Monday, October 25, 2010

maybe she'll be an olympic sprinter, hopefully not a thief

Folks, I have a problem. Well, I guess I have more than one, but let's focus on the one.

Josie is a bolter. She runs. All the time. Everywhere. And she also doesn't stop when you call her.

One would think the obvious solution is to never let her out of the stroller, and I do agree, this is a reasonable solution and one I employ most of the time. There are times, however, when it is inconvenient or difficult to bring a stroller along. She also has learned how to undo straps and slither out of her stroller, no matter how tight we tie the straps. It is a skill we did NOT encourage.

I try to hold her hand all the time too, but given her propensity for dislocating her elbow, I can't hold onto her hand very tightly, and if she makes her body go slack, I have to let go because I'm so scared of another dislocation. This means that we've had a couple of instances where she was able to get me to let go and then took off running, and that little sucker is FAST.

Tonight, we were walking from the library to the car, and I let go of her hand when library books started sliding out of my arms and she began running straight toward the street. I dropped the books and took off after her, screaming her name, while Gabe tried to grab her dress and pull her down (he's used to trying to stop her). I caught her, but she was close to running into the street. And I FREAKED.

I am always firm about the running. I've tried being calm. I've tried positive reinforcement. I've tried yelling. I've tried talking to her. I've even tried spanking out of desperation. None of it works and I'm at a loss for what to do! This is too serious of an issue for me to mess around with. Running away from me in a store is one thing, but in the street?

Any advice? Thoughts? I do realize this post puts me at risk for my favorite commenter coming out to berate me, but whatever. I need the help! Throw all your ideas at me, please!!!


jwg said...

I'm sure you'll hear from many people who disagree, but until you can be sure she's safe I'd invest in one of those baby harness/leash things. And if it zips in the front put it on her backwards.

stacy said...


I agree. I never had to personally use one, but I do believe there are situaitons that they can be a good toold when used properly and well where safety is concerned then its a good tool. get a harness thing. use it when you will be in dangerous situations where she can run into harms way-street, in front of cars in parking lots, etc.

They make cute ones with animals.

where i feel like they are bad is people who use them 24/7 rather than trying to teach the kids.
You are clearly trying and will continue to. Its a safety issue.

I know I keep saying it but this too shall pass.

Martha said...

Definitely get one of those animal/backpacks with the harness - just until she's old enough to reason with! And she will get to that point, I promise! Play up the whole "backpack" aspect and she'll love wearing it.... I hope!

Chatty Cricket said...

Dude: harness.

The SILs both used them (one used it for crowds and the other had a bolter). The one my SILs used was the animal backpack. I think you can loop it around your wrist so you're not full on walking your kid on a leash, and I BELIEVE the one with the bolter used it as reinforcement. Which is to say, she had him wear it and she held it, but she also pract8iced holding his hand while it was on and she wouldn't let him walk so far ahead that he'd pull the "leash." So basically it functioned like an emergency wrist strap for a stroller- it was there if he started to bolt, but otherwise she worked on getting him to listen and walk WITH her.

liz said...

Major hugs.


halloweenlover said...

Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking. If I bite the bullet and buy the harness, I'll use it as almost a deterrent. I can ask her- either you walk without running or wear a harness, and I'm hoping she will learn quickly. Sigh.

mikraas said...

I don't know if she's old enough, but have you thought about teaching her the "freeze" game? I've heard it works wonders with kids who like to bolt and not stop when yelled at.

Downsized Attorney said...

Get the leash, screw what other people think.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

I would get one of those cute leashes with the backpack on it. I have a monkey one for my boys, and only use it when I have to, but now that they're a bit older I dont have to anymore.

And I wouldnt care what other people think. If she's a sprinter, I would totally use the 'leash'.

jo said...

Since her ears and hearing were so messed up before the surgery she missed the whole 'this is how it goes' lesson on call back.
Not too anger anyone too much, but is there a bit of dog training positive enforcement you can enact until with her new super sonic hearing (relatively at least) she relearns the rules?

Anonymous said...

I had a 'leash' when I was little and I *loved* it! I felt so grown up and independent like it was all my choice to be walking down the street. Apparently I was a bolter too but all I remember is how much I loved that leash and how independent it made me feel.