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OK - need help with ds2 (2.5 years) wandering off......stressful day....

(7 Posts)
Mumbojumbo Sun 21-May-06 19:13:41

Following another hair-raising trip to our local theme park, does anyone have any tips on how I keep my two ds's with me? DS2 went walkabout today for what seemed like forever. I had to report him missing to Customer Service and go through the form filling process and wait whilst they searched. One second he was there, I turned to speak to ds1 and when I looked back he'd totally vanished. Thankfully, he was found relatively quickly, non the worse for his adventure. He'd actually gone quite some distance and we'd been looking in totally the wrong place. I've tried reins, wrist straps, backpacks, strapping into the buggy (all of which you can do some of the time). I've tried explaining to the older one which seems to be having some success. DS2 wants to walk/run. It's not the first time one of them has wandered off. I'm at my wits end - I'm getting increasingly anxious about taking both my boys out in case I lose one of them. I feel like just staying at home as it's too stressful. Does anyone else have this problem and what do you do? I feel like such a cr*p mum and keep going through the "what if" scenario. Doesn't help that dh is abroad at the moment.
Tips please (and please be gentle).

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Sun 21-May-06 19:16:18

Reins and don't let go for a moment.

We do this with ds1 (well he's too big for reins, but a belt thingy-same idea), or we hold him by the wrist. Someone always has responsibilty for him as well, and that person does not stop to do anything with the other 2.

sparklemagic Sun 21-May-06 19:29:55

mumbo, I agree with jimjams. Reins. 2.5 yr olds and busy public places simply don't go together, without reins. Just explain to DS2 that it's the buggy or reins, that's the choice. Of course he would rather run on his own, but he only kicks up a fuss about reins because he doesn't know the dangers - you are his mum and you know what could happen to him when he wanders off, so be strong.

Apart from anything else, the stress involved with the two of them 'running free' must be huge! Be kind to yourself and use the reins!

Mumbojumbo Sun 21-May-06 20:31:40

Thanks guys. Reins it is - everytime from now on.
I appreciate you taking the trouble to post.

myermay Sun 21-May-06 21:44:04

Message withdrawn

wannaBe1974 Mon 22-May-06 08:29:37

I put my ds on reins from the instant he was able to walk. As I am unable to see him, him running away from me was simply not an option. As he got older I allowed him to run on his own in places like the park where I knew he couldn't get to the road etc, and he would stop if I called to him to "wait for mummy". by the time he was 2.5 I didn't use the reins any more as I could trust him not to run off, and he never does (he's 3.5 now) but if he ever did the reins would come out again without hesitation. He's very good at holding my hand in places where I'm not happy for him to walk on his own though, but I do believe that it's important to be strict with these things from an early age as kids just don't realize the danger they put themselves into.

One thing I did do, esp in parks etc, I attached a wrist strap to the handle of the reins so ds could move a bit further away from me, the wrist straps are longer than the reins, but as he hated wearing the wrist strap, I compromised and combined the two.

inthepink Mon 22-May-06 09:09:34

sorry to hijack your thread mumboj, but wanted advice along the same lines.

We live in the Middle East and it is fairly safe for ds to have a certain amount of freedom ie we let him wander off as long as we are able to keep our eye on him, we are going to Thailand in the summer and have bought a wrist strap for him the trouble is he is 5 next week so will it work? We have told him he has to stay with us and pointed out the dangers to him if he wanders off whilst on holiday but not sure if he has taken any of it in!! Can anybody else offer any other ideas to keep him from wandering off


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