How do I keep my 3yr old ds safe?(45 Posts)
I have a 3yr old ds and an 8 month old ds too. Ds1 is great fun, bright and sociable. He has always been very wild and for the most part we let him be,with boundaries in relation to safety and wilful destruction etc. Our main problem which has resurfaced lately as we are not using a buggy for him anymore is in relation to road safety. He just runs across the road without waiting for us, he does seem to check but i cant always be sure. we treat it very seriously each time and both me and dp talk with him about it. He has always had a tendency to run from us, never comes back when we call him, in fact he runs away even more, putting himself in more danger. I could manage it fine before ds2 came along (although running after him was tough in late pregnancy) but obviously its much tougher now with two. We do safety training with him in relation to roads, explain what could happen etc. I am very concerned about it but am also beginning to feel a bit alienated from him because I am so anxious every time we go out. I don't want to feel like that. None of my friends seem to have this issue with their children so I was wondering if anyone out there has had similar experiences and could offer any suggestions?
I use reins for my dd, who is 3, they are fab. She could not be trusted to walk on her own (asd) so they solve the problem.
They are not for everyone though and some people have very strong views on them.
Dons flameproof pants
At three a child cannot posibly cross a road safely. He can have no idea about judging the speed of a car and will forget to check properly however good he is. If you can't trust him not to run off, maybe you should insist he has one hand on the buggy at all times. Try going for a few walks to the park or somewhere else he enjoys going. If he forgets the rule simply turn round and come home. Sounds harsh but he'll soon learn.
He either has to go back in the buggy or on reigns until you can trust him.
Agree with reins.
Then, if he starts 'behaving' and not running off etc, take them off him and ask him to hold buggy. If he starts to run off again, then put the reins back on him (it was enough of a deterrance for mine).
Good luck. Try to stick to 'safer' roads as practice in the meantime.
My 4 year old nephew is like that too, he starts running and just won't stop. I set off once with him to walk to the park (a 10 minute walk) and had to turn back and take him in the car, I was so scared. His parents are criminally laid back in my opinion and seem to think he'll magically stop before a car hits him. I'd be interested to hear people's suggestions too, because he's coming to stay again soon.
As recommended on an early Mumsnet thread, I bought one of these backpacks instead of reins
Both DSs love them, they have room for a bottle of water, snack, change of pants and a small toy! They don't really look like reins so you get less funny looks from the anti child leash brigade, and you don't have to carry so much stuff in your own bag. Agree that a three year old is too young to cross the road safely, but once you have them restrained, you can also get a nice picture book on the green cross code and start asking them to tell you when it is safe to cross. DS1 loved being in charge of looking after us, and once saw a cat run over the road and shouted out "follow the green cross code" to the amusement of passers by. It will get easier!
DS used to go to a childminder, between the ages of 2 and 3, who managed 4 DC under 4 on daily outings with no issues ever. Her secret was to tell them that if they didn't hold hands/on to the pram then they would go home again, and she would follow it through without hesitation. I think she said she'd curtailed a visit to the park once and the shops once and that was it. DS has never been any trouble outside ever since.
Kids of that age seem to understand actions and consequences much better than verbal warnings. Having said that, all of the DC always behaved impeccably for her, I think she must have drugged them or something!
Definitely use reins until you can trust him. I know some people don't like them, but they DO have their place and imo it's far better to use them that risk your child getting hurt.
I haven't had this problem with DS1, but think I may do with DS2 and won't hesitate to get reins if necessary.
Reins. The only answer. A child who will not stop when you call them and dashes across a road simply isn't safe off them.
Reins/ buggy and taking him straight home at the slightest transgession even if you've paid for tickets to something
he has the upper hand and you need to regain it
Make them a source of pride, though, rather than used as a punishment (' if you do that again, you'll have to wear your reins'...).
We use backpack reins like filmbuff. you don't have to have the leash on all the time, just when you are going along the road. Then when you are in safety territory you can unhook him. This allows him at least some of the freedom he is used to. The backpack had a little handle so you can still grab and steer even when the leash is unhooked. But the back pack also offers them some responsibility for carrying their own drink, suntan lotion, hat etc.
As culturemulcher says, you can offer a sense of pride both for carrying their own gear, and like "wow you came back and asked to have the leash on because you recognized we were coming to a busy road, now thats what I call responsible"
some children just are runners - not your fault -
good advice above - my friend's boy who was also quite "wild" - responsed very well to consquences - eg being taken home
I've been looking at that backpack. Can anyone tell me how long the reins are?
Thanks for your suggestions. i suppose i'm one of the anti reins brigade myself, otherwise I would have gotten them before now. But theres no point in having a principle and then having your child knocked down. However, knowing ds1 as I do there would be holy war if i attempted to put reins on him. I think its going to have to be the consequences suggestion and that is the one that might work. i have started doing a bit of that already so will continue and see if it helps.
The long strap on the backpack is 60cm, and as monkoray says, there is also a strong handle on the backpack itself which can be grabbed in emergencies. I've noticed that generally DS1 has calmed down a lot since we started using it, and now automatically comes and holds onto the pushchair when crossing roads etc, so I quite often tuck the strap into the side pocket and leave him to walk alone on quieter roads.
Consequences could be awkward now that he is not the only child to be considered: you can hardly take him home as a consequence if you are on your way to e.g. a clinic appointment for your 8mo.
I would go with reins and tell him that he will be allowed to take them off when he is old enough to walk sensibly by your side.
Thanks Filmbuffmum. I have a set of reins for him but the actual lead is very short. I'd like something a bit longer.
60 cm sounds pretty good actually!
just put him in the buggy every time he runs off. warn him only once then do it.
Reins. The consequence then is if he doesn't wear them to you don't go to fun places.
My reins don't fit my 3yo, any more. Does anyone find that? DS is quite a small 3yo, too. Do they sell bigger reins somewhere?
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