Do you have a runaway child and need help to keep your child from bolting?
I sure did! I was always super uneasy when leaving the house because I never knew what could happen once we left the front door.
My Mommy anxiety rolls in and panic ensues..and then we ended up not leaving the house at all.
I’m positive I am not the only Momma bear dealing with this sort of challenge and I wanted to share my tips on how I finally got over the hurdle of a runaway child using positive parenting methods.
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
The Solution Keep Your Child From Bolting
I’m sorry, I don’t have just one solution, but I do have a couple of suggestions for you. No one child is the same and each child will have their own reaction to the different approaches. Try a few different tactics and see what works for you.
The first thing you can try is to get a backpack with a tether. It is a safety leash made for children that usually comes with an adorable backpack that kids love to wear.
This method keeps your child safe by your side all while giving them the freedom to walk on their own.
Personally not my favourite method, mostly because it did not work on my kids, but I have seen this very successful for MANY of my friends and family members and thus it is my number one suggestion for your runaway child.
Make It Into A Game
Sometimes the best thing to do is make a game of the situation.
Letting the imagination out with a simple game such as pretending the running child is a vehicle and giving commands such as “red” (means stop), “Yellow” (Means Slow Down), and “Green” (Means Go).
This kind of method is called ” Learning Through Play” and I am a huge advocate for this. I find children learn really well through hands-on learning situations.
Provide Clear Rules And Stick To Them
Something you should do in any situation is to state all of your rules in a simple, easy to understand way before you leave the house or get into the stroller.
Make it clear that if rules are not followed, the consequence will be going home. The thing is, you must make sure to be able to follow through on that consequence in order for it to be effective.
This is not a good consequence if you are paying $300 to get into the zoo (exaggeration, sorry, our Zoo is crazy expensive!) and you threaten to leave because if the running away sequence starts 15 minutes into your trip, you’re going to lose a lot of cash if you turn around and go back home.
A good turn of phrase for explaining the discipline to your kids is” Safety First, Fun Second”.
If the listening / safety doesn’t happen, the fun thing you had planned doesn’t happen.
This isn’t punishment, it is a way to get kids to understand what is safe and what is not. It should not be used a threat, but rather an explanation.
A good way to see if your child understood the statement, ask a few questions to confirm they had their listening ears on.
Try The “Hold The Stroller” Approach
Sometimes the best thing to do is get your child to hold onto the stroller while you push it around. This gives them the independence of walking as well as the satisfaction of helping you out.
This is a win-win situation and could last a long while until your child is exhausted from walking and needs to get back into the stroller.
If you child starts out walking nicely alongside the stroller but then starts to run away when they see shiny exciting objects in the distance, you will have to put the child back into the stroller for being unsafe.
The most important thing to remember that this is typical behaviour for a 2-3-year-old and while the stage is frustrating, it is not their fault. These little humans are just excited about life and they want to know and feel everything and anything they can!
This stage will pass, and you may even miss it when they grow up.. .no lie!