Runs Away From You
If your toddler suddenly runs away from you, it's probably because he wants you to chase him. Here are some suggestions for keeping this behavior from becoming a game:
- First: Tell your child the behavior you want: "Stay close to me in the store so you won't get lost" or "Hold my hand when we cross the street so you won't get hurt."
- Second: If your child starts to run off, grab him before he escapes. If you're near a street, tell him sternly: "Never run off again. That's not funny." If you're in a store, put him in the grocery cart for 3 minutes. But if he runs off at dinnertime but is in the house, start eating without him.
- Third: If he runs off repeatedly, buy a Hand Holder tether that attaches to your child's wrist with a velcro cuff. Bring it with you on walks and to the store. Put it on only if your child breaks the rule. Remove it every 5 minutes, giving your child a chance to prove he can control himself. Using a hand holder occasionally is harmless.
- Finally: Praise your child for staying with you.
If you have questions about your child running away from you, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.