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Toddler Help

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Toddler Help

Postby k8 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:54 pm

My 25-month-old has developed a troubling habit of running for the exits at parks and playgrounds. She thinks it's a game to run off on me and if I chase her she runs faster. I am usually wearing a baby when I'm out with her and can't catch her. She has almost run into traffic twice now and she runs regularly for parking lots. How do I stop her?
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby kattnipp on Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:19 pm

I used to have a band that I wore one side she wore the other so she could only go so far. It helped teach her there are times she can't run from us. Also you can start explaining when you get to a place that if she does take off you won't be going the next day.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby Nickal on Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:22 pm

Get a baby harness. That is what I used with my kids when they were little and also my daycare kids. I rather that then a child get hit by a car.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby k8 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:25 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the advice! I was hoping to avoid putting my toddler on a "leash," but I agree it's better than losing her altogether. It does seem like it will be difficult to let her play freely on the playground equipment if I use a harness of any kind. She tends to do things like slide down the slide, see I'm busy with the baby, and take off.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby kattnipp on Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:46 pm

Make it clear and be ready to have to leave the park but tell your child should she leave the play area you are going home. If she leaves pack up and go home. She will learn you are serious and start playing in the play area not running towards dangerous areas.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby five-seven-five on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:04 pm

You can get backpack "leashes" as well that you can remove the tether from, but still leave the pack on. At that stage it seemed to psychologically inhibit the running away to have the pack on, even if the tether was off. It's a bit of peace of mind until the understanding of the rules is fully developed. They sell them at MEC.

ps. I just wanted to add that I had hoped to avoid it too when I started out, but sometimes with a little sibling to attend to as well, it's the best solution. In a perfect world, siblings would just cooperate with whatever you were trying to do, right? Don't feel bad about it.
Last edited by five-seven-five on Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby k8 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:57 pm

Thanks, I'll give it a try!
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby Spectrum on Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:21 am

I've never used a leash on my daughter.

If she was running away I would give her one chance. I would say if you run away again we are going home. Then follow through.

Also in situation like a parking lot I will tell her to hold hand. If she refuses I will tell her we aren't moving until she holds my hand. I can totally out-wait a toddler. Eventually she grabs my hand.

When my daughter was younger she would always run towards the road when we were on driveway. The trick for me was to say "Stay on the driveway," and she would. If I said "Don't run on the road," she would run.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby Skipper on Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:14 pm

my kids love the go go STOP game. Teaches them to listen and STOP!
I would start by putting baby in a stroller a couple times when you go to the park so that you can stop the exit with a fast bolt after her.
Instruct your toddler before you leave that you are taking her to the park, here are the rules. NO leaving the playground, or she will have a time out and then you will leave the park. TELL her what you expect. Praise her when she is playing on the equipment that you love how she is playing in the playground nicely and listening to you.
If you are in parking lots or on walks, yes, use a harness. Better safe than sorry. I have always wondered what parents have against harnessing their child if that child is a runner.
Would you rather say to yourself "I should have bought a harness..." ?

Anyway, she is old enough to understand simple rules if you lay them out for her. Treats for good behaviour when you are ready to leave.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby k8 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:07 pm

Thanks for these (possibly?) elegant solutions. Put the baby in a stroller! Jeez, I really should have thought of that :D. Maybe if I wasn't so sleep deprived! Also, I'll give the "stop, go" game a try as well. Much appreciated!
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby kapoohhh on Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:12 pm

The big thing is, tell her before you get there if she does it, you are leaving. Even if it makes a scene or you have a big event you must follow through with leaving.
I have had this happen with each of my children and they never did it again. I did not give a second chance.
It becomes a game and they know they can get away with it.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby Brenda N on Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:56 am

Never say never in parenting - not for yourself and definitely not for someone else. I was able to escape the use of a "leash" but I can completely see where they make a lot of sense.


Some ideas for you....
It sounds like an attention thing - she sees you are busy (not focussed on her) and then she does something to get your attention. So a couple of ideas stringing from that...

Discuss before hand that you would like to go to the park with her but this has been a problem and its unfortunate that she is not yet "big enough" to play on her own for a minute while you change the baby, etc.

Go to the park for short periods where you can give her most of your attention - baby is sleeping, etc. If you have to take your attention off of her, can you involve her in whatever you are doing with baby? Can she help change baby, sing to baby while you nurse, etc etc?

When at the park tell her that you have to change the baby, or whatever and that you are counting on her to be "big enough" to stay where she is so you don't have to take her home and end the park time. But go to the park with this plan in mind - fully prepared that she will make a run for it. In fact I would set it up when I don't need to put my attention on baby but pretend that I am going to so I can stop what I am doing immediately, catch her, and go home. But you must must must follow through and go home immediately. You cannot negotiate to stay. BUT. I would not be angry with her - I would simply reassure her that its ok that she is not yet old enough to handle that - and that soon enough she WILL be big enough to handle a few moments of independent play so it will be safe to take her to the park. This way you are a team working on this together - with both of you wanting to take her to the park and not her being bad and you enforcing the rules.
If she manages a short time playing on her own without bolting, definitely tell her how impressed you are with how she is becoming a wonderful big sister and example for baby.

Involve her with baby as "big sister" as much as possible. Point out when baby is watching her, smiling at her, etc.
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Re: Toddler Help

Postby 2plus2 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:08 pm

Checking in to see if you were able to try some of these strategies and how they worked/are working for you.
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