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Bolting 3 year old(6 Posts)
My DD is 3.4 and generally well-behaved but since lockdown (so sometime over summer) she’s started suddenly running/scooting in the opposite direction when we’re out and about. The beach, the park, a walk round the block....she’ll decide she doesn’t want to go the same way as the rest of us, and will just turn and bolt.
It is getting really tiring, not to mention dangerous, suddenly having to sprint after her as she KNOWS it’s wrong and is always warned before we go out that if she does it she will be picked up and we will come home - but when we’ve down this we’ve had (understandably) howls of protest from DS, who is 6. It’s ruined several afternoons out over summer. The whole ‘bye DD, see you later!’ fake out doesn’t work as she doesn’t care.
I feel she’s too old to do this (DS has a bolting phase but was a much younger toddler) and is doing it for some power/control over the day out, even though DH and I are very chilled about where we go and the atmosphere is always relaxed. Last time was at the weekend, in the park, she sprinted off and then refused to walk with us for over ten minutes before DH carried her as she was causing such a scene. If you ask why she’s done it, she just says she doesn’t know.
Any ideas? Back in reins (still have some but they wouldn’t work if she was on her little bike/scooter)
Reins on a temporary basis where there's danger, particularly if you have both kids on your own. Combined with now allowing her bike/scooter because of her behaviour might work but does depend how good her memory is, at 3 they differ. After one or two trips on reins, you can reason with her and say if she stays near you she can have her scooter but take reins and any misbehaving she's back on them and carry the scooter ... she'll learn
Reins on hand and used as a threat. If she bolts, she has to wear the reins for the rest of that trip.
My 3 year old still bolts. I use reins. You may need a stronger pair now she’s older and the weaker ones give when they pull
Thanks all, looks like the reins are coming back out! They are the Littlelife backpack ones, but she is quite a dinky little thing so they might be ok. She can be the sweetest, kindest little girl who can be very sensible, but for some reason being in the wide open spaces turns her into a sprinting monster. Her worst day was at the beach - I was working, and DH had taken them to the local one for the afternoon. She ran off 3 times so DH told them they were leaving - she ran off a 4th time while they were packing everything up. He was so hot and stressed when they all got in, kids crying....nightmare
Seconding (thirding?) reins as a threat. Make it clear that reins are for toddlers, but as she won’t behave like a big girl she’ll have to wear them if she tries to run off. Don’t belittle, but ignore any howling - reins on as soon as she tries to do a runner, and they don’t come off till you get home (or to the car or whatever).
Otherwise, she may just need a bit more running around time - some kids love to run! Can you take her somewhere that it would be fine if she did a lot of running around? A park with a fence all the way around?
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