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  1. #1
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    Default Dealing with a bolter

    Just hoping someone might have some good tips or advice for dealing with my little runner.
    Also, when you catch them how do you react?
    DS is 2.5 and is a bandit for taking off at the worst possible moment. Last week I was trying to pay at a shop counter when he scarpered out the door and straight into the car park, glancing over his shoulder and giggling as I lumbered after him.
    I can't leave the house without worrying he'll take off, even going to the park is stressful, unless we go to one that is fully fenced.
    He hates the pram so we ditched it a while ago. Knowing how my child is, I will never again judge people who use kiddy leashes!
    I'm trying to teach him that when mummy says stop and holds up her hand that means stand still. He uses the word stop in context but perhaps he just doesn't get it yet. Clearly he thinks it's funny and loves being chased 😩
    Last edited by calicocat; 28-02-2016 at 15:33.

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    Hi there, my eldest and youngest are bolters. I used a monkey backpack with lead for ds1, i just had to for survival. The safety instinct didnt kick in at all until he nearl starting school. Even on his last day of preschool when he was 5 he just bolted out of the car park and behind a reversing car. The other would be to carry yr ds to and from the car and have him sit in the trolley while you shop. I currently do that with my 3.5yr old. Having a bolter is really stressful at times...

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  4. #3
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    I had to use one of those animal backpacks with the tail leash for DD when she went through this phase. I held her hand still most of the time with the leash around my wrist but it was there as back up when I had to put her hand down.

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    My third was a runner. He was given one chance to stay with me and if he bolted he went straight in the pram. If he struggled if was strapped in.

    I'm personally not a fan of the backpacks with straps and so that's how I managed it.

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    Default Dealing with a bolter

    My eldest was a Bolter around that age.

    For my DS, the point at which he had bolted was too late. I had to drum rules into him every time we went out in public - beforehand.
    1. No running
    2. No yelling
    3. Keep your clothes on
    Etc etc. I would explain if he did any of the things he would get a time out. If he had a no time outs then at the end of out outing he could have a treat on the peppa pig ride (one of those machines you put $2 in).

    We would go through the rules at breakfast. In the car. When we were getting out of the car. When we got to the library/shops/cafe etc.

    Took about a month before the rules started to make a difference - after that we only had a flare up approx 1/5 outings (and I could usually pinpoint the triggers in advance - eg late for morning tea!).

    As to how I did the time outs in public - depending on what bub was doing at the time ds1 would either have time out on a chair or strapped in the pram. I had a double pram and it was a lifesaver. I don't care if my DS1 didn't like it. A double pram was the only way I could get respite and manage both kids if ds1 ran off.

    This may not work for your DS however hopefully something on my post is somewhat useful!
    Last edited by VicPark; 28-02-2016 at 20:18.

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    My ds1 is 27 months and we've only recently started letting him have more time walking rather than pushchair (I've also got 8 month old so he really can't bolt or I'm screwed trying to chase home with a double pushchair!). I've found that he's already able to understand consequences so my reaction when he does run too fast or doesn't stop when asked is to either give him the ultimatum if I think he deserves another chance or if I need to he goes back in the pushchair for safety. The ultimatum at the moment is going in the pushchair if he misbehaves and so far it works. We've also been doing similar to pp by trying to drum things into him such as always stopping at roads and waiting for us and even when he's in the pushchair I will ask him "what do we do now?" whenever we get to a road.
    I personally have no probs with baby reins and used them when ds1 started walking and I was getting heavily pregnant, but to be honest I'm not sure if they would be useful now. I guess I'm trying to give ds more freedom and trust so he can enjoy running off if its safe but I do make sure he realises it's a privilege and I will take it away without hesitation if he misbehaves or it's not the right situation for him to be running lose (ie inside the shops is a no no. Around the shopping centre is ok but he's back in pushchair for shop).
    The other thing is could you make a game out of him staying close? When we were at the beach recently we needed ds to stay still while we were packing away and I had ds2 in a carrier while DH was putting tent down. Ds1 wanted to run off into the sea so we had to have him stay still. We insisted he hold onto a nearby tree until we were finished. Maybe you could try and teach him that at times you need him to hold onto you and make a game out of it somehow like shouting in a jokey way if he lets go and offering a reward of sorts when you've finalised doing what you're doing and he can let go. Not sure if any of those suggestions will work as I'm still new to this myself!!

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    Subbing. My DS1 (2.5) is also a bolter and just will not listen when I tell him to stop. It makes me angry, embarrassed, scared, etc all at once.

    With a 6 month old DS2 to also manage, I've responded by simply limiting the number of outings and places we will go to those where I'm less worried about what could happen when he bolts. I try and do the other stuff (eg shopping centres) on days when DS1 is at daycare.

    Please, universe, don't let DS2 turn out to be a bolter too!

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    FearlessLeader is offline Winner 2013 - Most Memorable Thread
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    I thankfully haven't experienced a full on bolter- if I had one I would definitely use a backpack leash thing. Both my kids have been taught that if I say stop, they must stop immediately and if they don't they either have to hold my hand or be carried- they are not allowed to walk on their own. I've done this with both of them from about the age 2 (I generally don't like using a stroller once they can walk) when they were young it worked in the moment- ie, if they bolted I would grab them and make them hold my hand/carry them, and a few minutes later I would ask 'are you ready to listen? When I say stop, you stop right away' and they would generally behave themselves for the rest of the outing. Now they are older they are generally pretty good at not wandering off.

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    Default Dealing with a bolter

    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessLeader View Post
    I thankfully haven't experienced a full on bolter- if I had one I would definitely use a backpack leash thing. Both my kids have been taught that if I say stop, they must stop immediately and if they don't they either have to hold my hand or be carried- they are not allowed to walk on their own. I've done this with both of them from about the age 2 (I generally don't like using a stroller once they can walk) when they were young it worked in the moment- ie, if they bolted I would grab them and make them hold my hand/carry them, and a few minutes later I would ask 'are you ready to listen? When I say stop, you stop right away' and they would generally behave themselves for the rest of the outing. Now they are older they are generally pretty good at not wandering off.
    I'd rather use a stroller than a leash once kids can walk. And having had a bolter the whole "stop" as a word and concept is just meaningless to them. They think it's a game. It's so incredibly frustrating as I had 2 kids who never left my side then a bolter and you just do what you can to keep them (and your other kids) safe.

    It is so frustrating beyond words. My son is now the quietest little boy who never misbehaves at shops. Yet 2 and a half years ago every outing was fraught.

    Sorry not really quoting you for any particular reason. These threads always take me back to a time I never want to return to!!
    Last edited by Sonja; 28-02-2016 at 22:07.

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  18. #10
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    ~Marigold~ is offline You make me happy, when skies are grey
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    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessLeader View Post
    Both my kids have been taught that if I say stop, they must stop immediately and if they don't they either have to hold my hand or be carried- they are not allowed to walk on their own..
    Haha, that wouldn't be a threat I could use, my DD would LOVE to be carried! At 3 and half she begs me to pick her up and carry her every time we are out. Not happening, she's too damn heavy now, but she'll still whinge and sook every time she has to walk anywhere. I usually use a trolley if we're out shopping, also our shopping centre has those little car trolleys you can hire, she loves those.
    I haven't used a pram or stroller for at least 6 months now and actually just sold her old one so that's not even an option anymore.

    I've never had an issue with her bolting, but at one stage between the ages 1-2 she absolutely refused to go in her pram (would scream/cry and struggle every time I tried to strap her in) and I found myself considering a harness for her because all she wanted was to either be carried or walk by herself, she wanted that independence and I figured a harness would give her that freedom and me the security. Prior to this, I'm ashamed to say I had always been a bit "anti-leash", to me it just didn't ever look/feel right, having a child in a harness, but until you experience a very strong willed and defiant kid you just never know what you'll do.

    ETA- never needed to buy a leash as she seemed to outgrow her pram rage, luckily!
    Last edited by ~Marigold~; 28-02-2016 at 22:33.

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