Client Question: What are your thoughts on child restraints for two year olds? My two year old runs away from me every time we go out. I fear the worst (getting hit by a car) 1316605897_57-300x300-2

Answer: Honestly before I was a parent myself, I really didn’t like the look of or the concept of child restraints, however bring on the toddler years where toddlers do not seem to be able to sit still, or hold hands and then to a parents joy, find’ running away’ a great game!  Some toddlers are more compliant than others who are really, well, just more challenging,  add in some busy streets, a large city and ‘the running away game’ just simply becomes dangerous. Part of the solution to this is child restraints.  This certainly brings peace of mind to parents, security in a busy city, and safety is assured.   I actually have one available for  parents on my online store www.babysmiles.com.au/shop and I recommend it to parents to make sure that your toddler is safe in some circumstances. However I do not believe it is the whole solution to the running away problem.  Your toddler without a doubt needs to learn to hold hands without pulling theirs out, or hold onto the pram/trolley when you need them to, you as a parent need to be able to be confident that they will and they will not suddenly test the boundaries. The way to achieve this is to practice hand holding, walking beside mummy or daddy etc and lots of praise and attention for doing just this in a controlled and safe environment like a fenced park, your backyard etc.  Practice, practice is the key, so that when they say ‘no’ as toddlers often do, and pull their hand away and worse, run away to test if you will chase, you can safely and confidently ‘ignore’ or ‘not react’ to this game.  After a handful of tests the game is no longer fun anymore because quite simply you do not play it... and they then start to change their behaviour all on their own.  You need to be confident that you can ‘ignore’ this game behaviour, and above all the very first time your toddler runs away to see if you will chase, choose not to play this game, DO NOT CHASE them unless of course it is flagging quite highly on the unsafe scale.  This is just one of the many strategies that you as a parent can use to curb the running away behaviour.

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