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How do I stop my 3 year old from running away in public
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How do I stop my 3 year old from running away in public

I'm at my whits end.  I'm a mom & preschool teacher.  my 3 year old daughter attends preschool in the facility where i work, and she has started to run away from both me & her teachers.    Today, we couldn't find her....everyone was looking & we had to shut down the facility completely until she was found.  

I've even started to spank her for it....nothing abusive, but I will tell her that she will be getting a spanking, and let her think about it on the ride home, then I give 3 light spanks & put her to bed for her nap.    

I'm really concerned about stopping this behavior because it terrifies me to think of someone picking her up & taking her.  I think she's running away because she likes the chasing & attention, and (before I got completely fed up & started spanking) i talked with her about strangers....told her that "monsters" look just like regular people, and they would take little children who ran from their teachers & parents & never give them back......I don't want to scar her for life or make her paranoid, but I feel an urgency to get this behavior under control.    I also have a 19 month old, so when they go in different directions, I really don't know what to do.  

Any advice would be really welcome.  I hope you don't think i'm awful for spanking.
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Avatar_m_tn
This may sound cruel to some, but common sense to others:  get a harness nad a leash!  My wife had made harnesses for our very outdoors cats for hiking adventures. We discovered that it also fits the toddler as well!  it is very safe, and very effective means of wrangling them in.  So much so that she is now making one especially for our 14 month old daughter.  

As for the spanking, I don't see that being at all effective for any behavior...  and believe me, our 6 year old son really pushes it to the limit!  We tried for a short while for some of his behavior, but it only made it worse.  Positive resolution is difficult but worth it in the end!
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13167_tn?1327197724
I completely agree with the leash thing. Other than that,  the only thing that will stop this is not looking for her - and you obviously can't do that in public,  it's too dangerous.  

My nephew kept hiding from his mother in their house when he was that age - and he's a GREAT hider,  so she'd have to spend lots of time looking for him and calling him.  Finally, she decided to stop looking for him and when he would come out of hiding (after an hour or so,  literally) she'd pretend she didn't notice he was missing.

They have "hand holder" leashes that might be more socially acceptable than harness leashes,  but maybe she could get out of the "hand holder".  

Best wishes with this.  It would really try my patience!
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Avatar_n_tn
This is incredibly scary!! I also have a three yr old. I have taught him about “stranger danger” from a very young age. I ‘talk’ to him, explain things to him. I realize like adults personalities and aptitudes vary from child to child. Ethan would not run away in a public place because he understands it’s risky…I have friend w/ a child the same age that do not seem to have the ability to rationalize, or care for that matter, again I attribute that to personality differences more so than developmental issues. Until I was confident she would not run away in public I would entertain the idea of a leash to keep her safe, demanding constant hand holding @ the mall ect. I realize you are a preschool teacher but until the problem has been resolved I would not be comfortable w/ her in that setting.
     Spanking a child is demoralizing and teaches them what exactly? As a Registered Nurse if I have an issue Re: my son I reference what the American Academy of Pediatrics has to say-they are the gold standard. They too agree spanking doesn’t wk…I would advise you to wk w/her further. Consistent consequences for running and if all else fails involve other professionals. I think it is probably a phase and will resolve soon?
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535822_tn?1389452880
Those Leashes are very effective for the public outings and you could limit the outings till she learns, and explain to her why she has the leash on ,and until she satys near you she has to wear it, if she does it at home let her, dont feed into it, the least said the sooner it will stop, no spoanking you are only teacher her it is okay to hit,then what will you say when she does it to another child and you have taught her its okay ..ask her teachers to help you in supervising her, does she get enough stimulation at school, does she say why she runs away?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hope the running away has stopped by now !! I'm reading this as my daughter aged 3 is driving me insane with running away in public places. It makes my blood boil then I feel so guilty for compley loosing it with her. But it's the main thing that drives me absurdly mad. She just runs & runs without a backward glance. Or worse , glances back then continues running !!! I've really tried to scare her , telling her she may get lost & never get found again , I'm always reminding her about stranger danger but she simply has no fear.
I'm at my wits end and just hope it will pass soon, she has been like this since she could walk :((
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377493_tn?1356505749
My son is like this...he thinks it's fun to run and hide.  I have him on a childs harness and it's great.  His is a backpack shaped like a monkey, and the tail is for mom to hold onto.  $20 at walmart and I love it!
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535822_tn?1389452880
Harness's work also maybe continuing taking the stroller .and put her in it if she runs off..best stay calm , easier said than done I know when you are concerned .
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