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2 year old bolter...

(97 Posts)
drspouse Sat 12-Jul-14 04:11:23

DS is 2 1/2 and until recently he liked to run head/run off but would always stay in sight, but recently he has started running off round corners, running in the street etc. He also generally used to stop at the corner/curb when we said STOP but that's not as reliable now either.

We can't keep him continually in the buggy/high chair when out, he needs to be able to play in the park, walk down the street with us. We need to carry things in shops and cafés. But it's getting hard. We are staying in a hotel at the moment and have a baby DD too and today I went out of the room and DH was feeding DD and DS tried to follow me - but went in he wrong direction down the corridor (we didn't realise he could open the door). He hates having his hand held - he won't actually hold hands, he just lets you hold his wrist while shouting "No hand!"

We hate to chase him because he just thinks it's a game and laughs. We often say "hold hands or carry" but he would sometimes rather be carried, and sometimes we have too much stuff. He also does a lie down strike sometimes but that's easier to deal with. We try and stand still and look cross and say "Not laughing" but he then just tries vanishing round he corner. He has scared himself too by losing us but it doesn't seem to deter him. If we follow him round 1/2 a metre behind that also makes it into a game for him and he tries to get away. Plus we have bags/buggy/now DD too.

The other day we were at a cafe in a shopping centre and he ran down the corridor (tables at edge of an indoor corridor) and we could see him and there wasn't anywhere for him to go) and a shopper came up to him and said "where are your mummy and daddy", which he didn't answer and when we came after (we were just packing up) the shopper said "I thought he was on his own!" in a panicky, accusatory way. Which is kind of what we panic about too!

I'm not really talking about extended walks e.g. to the park at the zoo, where we just strap him in the buggy (or I've recently tried an Ergo) but from car to shop, or to house, or at the park if there is ANY exit, or inside a shop.

Is there any help for this, short of a) waiting for him to grow out of it or b) never letting him off a rein/out of the buggy, even at the park? DH is on leave at the moment as DD is v new but he'll be back at work soon and I'll be home with both of them.

drspouse Sat 12-Jul-14 15:11:21

*hoping not going

BucketsnSpades Sat 12-Jul-14 15:11:25

My DD is nearly 2 and does this too. Only yesterday i had to ask her to sit on the floor in a supermarket to keep her in one place for one second while i picked out some bits, then at the till i sat her on the counter and made her pack the bags. It was too high for her to jump off although she did just launch herself at me at one stage. I have no advice. You are not alone.

tobysmum77 Sat 12-Jul-14 15:16:50

sorry drs spouse I didn't find an answer other than eventually she grew out of it confused.

Maybe in a couple of months when you aren't pregnant and can run again you enforce a 'stay within this area or we go home immediately' rule?

fledermaus Sat 12-Jul-14 15:19:30

With the park you just have to be really consistent, and stay within reach of them. If they start running, back in the buggy/go home and do it every time. Maybe just do the park at the weekends so both parents can go?

Onetwothreeoops Sat 12-Jul-14 15:19:47

You could try getting him to carry something to the car for you. This might give him a focus and he won't even think about running off.

fledermaus Sat 12-Jul-14 15:20:01

Or go to an enclosed playpark with one gate and sit yourself by the gate. Ditto softplay.

drspouse Sat 12-Jul-14 15:22:18

I'm not pregnant, we already have DD but the more you run after him the more/further he runs. You are basically just chasing him into the road. This happens with DH there too (he's still off work). But it is harder to run with DD in a sling.

LEMmingaround Sat 12-Jul-14 15:23:13

Thus is a no brainer -reins!!! No ifs and buts. Yes it's inconvenient but its an accurate waiting to happen

LEMmingaround Sat 12-Jul-14 15:24:43


drspouse Sat 12-Jul-14 15:25:08

We have no such park option with an enclosed area either sad .

drspouse Sat 12-Jul-14 15:26:00

I have heard what everyone is saying about reins in most circumstances, by the way. But they are not an answer to everything.

Thumbwitch Sat 12-Jul-14 15:26:56

Reins indoors too. And in the park.
I have reins with clip-on "lead" - so DS2 (21mo) is in the harness part at all times but I can choose to undo the lead at one or both ends, depending.

I use the reins to keep him in highchairs that don't have a 5pt harness, or if no highchair is available, to strap him to a normal chair. I can wind the lead part around the chair spindles and then clip it back on. Invaluable!

As far as the park is concerned, the only time DS2 isn't somehow attached to me via the reins is when he's actually on the play equipment - I'll take the lead off for safety, but be ready to catch him whenever he gets off.

He will hold my hand as well as wear the reins, which is good - but he slips out of my grip all too easily (as his older brother did too) and that's when the reins are just so important.

He wears the reins/harness at least while he's in the pushchair as well, so if he wants to get out and walk, it's easy, I just grab the lead and off we go. Because it's a loop lead when both ends are attached, you can loop it over your arm while trying to do other stuff (like pay at tills etc.)

It also stops him from falling flat on his face when he trips.

I love reins!

settingsitting Sat 12-Jul-14 15:27:12

reins, wrist strap, buggy. Even holding hands is dodgy.

LEMmingaround Sat 12-Jul-14 15:27:30

So what is? Because you need to keep him safe.

tobysmum77 Sat 12-Jul-14 15:28:16

I think try the consistency approach. I found it hardest when we were somewhere she didn't want to be.... I mean its hardly a threat being dragged home from a supermarket is it? But the park is different?

settingsitting Sat 12-Jul-14 15:28:50

He will learn quicker too.

Tedious but the alternative you dont want to think about.

fledermaus Sat 12-Jul-14 15:30:34

Surely you (or at least your DH if you have the baby in a sling) can outrun a 2 year old though? If you are always within a couple of paces of him he's not going to have much of a headstart.

If he runs give him a massive bollocking and strap him straight into the buggy for a time out.

tobysmum77 Sat 12-Jul-14 15:30:40

its all coming back, I remember dd in the supermarket with reins on, I had to put them down for 2 seconds to get something with 2 hands from a high shelf. ............. grin you can write the ending!

Thumbwitch Sat 12-Jul-14 15:33:09

I always put my leg through the loop if I need both hands for something high up, tobysmum - I'm in jeans/trousers 95% of the time so it's relatively easy to do that.

Sunshine200 Sat 12-Jul-14 15:33:17

Does he have a punishment for running off? If my dd does it she has to sit on the floor straight away so she understands there is a consequence (other than bei g hit by a car). I also tell her that if she runs into the road that she would have to go and stay in hospital without mummy & daddy - this seems to make an impact.

Clearly you would t want to rely on these thing working so best to avoid the situation as others have suggested first.

tobysmum77 Sat 12-Jul-14 15:39:41

Oh bless you thumb. My 2 year old just toddles round and helps me get things off the shelves. It's the way you bring them up hmm

If it's any consolation my ex-bolter is a well behaved 5 year old. Another mum at school with a lo like it quite obviously dies not believe me when I tell her.

Thumbwitch Sat 12-Jul-14 15:50:36

Well to be fair, tobysmum if we're in a supermarket then he's usually in the trolley anyway, and yes, he does "help" me by picking stuff off the shelves. Such fun! grin

ThisBitchIsResting Sat 12-Jul-14 15:59:58

I'm actually struggling to understand. I have a 2yo. He is 2. I don't like reins. So I always hold his hand. The options are hand-hold or buggy. Yes it might mean he's still using the buggy when I'd prefer he walks nicely next to me - but it's not possible to fast forward development. So hand holding it is. Supermarkets - I sometimes let him walk about for a bit but it's fairly chaotic, so I try to use it as a learning experience and then back into buggy ASAP. Or straight into trolley if I have car. Parks - surely you're at the park for his benefit, why are you limiting him? Where exactly does he run to? I agree if he runs off you need an immediate consequence, but parks are the only place really I'd let DS run free and he can't harm himself, so it's just a teaching / learning process. Can you enforce handholding for pavements etc? There is no way my DS would walk nicely next to me if I didn't hold his hand (with him grumbling about it) but it's because he's 2, not because he's in any way difficult. And shops or long walks = always have buggy.

tobysmum77 Sat 12-Jul-14 16:05:23

the bitchisresting your child is clearly not a bolter.

VanessaShanesa Sat 12-Jul-14 16:05:46

Who's in charge here?!

God, people are often so drippy with small children! He won't do this, he won't do that. Sigh.

Reins or wrist strap. He can choose if it would make you feel better.
If he does the drop and flop and tantrum, you wait it out. You let him strop. Read a magazine or feign interest in camping equipment. Whatever, but do NOT give in.
When he's walking nicely to heel (lol) then perhaps he can walk on his own for a little while as long as he behaves. Try somewhere safe first. If he runs off, back on the reins/strap he goes - EVERY TIME.

It takes a bit of determination but it's not rocket science.

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