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Ds1's behaviour when walking is going to turn my hair grey - any advice on how to get him to hold hands??

(20 Posts)
Ceebee74 Tue 13-Oct-09 20:35:27

That doesn't involve him screaming and being dragged along!!

He is 3.3 and a very independent boy - he will not hold mine or DH's hand walking anywhere and obviously when near/crossing roads, we need to keep him safe.

We tend not to go out for walks very often as it is just so stressful with me and DH shouting a lot/DS1 screaming once DH has picked him up as he refuses to hold hands etc but me and DH love going for walks and really want to get him to hold hands.

We let him run and be free whenever it is safe to do so, he will not wear a backpack so one of those is out of the question.

Any advice on how to handle it as every walk home from nursery is traumatic at the moment sad

TeenyTinyToria Tue 13-Oct-09 20:39:37

Reins that clip on like a harness, rather than a backpack? With ds (2.7), also very independent, we are working on stopping whenever I say, and having to hold hands when crossing roads, no negotiation. I am quite prepared to stand on the pavement for half an hour until he holds my hand to cross, luckily it hasn't come to that quite yet. Would bribery work?

MyCatsAScarierBastardThanYours Tue 13-Oct-09 20:40:18

I think in terms of walking with your DS there are sometimes when you have to ignore the screaming and shouting and make the point that, when you are walking on the pavement you have to either walk sensibly with mummy and daddy or have your hand held. We had this with DD at around that age (the mid 3's is a hell of an age I have discovered!) and sometimes you just have to be absolute about some rules. They get it in the end, become more sensible and start to listen (or at least DD did - most of the time).

Sorry, probably not much help there.

MyCatsAScarierBastardThanYours Tue 13-Oct-09 20:41:20

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes the rules are unbendable and walking with you on the road is one of those times.

TheWheelsOnTheBusHaveFallenOff Tue 13-Oct-09 20:45:20

Feel for you, I have this with ds, but he is only 2.5. I let him walk without holding hands except when crossing roads or next to busy roads. I decided that this is non-negotiable, and therefore every time we approach a road, I say "oh look, it's a road, there could be cars coming and it's not safe. we need to hold hands." then I get hold of his hand, or if he resists, I hold him round the wrist, and keep hold while we cross the road. then lots of praise after we've crossed, even if he struggled and wriggled and yelled! he is getting better - just keep on being consistent, praising but also NEVER letting up on this point of principle.

do you have any friends whose dcs are good at hand holding / road crossing who you could go for a walk with?

As your ds is a better age than mine, could you also do reward chart or outright bribe of a tiny treat for every road / 10 roads he crosses properly without pulling and yelling? Or alternatively, you have a cross system where every time he struggles etc he gets a mark and 3 / 5/ 10 marks result in loss of a treat?

somanyboyssolittletime Tue 13-Oct-09 20:46:58

Have you just got DS or any younger siblings? My 4 year old won't hold hands but will hold onto the pushchair frame.

If both of you are there you could try each holding a hand and doing 'my back door goes flip flap floooo' as you swing him between you - makes it a bit more fun! (That is probably something that only my parents did, that I am assuming is a common game!!)

There are always reins or those wrist straps (not that keen on them myself, but if it is to keep him safe, may be worth it).

Good luck - wilful 3 year old boys are a handful!

FromGirders Tue 13-Oct-09 20:50:21

"he will not wear a backpack so one of those is out of the question"
You are the Mummy, you are the Boss. I'm a CM - all my children wear reins til 2, backpacks til three every single time we go out of doors. Older children walk holding hands, or holding the buggy, and will Walk Nicely, or they are under threat of The Wrist Rein.
Seriously - who is calling ths shots here? Get a wrist rein, or harness reins, and every time he doesn't hold hands, apply your rein of choice. Be consistent, and he'll soon get the message.

TheGreatScootini Tue 13-Oct-09 20:50:29

I have this with DD2 (2.4)I try to do as The WheelsOn..above.However DD2 will also launch herself into the road even when just walking alongside it, never mind crossing it.Generally I end up yelling at her and picking her bodily like a bag of spuds, and we get to nursery with me half dead under the weight of her.And her wailing like a banshee.None of which is helpful I realise but just so you know you're not alone.grin

bosch Tue 13-Oct-09 20:50:53

Have three boys who have variously held/not held hands.

I found that I got them to hold hands/stay much closer to me after a boy was run over near here on his own drive. I was more scared for ds's, fearful they might be run over by someone driving over pavement to/from their own property, and I think ds's could tell from my voice that I wasn't kidding.

However, time has passed and I'm a bit more relaxed now...

RainbowJelly Tue 13-Oct-09 20:51:26

does he like stickers??

you could try the "hold my hand and you can have a sticker" line??? The first few walks be prepared to shower him with a sticker every time you ask him to hold your hand, then as the walks progress and he gets used to holding your hand, he can get a sticker at the end of the walk providing he does what is asked of him.

rewards and consequences work quite well....
"Hold my hand now, and you can run about when we get to the park" "If you don't hold my hand now, you will have to have reigns on for the remainder of the walk" "It's your choice"

Sometimes, I will say to DS1, "Would you look after Mummy and hold my hand so that I don't run off into the road please?" He finds that quite amusing because he has the responsibilty of looking after me then. It usually works.

RainbowJelly Tue 13-Oct-09 20:57:53

I do agree with FromGirders though - you are the one in control, and he needs to know that. The only way to let him know, is to be consistent. If you have said that he will have reigns if he doesn't hold hands, then you must make sure you implement that. No matter how many times he says he's sorry on the walk!

good luck - 3 yr old boys are lovely little things! My one has passed that stage now, he's almost 5, but DS2 is 17mths, so I'm sure to have it all again!

Ceebee74 Tue 13-Oct-09 20:58:34

Rainbow am liking the 'can you hold my hand and look after me' line grin

Somanyboys I have an 11 mo Ds aswell and DS1 is stubborn about holding onto the pushchair or just wants to push it (which usually involves DS2 heading onto the grass verge etc) and obviously not a solution near roads either.

He is very susceptible to rewards and we tried a bribe of smarties today (and one of the nursery nurses told him he would get a sticker from her tomorrow if he walked home nicely) but that didn't work today. In the end, DH ended up picking him up and carrying him on his shoulders over the road.

I think I will try the consistent line of dragging him holding his hand everytime we cross the road until he gets the message.

But on a plus point, it is keeping DH fit chasing after him all the time wink

Ceebee74 Tue 13-Oct-09 21:00:58

I know I am the one in charge but am I the only parent who often doesn't feel that way??

RainbowJelly Tue 13-Oct-09 21:09:02

oh God NO!!
YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO FEELS LIKE IT!!

I remember feeling like that too - only our trouble wasn't with roads, it was in the supermarket. A total nightmare - he would run off and hide and I couldn't see him (usually as I was paying) Off he'd go and he'd be laughing as he did it, knowing it was wrong. He's much better now, I think they grow out of it (especially when they understand about treats)

foxinsocks Tue 13-Oct-09 21:12:31

lol ceebee

honestly, it's even worse once they get older and you look back on that time and think HOW the hell did I let him take control like that lol. 3 (and 4) year olds PAH!

I often say about ds that he never learned to walk till he was about 5. Before then, he just ran everywhere. He still runs now and I have to remind him to walk!

crokky Tue 13-Oct-09 21:20:59

I'm going to sound like a bit of a dictator grin but I don't tolerate this from DS (who is 3.6). If he won't hold the buggy (which DD 1.6 is in), then I threaten to put him in the buggy instead and have DD on reins.

"Do you want to go in DD's buggy?"

"No"

"Well you had better hold onto it and walk properly"

"OK"

Any more misbehaviour, DS goes in buggy even if screaming.

TeenyTinyToria Tue 13-Oct-09 21:24:31

That sounds like me, Crokky!

Ceebee74 Tue 13-Oct-09 21:29:27

Crokky I like your style but I don't think I would get very far putting 11 month old DS2 on reins grin

FromGirders Tue 13-Oct-09 21:32:53

Hmm, I don't just sound like a dictator, I am one blush.

Ceebee74 Tue 13-Oct-09 21:51:07

I'm glad to know I am not alone in this - he has been similar for as long as I can remember (when we used reins on him when he first started walking, he just used to dangle like a thunderbird puppet <sigh>) and I kept thinking to myself that it will get easier.....here we are, 2 years later, and it is still no easier (and is in fact harder!)

We can only let him walk to nursery (which is his preferred option) if me and DH are both here to go with him (otherwise he is in the double buggy with DS2) because there is no way I can be responsible for him and DS2 on my own.

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