Hi. I have a very happy and energetic 18 month old daughter. She is very curious and seems to have very little to no fear of strangers. She is not in daycare, is at home with either me or my husband. To make a long story short, she is always so well behaved at home. We have plenty of boundaries, she knows for instance she is not allowed to go up the stairs without holding mommy or daddy's hand, she can't touch certain things, etc. She just minds us so well at home. But when we take her out to a public place where she is not in her stroller or the shopping cart, she goes nuts and neither of us has an easy time controlling her. She wants to run away and see and do everything, we try so hard to work on holding hands and to listen to us but she won't mind, she does what she wants. When we pick her up she causes a huge scene and screams and cries because she doesn't want to be restrained. She just has an overly curious personality but I feel like we can't take her anywhere and I also fear for her safety since she will just run off by herself. i see so many other kids who stick right by mommy's side and mind so much better. Does anyone have any advice on how we can work with her to set more clear boundaries when we're in public? Can she understand at this age or is this something we'll have to deal with until she can reason.. Are there any good books anyone recommends on setting boundaries and discipline? I appreciate feedback from any experienced moms. Thank you!
I don't have much more experience than you as my DD is 22 months old...but I am going through something similar to you & your DH. She is great at home, but in public she throws the worst fits if I put her in the shopping cart. I feel bad having to use the stroller as well since I want her to be able to walk & explore, but she just runs off & being 7 months pregnant trying to chase down & restrain a toddler is no easy task Sorry I don't have much advice for you...I just try to take things in stride and pray they will get easier and that she'll mind more in public when the new baby comes. I just try to remain consistent and no matter how many fits she throws I tell her that she's going in the cart if she can't listen to mommy. Then I put her in the cart and she screams her head of...I just try to remain calm and she usually gets over it in a minute. If she is good & listens she gets to walk around for a bit...but as soon as she runs off it's in the cart or stroller!
lol, I feel like I wrote that! I am going through the SAME EXACT thing. My 20 month old daughter stays home with me and it very well behaved at home. When we leave the house she refuses to sit in a stroller or cart most of the time. She can become extremely unruly and will not hold my hand. She thinks it is funny to run and hide from me. I just keep an eye on her constantly and I am firm with her and usually just laughs. I feel my frustration is fueling her to do it more.
I am reading The Toddler Whisperer and so far it is the best book. It is helping me understand her personality, she is considered an angel baby according to the book, but if I am not considerate of her feelings or she gets tired she can come undone. Also, not having snacks and drinks can make it worse. I am still reading, but it is a great book so far. I checked mine at out the library. I also read The Happiest Toddler on the Block. You are to think of your child as a caveman. When she acts up at home I get down on the floor and throw a fit like her and she usually stops and looks at me and I say, "Oh! You are really mad, mad, you are mad!" When she stops, I can distract her and we can move on.
Your daughter's personality seems very similar to my daughters, so she would probably be an angel baby according to the book. That is the easiest baby. I am still figuring out how to deal with the running away. I get so tired of saying, "Come on Alexa, this way baby, this way, this way Alexa." I do let her walk and look with me, she loves to shop. When we get to the clothing section she likes to hud under racks, or try at least. I always have my eyes on her. It is exhausting, but it seems like this may be a phase and we need to learn how to deal with it. You are not alone.
Your replies so far make me feel SO much better just because up until now I've felt alone because I have several friends who have children at a similar age and none of them act like this. Thing is my daughter has always been such an easy child, so far she still doesn't mind her stroller or high chair or even the play pen. She very easily adapts to change and has such a good temperment which is why I get so worried about the way she acts in public like we've done something wrong. I too am pregnant with #2, I am almost 11 weeks so I have a ways to go but sure hope this phase with my daughter gets better. It's funny because before we had children my husband and I would see kids running around or being unruly and we would say oh our child would never act like that, he/she will always obey and hold our hands, ha ha. It was kind of in a joking way but we really planned to raise our children with boundaries and good discipline etc. I definitely will check out the books you mentioned too.. I look foward to anyone else's replies that has or is experiencing this and what else might help.
I know, my daughter also adapts to change easily, she helps me at home, she says thank you and your welcome, she is easy and a sweethart, but like you, it is when we are out and about that sometimes or at some point she gets nuts. I understand that she doesn't want to sit and that is okay. She gets to a point where she gets silly and she runs away or tries to hide. When I try to grab her she will collapse on the floor, or laugh at me. If I pick her up she will rip my hair out. While reading this book I am learning that she is probably getting bored or tired and she needs to leave or she needs a snack or something else. That is her way of telling me she has had it. I can believe that because my daughter is so good, I have always taken advantage of that and have been able to shop all day if I wanted to and she would take a nap like normal and was always happy to go along. Now at this age, she doesn't want to go for a long time. I am really thinking this is the main culprit. I need to pay attention to how she feels more.
Last edited by AlexaIn2006; 12-20-2007 at 03:24 PM.
okay, here's the thing..... your children are CHILDREN..... they need boundaries, and a stroller or a shopping cart is a boundary. USE THEM! they might throw a fit for the first couple of times, but i guarantee that they'll stop within a few minutes (unless they're sick or it's naptime!) when they realize that you are serious and won't change your mind and your lives will be SOOOO much easier! and a stranger can snag a child within 2 seconds, so WHY take that chance??? what happens when your child is running in the store, right in eyesight, and then a crowd of people suddenly stops between you and your child? you might be delayed for just five seconds, but in those five seconds, your child can turn a corner, duck into a rack of clothes, or whatever, and suddenly you can't see them anymore. predators look for mothers who are distracted, hassled, tired, PREGNANT, etc.... and they watch you and they wait for when you are not looking....
if you're too pregnant, too tired, or your car is too small too haul that huge stroller around anymore, then go get yourself a $10 umbrella stroller from walmart and use that. even my four year old will ride in the umbrella stroller (when her dad and i are out together and don't want the girls running around and don't want to mess with the big stroller!).
i really do understand what you're all saying. i have quite the free spirited two year old and she HATES being locked in to her stroller or the shopping cart..... initially..... she'll scream or straighten her back and legs and fight about getting in and strapping in..... but i don't let her win because i am her mommy and i love her and don't want her to get hurt. i'd much rather see her locked up in a stroller or shopping cart than never see her again because i couldn't stand to tell her NO! and after she realizes that i'm not going to change my mind and that all the fit throwing isn't going to make a difference, she quits and starts playing and enjoying where she is!
Your right. I think the cart or stroller is the only way to truly correct it. I am into boundries and structure yet this one had me. I do it outside when we go for walks, she acts up, I strap her in her stroller and after a minute or so she will usually get over it. Thanks for giving me that kick in the rear and reminding me to do what is right.
Well I hardly let my daughter out of the stroller most of the time just because of the way she acts all nuts when I do. I just have friends who can take their young children out of the stroller and they behave well so I try and mine runs away.... I am therefore reluctant to let her out much but feel I need to more. The only time I have really let her out to wander when we are in public is at a get together or party. I never have let her out at the store or anywhere else, always in the cart or stroller. Thanks for all your help with this. Will keep working on it and hopefully it will get better as she gets older.
i do know what you're saying! i have friends who let their kids out and 99% of the time their kids stay right there by their mommy's side..... but i can recall one time out with one of my friends and i had my oldest in the stroller and was pregnant with the second and my friend had a two year old not in a stroller, and we were shopping at the mall and we ran into another friend that we hadn't seen since way back in the day and during all the excitement of, "oh my gosh, it's been so long!" and all the squealing and hugging that we women are prone to do.... and this all took maybe 15 seconds.... the two year old had wandered over into the pet store, which was one store down from where we'd initially seen our friend, and was all the way in the back of the store right next to the alley exit! and it just took seconds for her to get that far before we found her!
my point is, don't feel bad about locking your child up even if your friends kids run free. your child has plenty of time to run around and be free at home. when you're out, there are just too many things that can happen that can take your child away from you forever! at her age, your little girl doesn't have the capability of understanding that even the nicest looking people can do EVIL, horrible, awful things to innocent little children! keep her strapped in and feel content in knowing that you are doing everything you can to keep her safe.
I have to agree that I RARELY ever let my DD walk rather than being in a shopping cart/stroller. The only time I let her walk is if we go to Toys R Us where she likes to go up to all the toys and look, and even then she NEVER leaves my eyesight. If she tries to run off...it's IN THE CART and that's the final say, no matter how much she screams. Or we will leave...whatever the circumstances. If I don't have a stroller/cart I feel it is too much work just trying to chase her down to even get any of my shopping done. Oh I REALLY do hope this will get easier as these approaching two's are really starting to scare me