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Getting a 4 year old to WALK!!!

(53 Posts)
FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 17:37:35

My 4 and a half year old refuses to walk anywhere. Constantly cries and says he is "too tired" and has a tantrum when I make him. He runs in front of us too so we can't walk on.

I don't drive and we refuse to carry him but it's been going on for a long time now.
And I'm not talking climbing Ben Nevis or four hours shopping in the Trafford Centre - just school runs or a ten minute walk to the park!

Want to get rid of the buggy when he goes to reception.
Any ideas?

ThatBigGermanPrison Mon 21-Jul-08 17:41:23

get rid of the buggy now, never mind when he goes to reception. Get it out of your possession entirely. If he is being buggied about everywhere, short walks probaly do tire him - he needs to build stamina.

As for the running in front of you - hold his hand and don't let go.

how opposed are you to sweets?

I would try buying a bag of sweets to eat at home - and a bag for you to put in the bin (chocolate chips work well for this). Every time he misbehaves, take one out of his bag and put it into the 'in the bin' bag! And don't capitulate if they all end up in the bin - you must actually put them in the bin (fish them out and eat them later if you like thoughgrin)

beansprout Mon 21-Jul-08 17:41:35

Scooter? Ds1 loves his and we scoot to nursery and back (a mile each way), no problem.

FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 17:46:39

Sorry - not clear - I have kept the buggy for say 30 minute walks that would be too much and that are not on a bus route.

Sweets or even stickers are a v good idea! Will try that.

No, he hates his scooter! He is a lazy li'l thing! smile

ThatBigGermanPrison Mon 21-Jul-08 17:51:10

really, a 30 minute walk shouldn't be too much for a 4 year old unless there are different physical needs than average. And the only way to stop him asking for the pushchair is to lie, say it's all broken and he's too big for a new one, and shift it.

I honest to God think 4 year olds (boys but maybe girls too - I don't know) cannot cope with the term - sometimes - it seems to be 'always' or 'never' with them. I had this problem with ds1 and fizzy drinks - I told him he was allowed them 'sometimes' - he nagged incessantly until I barred them completely.

May2December Mon 21-Jul-08 17:53:44

30 minute walks are not too much for a 4 year old. My ds (4.1) walked 3 miles today easily and has not used a buggy for a year.

Whizzz Mon 21-Jul-08 17:54:22

Make him a little map to follow with symbols - or a game for things to look out for, something to take his mind off the actual walking.

beansprout Mon 21-Jul-08 17:54:57

Ye olde sticker chart?

FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 17:55:16

OK cheers.
Will get rid!!!

nannynick Mon 21-Jul-08 17:58:52

Last week I took a 3 year old on a walk, it was at least 2.5 miles, if not 3 miles. Children will walk quite far, when they want to.
I regularly meet up with some childminders, and we make all the children aged 3+ walk the mile from our parking spot to a cafe, and then back again. The children know the route so well, and due to it being through parkland thus no roads, they get to walk a little ahead of us and play games amongst themselves, collect things, etc.

I think you need to lose the buggy - put it away somewhere if you can't get rid of it. Then start off by taking regular short walks, say to a shop/cafe where your DS gets a treat (as reward for walking).
When I go for long walks with the children, I take a mini-picnic with us, so we can stop and have a rest when needed... have a drink, eat some fruit (grapes, raisins, banana tend to transport quite well), biscuit etc.

Make walking fun... play eye-spy games on route.

nannynick Mon 21-Jul-08 18:01:05

I find some children like carrying a backpack - with whatever they want in it. Check the pack before you leave home, should they have put anything heavy in it! Could get them to carry their snacks (you carry drinks, as water is quite heavy).

lou031205 Mon 21-Jul-08 18:17:29

Yep, the buggy has to go. My 2.7 year old didn't walk until she was almost 23 months, and she regularly walks long distances without a buggy. Our problem is convincing her to sit in the buggy hmm when she is tired.

Turniphead1 Mon 21-Jul-08 18:37:40

Agree. A 4 year old really shouldn't be in a buggy unless there is a physical problem. My DD (4.5) got turfed out of hers at just over 2 (and hated the buggy board). She can walk for 3 miles now, no problem.

My CM says boys tend to be a lot more attached to their buggies and I can see this in my DS (2.5). He loves his buggy and I can see the only way to get him out of it is to ditch it or turf him out (luckily we have a DC due in December). I appreciate though that ultimately the youngest just has to be turfed out (you can't just keep on having babies). I see children in my DD's nursery school, nearly 5, being ferried about in buggies and I think they look rather ridiculous, sitting there with their knees up round their ears they are so tall! It just becomes a habit. He'll need to go cold turkey I think.

FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 19:03:29

Think that is the problem.
Obviously DS1 got could use buggy board when he got tired. If DS2 gets tired he just has a tantrum.

By the way he hasn't been in the buggy for a couple of months (buried behing builders stuff in garage) but I just need his tantruming to stop when we need to walk.

Dottoressa Mon 21-Jul-08 19:07:18

Another vote for binning the buggy!!

We sold our buggy when DD turned three, so she has no choice but to walk for the last year (she'd have been going to University in the buggy, given half a chance). DS never went in the buggy beyond about 2.5, but he's always been a keen walker.

DD did kick up a fuss when she saw a friend (also aged four) in her buggy, but other than that, she has been perfectly reasonable about walking, and can walk six miles without too much complaint. It helps if there's something to look forward to at the end (trip to the library, choice of bread for tea, or - don't tell Jamie Oliver - a glass of lemonade or such like!!)

anotherdayyetanothernickame Mon 21-Jul-08 19:07:51

30mins should not be too much - ds could manage that at 2. Ditch the buggy!

FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 19:16:06

Hi again.
Sorry the issue is not clear. I probably worded it badly.

I don't use the buggy constantly. It has not been used for several months. Prior to that it was used for long journeys (i.e. a 30 minute walk to see friends with another 30 mins on top of that to get back to pick DS1 up from school) as I don't have a car.

My issue was stopping him from crying, having tantrums, asking to be carried etc when he is tired.

CarGirl Mon 21-Jul-08 19:20:40

I guess use the sticker/sweet thing for "nice" walking. Perhaps every 5 or 10 minutes without complaint gain a sticker, gain stickers throughout walk then get a sweet or something?

I wonder if you missed a window of opportunity to get rid when he was much younger hence the objection now. What a pain though!

Heated Mon 21-Jul-08 19:24:33

Turn walks into fun - having the park at the end of a walk is a goal in itself but ds avoids the cracks in the pavement, posts letters, look out for animals... We discuss everything and anything as we walk along - current topic - bad spiderman. Also maybe get him a scooter?

CarGirl Mon 21-Jul-08 19:25:44

My dd also likes doing silly walks, I do something like take 4 steps and wave a hand in the air and then she copies etc. You look insane but it is less painful than them having a meltdown.

FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 19:28:03

I possibly did but you can't make a three year old walk as much as an adult can you? I walk a lot and reguarly clock up 15000 on pedometer - can't expect him to keep up with that.
What are you supposed to do if they are ill or knackered at 2-3 years and there is no option of chucking them in the car instead? You use the buggy.

FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 19:29:52

Has two scooters and a bike but doesn't like them much! Wierd kid!

CarGirl Mon 21-Jul-08 19:33:05

My youngest dd is nearly 3 and she still hasn't reached the point where she will sit in the pushchair willingly - complete reverse problem - she will gladly do the school run twice a day, 2 mile round trip but at her pace - arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Perhaps just try the zero tolerence approach to his behaviour about it - perhaps he's pushing boundaries and this is the thing he's picking on because you're happy to walk alot?

FourJays Mon 21-Jul-08 19:38:35

Yes, he was born pushing boundaries!!!

CarGirl Mon 21-Jul-08 19:39:56

I reckon you'll have to go for the zero tolerance approach with rewards, oh what joy for you!

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