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My little run away

Posted by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:12 PM
  • 10 Replies

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get a three year old to leave the playground/store/school without a tantrum or running in the opposite direction?  I've tried giving her countdown warnings, such as "10 minutes until we leave," "5 minutes until we leave," etc.  I've tried telling her I'm leaving without her, which makes me feel awful and her bawl, but she still will run in the opposite direction.  Bribbing feels like cheating, and I don't want to set her up to expect a snack or treat in order to leave anywhere or behave well.  So I need a new strategy, and am open to any ideas you lovely ladies may have.  Thanks!

by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 7:12 PM
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by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:42 PM


by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 9:07 PM
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The one time my son ran away from us at the playground (which is very big and spread out) I dragged him to the car kicking & screaming; I'm sure some folks thought it was a kidnapping in progress!  But we went straight home and had a long talk about how dangerous it is to run away.  I didn't sugar coat it; I told him that some bad person could steal him and hurt him.  Then I told my son that we would not go to the playground anymore if he was going to throw a tantrum when it's time to leave.  He spent several hours in his bedroom as a consequence, and it was over a week before he got another trip to the playground.  But he got the message, and now when I say it's time to leave he grumbles a bit...while he walks to the car ;-)

by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Hmm, unsure, cause my two year old likes to run from me now too.
by Bronze Member on Oct. 3, 2012 at 10:28 PM
For me, I give the "ok let's go." And I start walking...they will try to call your bluff, but just keep walking....I did it twice and there's never been another tantrum since. If I don't see them coming, I'll start the saying goodbye to everyone at the first I had to go all the way to the truck, but when I opened the door and got in they quickly came running.

This doesn't have you threatening or begging. It's you leaving and the follow or you I started this in with my family. My mom and sister were in on training...I said let's go and turned to walk. If they didn't follow, my mom would walk into the house where she could see them and I would go and even crank the really was about training them that you arent going to budge.
by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:22 PM
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My mom always told us that if we were going to cry and throw a tantrum when it was time to leave, we would not come back.  We never questioned her because we knew she was dead serious.  We would not have gone back.

by on Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:29 PM
My ds used to do this w/ me at the grocery store then at the playground.we would have talks before hand about the rules and how if he did not listen to me and do as I said,it would be his last (and he loves going with me to the store n playground) both times at both places he tested me,it was over a month before he went back with me,but he learned that there are consequences for NOT listening and now he thinks before acting or not listening,he gets upset for about 2 minutes but soon gets over it because I don't fall into it
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by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 1:34 AM
My motto has always been: Do Your Best, To (Try To) Make Everything FUN! Even the worst situations/experiences can be more positive, if you maintain a positive attitude and a positive outlook...and your kids will/may/should "do as you do".

Whenever I took my three to the park/playground and it was time to leave, I would tell them that we had to leave soon, because we had somewhere else that we needed to be.
I tried to make going home -- or to the store, or wherever it was that we had to go -- sound like a pleasant place to be. I didn't indulge them with details, but I made it seem like fun. I maintained a cheerful demeanor, which kids do pick up on.
If you expect to have a negative situation arise while getting ready to leave (the park/playground, etc), then it will most likely end up being that way. If you exhibit a cheerful and happy attitude, then your kids will have the same response toward the situation. It's similar to how you can be having a really good day, and some 'Negative Nancy' puts you in a crappy mood.
When you need to do something that you've had bad experiences with previously, just try to turn it, be chipper, be cheerful, and your kids will (hopefully) behave similarly. ;-)
Hope this helps!

*** Please Help Find My MISSING Babies!!! ***sad -- (my oldest son, the little ones older brother started this page for his little brother & sister, please "like" and "share"). -- (a "Seeking TheLost" page).

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Well, I'm sure it's not going to be the popular response, but it worked like a charm for me. I took my son to a small store that I knew well in town. I prearranged my plan with the owner, who agreed NOT to intervene at all. When it was time to go, I said,  "Okay, we need to go now." just as happy as I could. Commence fit. So I said, "If you don't come with me, I'm leaving anyway." Fit goes to the floor. So I paid for my purchases and walked out the door and around the corner. As soon as he opened his eyes from said fit to figure out I wasn't there, the fit stopped and he came outside to look for me. I was there, of course. He never threw a fit in a store again because he knew I meant it. It took some work to find a small store (so he'd be safe) with people I knew (so he'd be watched) but it sure did make a difference. We had tried all the other stuff too and it just made going out MISERABLE! I wanted to have happy outings. We did from that point on. I hope this helps. 

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Thank you everyone for your advice.  I will be trying some of these things for sure!  

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I have done the same.  Act like leaving and walk around the corner where my oldest cannot see and he tests this theory occasionally still but for the most part when I say I am going and turn to leave he is there, yes grumbling but he comes. 

My neighbor and I worked out a plan one day as he was throwing a fit about leaving and I walked home and she watched him out her front door.  When he figured out I wasn't there he came screaming Mommy don't leave me!!!!!  and we normally don't have issues.

I have also got in the van and drove down where he couldn't see me but I could see the door and it took all of 2 minutes for him to open the door and start screaming MOMMY!!!!!!  so now when I say I am getting in the car he is quick to follow as he doesn't want to be left.

Good luck and don't back down.....the first time you do you are sunk.

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