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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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What is the best way to get a preschooler (very advanced 3

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What is the best way to get a preschooler (very advanced 3 year old) to understand that running away from your parents in public is a bad thing? From daycare - running through the halls not listeneing when we are yelling for him to stop - to busy public places like the mall, park or fair where we are again ignored and we have to run like wildfire to catch him. There have even been instances where he has tried to run into the street and we have had to tackle him. It seems the more we yell to stop the funnier he thinks it is to ignore us and do the opposite of what we say. We have tried time out, taking toys and priveledges away, explained to him that we are upset with his actions and that we are not happy with him and other than spanking (which I would like to avoid) I am at a loss what to do now. What is your advice?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. Has your son always been so defiant? Thank you!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
To an extent yes. He does have a brand new sister so we are dealing with that some but this has been going on since he started walking.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Ok...I will return with an answer ASAP. :)
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
I need to step out of the office for a bit but will return soon and answer your concerns promptly.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
What you can do so that your son can understand the danger of running in the street is to use a toy car and a model of a little person that represents him. Show him what could happen if he ran out in the street and the car hits him. Explain to him how he might get really hurt and have to go to the hospital. Then do the same thing with an adult toy character and a child character that represents your son. Show a scenario to your son about how if he runs away, a stranger or a bad person may snatch him and take him far far away from you. Tell him how sad and hurt you will be if that happened. Then role play how you want your son to stand by you at all times. Pretend like you are in the park or mall. Tell your son how you expect him to behave and then practice it at home before trying it in public. Then once you are ready, go to a public place. If he is able to stay by your side, he gets a sticker for his excellent behavior. Tell him that when he receives 10 stickers on a chart that you create, he gets a special treat or a social outing. Children often will work hard to change their behavior when a reward is involved. The goal is to be persistent and consistent. You want to praise his good behavior to eliminate the negative. Additionally, although I am not a big fan of this technique at all, is to use one of those child leashes. Try this and see if it works. Let me know.

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