Pre-School

LO running away from me in stores

My 3 1/2 year old, in the past few weeks has been running away from me while in a store. I will yell at him to stop and he ignores me. I will go after him and drag him back and then proceed to hold him the rest of the time despite his protests. The last time, I did not let him watch TV the rest of the day which he was not happy about of course.But yesterday, he was at the mall with my sister and he ran to the entrence and out the door into the parking lot! She left the mall as punishment for him and he was upset but I'm not sure this is enough to deter him. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Re: LO running away from me in stores

  • DD has never done this, but if she did, we'd pretty much leave wherever we were without a word.  That is no joke and not funny and this Mama is not playing that game at all - ever.

    Next time we went somewhere, I'd explain the rules in advance - either stay with me/come back as soon as I say you are too far/stop when I say stop or we leave.  End of story.

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  • jlw2505jlw2505
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    Honestly, try to work on consequences that fit what he has done.  I know not everyone agrees with them but get a leash for him - don't use it right away but tell him if he doesn't stay next you, you will put it on him.  Or tell him if he moves away from your side, he is getting buckled into the stroller/shopping cart, etc.  A conseuqence that occurs hours later will do nothing for what has happened as kids don't always remember.  It might also just be time to take a break from taking him shopping with you until he is a little older or only for short trips.  I know we had a point where shopping with the kids was just not worth the hassle.  I would also make the shopping more fun for him - have him help you find things - give him pictures of items if he doesn't know what they are.  Its a little more work for you but in the end, will keep him more interested.  Another option is to just keep snacks or small games with you - put him in the cart with some crackers or a game and he is now busy and you can shop really fast.  Oh and leaving is something I have done - if one of my girls is just not listening, I will head to the car with that child while DH and the other child finish the shopping.  We sit in the car, seatbelted in and don't talk until DD calms down.  We always discuss the behavior that is expected and the consequence if not followed before any shopping trip as a reminder.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • My (now) 4 year old used to do it when he was 2.5 years old.  It was awful because I had an infant carrier and an older DD in tow.   He was putting not only himself but my other 2 children in danger, he was spanked and he eventually stopped (judge that, i don't give a crap : )  I remember a couple of really signficant instances where he did go in the road also...
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  • This is one of those monkey leashes would be good. I have one for my almost 4 yr old and she will ask to be on it. We used it as a precaution. My biggest fear is someone getting one of my girls. I am a little OCD when it comes to being in stores and malls with the.
  • With my LOs, in most cases, we have a strict hand holding policy. If they're not in a stroller, they HAVE to be holding my hand or the side of the stroller (if DS is walking and DD is riding, for instance). If we're grocery shopping, they often still both sit in the cart seats (even though DS is getting much too big). I'm not entirely opposed to 'leashes' for kids that like to take off (DS was one of them), but i think at 3.5, it's time for LO to just learn the consequences of such actions instead of leashing them. 
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  • are you holding his hand? You have to hold it tight (like, hold his wrist, not his hand) and he needs to learn that there is no option but to hold your hand, sit in a stroller, or sit in a shopping cart - period. If he runs off - you pick him up and bring him to the car and go home.

    A punishment later at home = nothing to a child that age. It will NOT click with what he's doing wrong - he needs an immediate punishment, and one that makes sense for the situation --- running off = going home, or being put into a cart, etc.

    I have twins - and simply do NOT put up with running off - i can't (and when you have another child you'll see you can't just leave a baby to chase after another child).... so nip it in the bud - be strict and consistent. If you give in at all he will keep doing it. He needs to know the limits. Kids thrive off of knowing limits.

    again- hold his arm tightly so he can NOT run off - and if he won't walk that way - stroller or cart - or no stores, etc.

    I used to be Goldie_locks_5 but the new nest is so screwed up that I was forced to start over.
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  • I think you need to keep him contained for a few months. When you are out, he must either ride buckled in the cart, in a stroller, on a leash, or with you holding his hand firmly. No 2nd chances for a long time. He is enjoying the game of having you run after him, so do not let him have a chance to play that game.

    And yes, I have been in your shoese though my DD was younger. I chased her about a quarter of the way down the mall. I was 9mo pg and abandoned her stroller with my purse in it to chase her running as fast as I could go. It was at least 6mo, maybe longer before I let her walk in the mall. To this day we do not let the kids walk in the grocery store/target/costco, though that will have to change soon.

    The former jen5/03.

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  • DS likes to open doors.  I've told him many times not to but they are usually just the interior doors at daycare.  This weekend we were out to lunch with his friend and friend's mom and when we left, I was still at the table and he was out the door of the restaurant.  Thankfully there was a long handicap ramp and he had only gotten down the first section.  He was crying from me yelling at him (I rarely yell and I don't remember the last time I saw tears on him) and knew he was in big trouble.  We went over how dangerous it was and the friend's mom reiterated it. 

     He was crying for DH the whole time.  We went home and in the car he asked if we could still go on the rides.  It took me a few questions to realize he meant the Disneyland trip in August.  Poor guy.  When we got home a few minutes later I had him tell DH what he did and go over why it was dangerous again (so in 10 minutes he had 3 adults and his friend tell him it was dangerous).  Later that day we left the house and he was standing on the deck and said to me "I have to wait for a grownup to go out the door".  

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  • When LO ran away at the mall, I did a few things. 1) I did not chase. It wasn't a busy time and she ran into a store. I knew she'd be safe until I got to her. Then I hid and let her get scared she couldn't find me. I could see her the whole time and it lasted less than a minute; I just let her get just a tiny bit scared. Then I acted like I was looking for her everhwhere and told her how scared I was. I think us both being "scared" made an impression as she hasn't done it since. We also held hands the rest of the time we were there, and at this point she was willing. 2) I started working on "STOP". All the time. Everywhere. Not a game (though it is a tiny bit to her), but just frequent. Now even if she's running somewhere like at the park, she stops because it's instinct. Even if she were to start running again, it could be a big difference in getting to her. 

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  • rsd12rsd12
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments First Answer 5 Love Its
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    I have been really lucky and never have had this problem yet. But I try to set expectations when we go certain places, that if they can't walk next to me then they sit in a stoller or shopping cart or get picked up. I have been having issues with the two younger ones not wanting to hold my hand when crossing the street because the oldest no longer needs to... but they don't have an option, as I will pick them up then.
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  • DD used do this too.  For a while I used a lead rope--clicked one end to the cart/stroller and let her hold the other end.  This gave her room to roam but not too far.  Rule was if she let go of the rope then trip was over.
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  • image KathrynMD:

    DD has never done this, but if she did, we'd pretty much leave wherever we were without a word.  That is no joke and not funny and this Mama is not playing that game at all - ever.

    Next time we went somewhere, I'd explain the rules in advance - either stay with me/come back as soon as I say you are too far/stop when I say stop or we leave.  End of story.

    This, exactly 

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