Having their 3-year-old running away in public is something that most parents must endure. What is it that makes running away from their parents so much fun for these toddlers? They rarely do this when out with other people! Why are they tempted to do it mainly when they are out with their moms and dads? Running away in public is not necessarily a sign that your toddler’s behavior is out of control, but it keeps you on edge nonetheless!
The following 5 reasons are why your toddler would run away from you in public.
Why Your 3 Year Old Runs Away In Public
Spending a couple of hours shopping for groceries or whatever might be fun and exciting for you. To your toddler, it’s probably the most boring thing ever!
Put yourself in your 3-year-old’s shoes and imagine having to sit in a shopping trolley for a few hours!
Not the best way to spend playtime, that’s for sure!
It Is Fun
Your toddler wants to have some fun and will make a game of running away from you and have you chase after them.
When you manage to grab hold of your toddler, they will get that impish look on their face and dash it again!
This is a game to your toddler that’s making being out with you a whole lot of fun! Maybe not for you, but definitely for them!
Hide and Seek
To your 3-year-old, those shopping aisles were made for toddlers to play hide and seek from their mums and dads! As you enter the shop, it’s an open invitation for them to run and hide from you.
It doesn’t enter their little head that they are giving you the fright of your life either.
As long as you are running backward and forwards from aisle to aisle looking for them, the shopping experience for your toddler is a major success!
At home or in the car, your toddler has all your attention, and more than likely isn’t happy with the fact that the items on the shelves seem more appealing to you than they do.
To get around this, your toddler will run away from you. They will love having you calling their name and try to grab hold of them.
Of course, since this gets the attention your toddler wants from you, they will do it repeatedly until they have had enough.
Your Toddler Is Tired
Shopping is tiring for adults, so you can only imagine what your little 3-year-old feels like after a couple of hours of strolling through a mall.
One way to show you that they have enough of things is by running off on their own.
In their little mind, they are probably hoping that when you run after them, you will make your way out of the mall, get in the car, and go home again!
5 Things You Can Do To Help Stop Your 3 Year Old Running Away In Public
Having your 3-year-old running away in public is exasperating, especially when you have repeatedly told them not to. However, there are several things that you can do to stop your child from running off when you’re out in public.
Get Them To Help
Ask them to push the trolley for you so that you have both hands to find and take the things you want to buy off the shelves.
Apart from making them feel terribly important because they are “helping” with the shopping. You know exactly where they are all the time because they will be holding onto the trolley!
Make sure that you talk to them all the time to know they are playing a big part in shopping with you.
There’s a good reason your toddler is misbehaving and going all out to give you a tough time.
Try to see things from their point of view. Did they not want to go shopping and is taking out on you? All because you are forcing them to do something that they do not want to do? Have you recently had another baby that they feel is getting more attention than they need? In other words, if there’s a good reason why they are misbehaving, try to be understanding and speak to them.
Tell them that you understand what they are unhappy about and that you will make it up to them when the shopping is over if they are good.
Remind Your Toddler About Safety Rules
When your toddler runs off, it’s not just irritating for you but dangerous for them as well.
Please have a good talk to them and tell them that you want him to stop running away from you because it’s not safe for them to do so and that you worry that something bad will happen.
As long as you’re consistent with the rules you lay down for your toddler, the more they will understand you and take you seriously.
For instance, if you tell them that if they keep leaving the children’s area at the library, you are going home. If your toddler doesn’t listen, go home.
If you insist on holding their hand when you cross the road, then apply this rule all the time. Hold their hand even if there is no traffic around. In other words, your rules must apply to all situations where your toddler is concerned.
Get Rid Of Energy Before Going Out
All children have tons of energy and are only happy to be still when they are sleeping.
Make a point of spending at least a half-hour doing plenty of physical activities before taking your child to the mall.
By doing this, you will be helping them to get rid of some of that energy. They will be more satisfied to spend an hour or two sitting in the trolley. Maybe even walking up and down the aisles with you as you do your shopping.
All this without having the urge to run away from you at some point.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age do toddlers stop running away?
Usually, toddlers stop running away from you in public when they are around 3 years old. If you are like me, you will be holding your toddler tight where there are big crowds!
How do you discipline a toddler for running away?
A behavior chart is a great way to bring a toddler around to your way of thinking. It is not a negative discipline, but it does reinforce and reward good behavior instead.
Why does my toddler wander off?
Most likely because they are inquisitive! They can also wander, or run, off when they are bored. You should do all you can to keep your toddler entertained while you are out.
The above hints and tips will help to stop your 3-year-old from running away in public. For you, it is all about making what should be a simple shopping trip an absolute nightmare!
We know that taking kids out can be a challenge. We know that we need eyes everywhere. But we signed up for this stuff, right?