How to Discipline a Child Who Runs Quickly: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Parents can work to prevent children from dashing toward danger.

One of the largest shots of adrenaline the parents of a young child will ever get comes at that moment when their little one runs full-speed into the face of danger. Whether your child's perilous goal is a busy street, a steep set of stairs, or maybe the edge of a pool, the feeling of helplessness that creeps over you can be very unsettling. Rather than simply hope he'll stop or that you can catch him in time, take your own swift steps to curtail the behavior before it happens.


  1. 1
    Let your child run in a controlled environment. The park, a fenced backyard, or a large open field are great places to start. It helps to set very minor limits in those places as well, such as no running in the bushes, staying away from the gated entrance, or avoiding dangerous obstacles. Those limits will help to reinforce that running is allowed if it is done properly and safely.
  2. 2
    Keep your child engaged and entertained. Often kids run off because they are bored or feel ignored. If you plan to take him to a busy mall or another potentially dangerous place, think ahead of time about what you can bring to motivate him to stay nearby. Sometimes giving kids a job is a great way to prevent them from sporadically dashing off.
  3. 3
    Talk to your runner about the importance of staying close and in sight. Never underestimate his ability to reason, even at a young age. As long as you have realistic expectations based upon your experience with him and his age, you should be able to convey what you expect and why. Try to get him to understand that sometimes he must stay by your side.
  4. 4
    Encourage your little one when he does well. Give him the positive praise that he deserves when he lives up to your expectations. For every negative response, you should try to provide three positive responses. Children always seek the approval of their parents, and nothing will give him a bigger smile than a nice, friendly "atta boy."
  5. 5
    Play "catch me if you can." One clever way to get your little speed demon to turn back toward the family after he's run off is to make it a game. Simply call out to him that you want him to catch you and begin slowly heading in the other direction. Playful toddlers will often take the bait and return to the safe perimeter of the family.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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