be more stubborn than my child. So, if they are running away. Start small with everything in the home. Then, go outside in your yard. If they run away, yell stop, or no (I prefer stop, no blankets everything and not specific). Run, get them, set them on the step. Do it again, and again, and again. Think of the story with helen keller when she was a child, her teacher was persistent, and it worked. Then, once they have the yard down, go on walks with them on a daily basis. It not only establishes to walk with you, it allows you to let them go ahead of you and understand those boundaries within time. You are teaching rules of the road AND exercise at the same time.

Good luck. Honestly, this will help establish rules, listening and safety with all other areas of the house and living. Someone once asked me how long the terrible two's last, my response is "forever" if you don't do anything about it now.

Kerri - posted on 01/20/2009

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Alice, you are not a failure! I purchased the Eddie Bauer leash, and it works wonderfully. Most of the time, he stops when I tell him to, and I don't have to worry about losing a grip on his hand (and I don't have to bend down, which helps my back a lot). When he wants to run, and it's appropriate, I run with him.

Sarah - posted on 10/30/2008

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I agree 110% with Tara. My son doesn't run from me because it has never been an option. We started with a fun game of "Stop and Go" in the hallway. Now, when he pushes the limits of how far he can go, all I have to say is "Stop" in a very calm voice. He tunes into my voice over others, and your son will too. But if it starts with a fun game, he might be more inclined to actually follow your instruction. Great advice, Tara.

11 Comments

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Alice - posted on 01/19/2009

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I have 2-year-old twin boys that are both runners. Boy, I feel like a failure of a parent after seeing Tara's post.

Sarah - posted on 10/30/2008

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Great idea Tara, but unfortunately this is not a cure all. My children have been disciplined since they were babies, too. One of them is testing me, but is growing out of that, since he knows that it is not okay, but the other (the runner) still runs. Some children just are different.

Sarah - posted on 10/29/2008

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My son is a runner as well. We put a fence around our backyard so that he can run freely and I don't have to worry about him as much.

Cassie - posted on 10/29/2008

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i know where u r coming from my daughter does the same thing and thinks its funny

[deleted account]

We went to buy the monkey leash but wound up with KinderKords, which I don't recommend. both of my kids (ages 1 and 2) can get them off, lickety split. I should have gone for the monkey...

[deleted account]

I have the kiddie leash and love it too....same as Melinda, it looks like a Monkey. I got mine at Target. They have ones that look like puppies too.

Ashley - posted on 10/29/2008

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Oh boy this is always the toughest. What I had to do that worked for me was always be holding my sons hand (which is quite a challenge) and not giving him the opportunity to slip out of sight. I have heard about the kiddie leash tho, more and more people are using them for there little runners!

Melinda - posted on 10/28/2008

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My two year son is the same way. I use a cane so it makes it even harder to keep up with him. So one day we found what can only be described as a kiddie leash at Wal-mart. It looks like a Monkey and fits over his back like a back pack and clips together in the front and the tail has a loop on the end so I can keep a hold of him. It helps when we go out into public so that I know he doesn't get to far from me. At home we "walk" our boundries every time that we go outside with me on the outside and him on the inside and I tell him past here is a no no. Did this everytime for couple of weeks and now I just have to remind him every so often. Hope this helps

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