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4 year olds refusal to walk dictating weekends!

(345 Posts)
Hannahlouise4026 Sat 24-Aug-19 15:20:26

My dd is 5 in November.
Every weekend for the last few weeks/months have resulted in either me or my husband having to abandon whatever plan we had as a family to go home with her as she just lies down in the middle of the steeet and refuses to walk. She says her legs hurt (I know this to be a lie to get out of what she wants to do as she runs off with her friends, swims and dances ( all things she enjoys)
We also have a baby and a almost 6 year old ad well.
Examples -
• last weekend on the Sunday we decided to go to a local national trust castle with fantastic play park, and the promise of lunch. She refused to get out of the car, then rolled around in the ground. In the end my husband sat in the car with her while I took my eldest and baby to the park

•weekend before, we decided to walk to a local cafe with a little play area and get an ice lolly. A 10/15 min walk. We gave her option of using scooter if She wanted. As soon as we got to the end of our street she sat down and refused to move, begging husband to carry her.

•on Thursday we went swimming just myself and baby brother, pool is 2 minutes walk from our front door (literally can see our door from it!) and on the way back she lay on the ground and refused to walk, half an hour later, me standing beside her the whole time, she saw her friend and then ran off with her.

•today she was playing outside with her friends and as it’s a lovely day, we thought we’d take a walk to local park (10/15 min walk) got yo the end of our street and again the same thing happened. I ended up literally having to drag her back while pushing the pram. She’s now rolling around the floor, which will last for ages.

I’ve said she has to spend the next two days indoor, and no iPad/tv time. I’m not sure what other reasonable thing to suggest to stop this happening.

It’s ruining any family thing we do, my husband has one day off a week and we fee we can’t do anything as her refusal to walk/go anywhere ruins it for all of us.

She is smart, friendly, generally well behaved at other times, no developmental/behavioural concerns otherwise.

Please help as we are at the end of our tether.

IceRebel Sat 24-Aug-19 15:26:29

I’ve said she has to spend the next two days indoor

Aside from this punishing the entire family, isn't this what she wants? confused

AmyFl Sat 24-Aug-19 15:28:32

Is your baby quite new, it may be a reaction to baby's birth?

Sexnotgender Sat 24-Aug-19 15:28:39

If she’s so very tired then she probably needs to go to bed.

BeanBag7 Sat 24-Aug-19 15:30:41

It seems that she unfortunately gets her own way whenever she does this. She doesnt want to go to the park, has a strop and refuses to walk so you go home.

In some cases could you/DH just pick her up unceremoniously and plonk her somewhere safe so you can play while she continues her tantrum - e.g. at the national trust place or swimming pool - or would she stop making a fuss once you arrived?

Drabarni Sat 24-Aug-19 15:30:44

Gosh, don't allow a child to rule the roost, lord knows what they'll be like as a teen.
Foot down and just walk away, they soon catch you up.

orangeshoebox Sat 24-Aug-19 15:31:15

is she in pain?
is that why she's reluctant to walk?

Scotinoz Sat 24-Aug-19 15:31:28

I have a 4 year old and find the phrase "Okay, you wait there and we'll see you on the way back..." and walking off gets them moving...

thesnapandfartisinfallible Sat 24-Aug-19 15:31:51

Take a buggy and if she won't walk make her sit in it, but if she does, she isn't allowed out of it to do anything fun. If her legs hurt that much then she can go in the buggy but she can't go on the playground.

She's 5 for Christ's sake, who is the parent here? She doesn't get to dictate anything.

AngeloMysterioso Sat 24-Aug-19 15:33:28

Stick her in a buggy and don’t let her out of it. If she wants to act like a baby, treat her like one. She’ll soon change her tune!

Time4change2018 Sat 24-Aug-19 15:34:13

Would she stay on the floor if you walked off (obviously somewhere safe) ? She's getting plenty of attention for all the wrong reasons

Gazelda Sat 24-Aug-19 15:34:25

Do you think she's just realised she's no longer the baby of the family? And this is her way of reminding you that she wants you to still treat her as the baby ie lots and lots of attention for her, none for anyone else?

I honestly don't know what to suggest to help though.

Maybe love bombing?

Or get someone to mind her while you take the other two out, telling her it's because she won't walk and you are unable to carry her as well as the baby? Keep this up for a week. Then tell her that you all (including Dad) will go to the park after work/at the weekend but she must behave. The minute she stops walking, she is taken home while the other 2 children carry on with the trip. But I don't know if that would backfire 🤷‍♀️?

GeorgeTheFirst Sat 24-Aug-19 15:35:00

Well she's obviously getting something out of the behaviour which is why she repeats it. You are best placed to what out what it is - attention? Control? Avoiding an activity she dislikes? Then you will know how to change your response. The consequence need to be the opposite of what she seeks (or just be very boring with no adult interaction). Good luck, remember you are in charge not her.

mumguiltrearingitshead Sat 24-Aug-19 15:35:03

Have you tried just saying "ok, see you later."? And walking off (at a safe distance). Works for my 3yo. When he won't eat his dinner I say "ok, I'll put it in the bin then". That works too.

Powerof4 Sat 24-Aug-19 15:36:24

This sounds really trying! Does she need one to one time with you or her dad do you think? Maybe this is an extreme way of getting it? Or could she be needing to feel more control? Who decides on family outings?

Another thought was whether there's a form of transport she enjoys, e.g. bike, scooter?

Deelish75 Sat 24-Aug-19 15:36:24

Another one who thinks she needs to go to bed! My DD is the same age and she sometimes pulls the "I'm tiiirrrrreeeed" (at home before we're heading out) the threat of bed usually stops her in her tracks.

Do you have a buggy board - some go up to the age of 5 you might find that useful.

MissMogwai Sat 24-Aug-19 15:36:54

As someone else has said, how new is the baby? Could this be a way of getting your attention?

Have you tried a buggy board? (She might be too heavy?)

It's sounds like you've had enough and I don't blame you. Does she start school in a few weeks? Maybe a chat about big girls walking to school?

MonsterKidz Sat 24-Aug-19 15:37:04

My little 5 year has tried this on us many times

To be fair. it’s usually after we’ve already walked pretty far and i’m sure his legs are hurting.

The most effective thing i’ve found is going over to him and saying oh sweetie i’m so sorry you’re so tired let’s get you home to
bed. And then actually follow through...
It soon stopped.

gottaprettypup Sat 24-Aug-19 15:37:09

No iPads tech etc fir the foreseeable..early bed as she is so tired...Pair of reins...as she is being a baby, take baby out pram put her in...make sure friends get to see...she will soon pack it in..and before I get get screamed at about humiliation, she is humiliating herself now...

Lulualla Sat 24-Aug-19 15:37:37

Stop taking her home. She keeps doing it because it's working.
Even if you need to drag her to the swimming. Or drag her into the castle. Stop letting her get her own way.
And don't buy her ice cream or treats or sweets or anything.

Cryalot2 Sat 24-Aug-19 15:38:50

Could a reward work?
If there is a remote chance she is in pain get her checked out just to rule out.
Have a chat at a quiet time and ask what she wants to do, tell her that the rest of you want X and if she does not want to join it makes her appear naughty and the elf on the shelf will be already watching and reporting back to SC .
( bribing with santa used to work )

OtraCosaMariposa Sat 24-Aug-19 15:39:43

half an hour later, me standing beside her the whole time,

She knows how to push your buttons and get your attention, doesn't she? Stuff that for a game of soldiers. You do the whole "OK then, you sit there, see you later" and leave. (Obviously observing from a safe distance where she can't see you.)

You are in charge. She is not. She cannot dictate. Everyone's done the dragging reluctant child routine.

BogglesGoggles Sat 24-Aug-19 15:40:39

Next time it happens in a safe place just walk off.

edwinbear Sat 24-Aug-19 15:40:41

I agree with the buggy. If she can’t walk like a big girl she will have to go in the buggy like a baby.

quirkychick Sat 24-Aug-19 15:40:41

Would a buggy board help? Dd1 was very resistant to walking home to and from school at this age and she just had the choice of walk or buggy board. So, "we are going here, will you walk or go on the board" there is not a choice of not going wherever, just how. Also, you can get wherever you are going.

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