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How do I get him to walk with me rather than away from me

(17 Posts)
ten10 Tue 22-Jul-08 09:12:05

My DS is 17mths and has been walking since 10mths old so is very sturdy now and therefore wants to walk everywhere.

my problem is that he never wants to walk where I want to walk, instead it is always in the opposite direction.
If i go after him he just thinks it is a game and runs away laughing.

He will not hold my hand unless it is to guide me around, if I try and guide him he just pulls away and runs away

I have tried to use reins but he pulls away from me in the opposite direction and then when i try and correct him/guide him to walk with me, then he just collapses down in a heap and won't get back up.

I am sure that this is very normal but I have no idea where to start to change this, so am looking for some expertise from all of you.


scattyspice Tue 22-Jul-08 09:17:38

The instinct to explore is just overwhelming.

Mine were like this until about 4. In fact DS is still like this if he has no interest in where we are going.

I found that to avoid huge frustration (from all concerned) it was best to use the buggy if we actually had to get somewhere, but make opportunities to wander about when possible (a sunny day when you have time)

2point4kids Tue 22-Jul-08 09:18:12

God my ds still does this and he's nearly 3.
Only thing that works is 'hold hands or buggy, you choose' sometimes he'll hold hands and most times he'll collapse in a heap yelling and gets bundled in buggy!

bossybritches Tue 22-Jul-08 09:26:40

He is 17 months ...YOU are the grown up. grin

Be firm and whatever tack you take stick to it & reward his good behaviour with lots of attention (not too OTT ) & as far as possible ignore the bad (ie pick him up screaming if needed & plonk him in his buggy/the car)

cestlavie Tue 22-Jul-08 09:40:04

We used duct tape for a while but ultimately it drew unwanted attention to us whilst we were out. It was effective though. We tried stapling her clothing to ours but unfortunately they broke away. In the end, the simplest thing was to rope her to one of our backs using high tensile climbing rope.

Actually, we did think about these things...! We had no solutions and to be honest at that age DD couldn't really grasp good and bad (well, not without lots of painful wailing) so disciplining her repeately on a journey made a simple trip to the playground take up to several hours. A friend told us at the time that they grow out of it pretty quickly and if it's any consolation this is true. When they start walking around outside, everything and anything is fascinating to them, necessitating wandering off willy-nilly because they've seen a shiny bit of paper, or a funny leaf, or seen a helicopter. As they get a bit older (say 2 or so) they begin to get more focused on where they're going, easier to explain good/bad, safe/dangerous to and walking with them becomes a lot easier.

bethoo Tue 22-Jul-08 09:47:24

i have the same problem, my 16 month ds will only hold my hand if he wants assistance getting down a big kerb then he lets go and wanders off to pick up stones!
he is in a buggy most of the time unless i have an hour to spare to wak 10 meters!
it is cute though!

SummatAnNowt Tue 22-Jul-08 10:17:18

With the reins, when ds used to collapse I just used to wait it out, he got bored before I did.

Also, he had to go back in the pushchair if he wasn't co-operating.

But besides these, I always made sure we had times when he could investigate to his heart's content, choose paths away from roads even if it was longer etc. so he could satisfy that part of him and would hopefully grow to understand that sometimes we just had to get places as well as have times that were free.

ten10 Tue 22-Jul-08 11:04:21

I think that the biggest worry that i have is that he has no fear about being away from me and therefore will happily run off even when we are in very busy places.

and he has a complete fascination with cars - we live in a busy area, lots of busy roads

And although I try to keep up with him and try and discipline him it just doesn't seem to be working, besides I don't want to always bundle him into the pushchair while he has a tantrum as i don't want him to see the pushchair as a bad place where he goes when he is bad. as he used to really hate being in the pushchair but now doesn't mind it.

desperatehousewifetoo Tue 22-Jul-08 12:11:03

I agree, it's a case of choosing the appropriate times to let them get out of the buggy so that they can explore. I.e. not when you are in a hurry or in a busy street.

I also had a rule, that didn't take long for them to learn (but was frustrating for us all until they did!) that they HAD to hold my hand to cross any road and not let go until we were all the way across. If they refused, they went in the buggy.

wotulookinat Tue 22-Jul-08 12:22:58

My DS is 21 months old and it all sounds so familiar! When we have to be somewhere or do something, it's the buggy. We do walk a lot without it, but I say 'you must hold my hand like a big boy or go in the buggy'. He is getting the idea, but very slowly. Persevere, I reckon.
We had the dropping in the reins thing too. I got fed up with it and gave up with them.

Notyummy Tue 22-Jul-08 12:35:49

DD is now 23 months and appears to be growing out of this and recently we have walked a lot, with her holding hands nicely and stepping out v well! Until about 2 months ago, walking anywhere was a SLOW business, and we had to build in time to do it. I would often leave slightly earlier than I needed to, then let her walk for a while, before putting her in the buggy (hoping that that the urge to walk had been satisfied). It usually worked, but we had a few 'folding her in half whilst rigid and screaming incidents'...c'est la vie.

MegBusset Tue 22-Jul-08 12:40:41

We have got the Little Life rucksack for DS (17mo and also a wanderer) and it works a treat -- I don;t think he feels too restrained and I can just give him a gentle tug if he's going too far in the wrong direction.

ten10 Tue 22-Jul-08 12:58:25

Meg - did you try "traditional" reins first and then switch to the rucksack.

i.e. do they react very differently to the rucksack?

tor74 Tue 22-Jul-08 17:04:59

We had the exact same problem with our DS. He started walking at 14 months and didn't look back...quite literally.

We went on holiday when he was 18 months old and he walked from one end of the beach to the other without turning round once to make sure we were following him and it was a very long beach!

He had no concept of danger or anything other than the interesting thing he'd seen way off in the distance.

It used to to drive me to distraction, I couldn't go out anywhere in public without him wandering off.

The only solution we found was time. Eventually he worked out that being apart from Mummy and Daddy often wasn't the best idea and learnt some sense of attachment...finally! I guess this happened when he was around 2 years old so looking back it wasn't for that long but it certainly felt like it at the time so I know how you feel.

quinne Tue 22-Jul-08 17:20:49

We used to set some targets along the direction I wanted to go ... "ooh look isn't that an interesting letter box let's go and look at it it". It is slow but not as slow as going west when you hoped to go north!

And the buggy of course!

ten10 Tue 22-Jul-08 19:00:40

I know exactly what you mean about the beach
We have just come back from a holiday and he did the same thing, just walked off down a very busy beach and didn't care if we weren't with him,

even more worrying was that he just ran straight into the sea and wasn't even worried when a wave knocked him down, he just laughed, got up and kept going until i grabbed hold of him

HonoriaGlossop Tue 22-Jul-08 19:08:44

tor74, I recognise that, too - DS would NEVER look back, no matter where we were; would just hare off - and he was a boy who never walked. As soon as he COULD walk, he ran.

And ten10 that's so familiar, as well, the running headlong into the sea - he had no fear!

What we did was use reins and a buggy. He could come out on the reins but if he didn't walk properly on them then we threatened the buggy. It usually helps to have an un-appealing alternative to show them, IME. They usually know which side their bread is buttered!

It is exhausting though, this phase - you have my sympathy. Some kids are just so on-the-go. It just IS exhausting.

My friend has twins like this! And they inevitably go at top speed in opposite directions sad

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