Because I see it brought up all the time on here. Like, why people spank. Or why people do or don't discipline a certain way. Or why people can't return shopping carts. I will say, none of my three children have ever come close to running into traffic (granted, one can't run yet) or dashing away from me in a parking lot.
Why does this seem to happen so frequently to other people? Anyone?
Do you have rules for your children in parking lots? What are they, and are they working to keep your children from being one of the apparent thousands who frequently dart into traffic and/or away from their mothers control in parking lots?
I think that people who frequently have kids running into traffic are doing something fundamentally wrong. Either you allow your kids to play in dangerous areas too close to traffic, or you don't have sufficient discipline techniques to teach your children how to be safe. Please discuss.
Oh boy you are openning a can of foul worms here Miss Potter. haha
Obviously we will put aside the kids with some sort of medical issue or behavioral issue that cause them to do things like bolt. for the rest, I can't say. My kids never really bolted. My son sometimes gets rambunctious and forgets the street is there, but I say Daniel stop and he stops.
My nephew used to be a runner. When he was about 2 he would take off a running like no one's business. He was very independant and could care less if his mom was next to him or not. Not sure if he ever ran into the street though.
Maybe it isn't something that happens all the time as far as kids running into traffic. but I am sure all of us had times when our kids came close and we usually yell, "Stop" and give a strict talking to. But we have all heard stories of kids running out into streets after balls or whatnot and getting hit, so it does happen. And at school I can't tell you how many times some kid walks from between parked cars while in the parkign lot and almost gets hit.
I am interested in a masachistic way to see where this debate goes. Especially with the last bit of your post.
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This is funny, because I was just discussing my irrational fear of parking lots and my child yesterday with DH as we were leaving the grocery store. I'm not using this as an excuse to any of the things you listed above, but I just wanted to comment. It's not that I don't trust my child, it's that I don't trust the idiots that drive like bats out of hell in the parking lots. They don't take into account that small, sometimes invisible children are walking or obscured by a parked car. Makes me so nervous.
I ran onto the road once when I was about 2 or three chasing my ball. Yes I got a smack because I didn't look for cars, I was also stubborn as anything and going through the tantrum stage and got my second smack ever just after that when I marched inside and in a tantrum over the first smack was found trying to stick a knife in the power socket.
My DS doesn't run yet, but I do worry a bit when it comes to him being older and in car parks becaus epeople don't look. I have seen so many people run into trolleys and they are much taller than a small child. I also park right next to the trolley return which adds some safety.
I don't sugar coat when it comes to that stuff. I have made it clear to Jace that if he runs out in the road, a car could come, hit him, and he may die (he understands what death is). I honestly don't remember a time when he ever tried to run out.
He is very good about staying close to me, and close to the car until it is time to start walking. I also make sure he is holding my hand (he loves to hold hands) and I make sure he is walking on the inside and me on the outside (in case a car swerves, they hit me first).
We have a system whereby the kids don't run, because they are holding my hand and one another's and we walk as a group. But if I don't remind them when we leave a place, one of the kids will begin walking/skipping toward where she thinks or knows we want to go and get ahead of everyone else, and she doesn't look at anything but her goal. This, as you can imagine, can be very dangerous.
I'm not sure it is common, but one of mine wouldn't think to proceed without mom and the other one just doesn't think, period. Her personality is one that requires more vigilance and stricter obedience in the parking lot or sidewalk, because she tends to default to following her own mind or partial instructions instead of waiting for mine.
With her, we need instant obedience if she isn't holding a hand or gets away from us, because she doesn't yet understand she needs to look around and judge/be aware of cars. So when I yell 'stop!' because she has headed down the steps while we are still gathering bags, we need her to listen instantly.
There are simply too many of us, too many bags, and too many cars for us to move as anything but an organized, listening group when navigating. It works very well, provided everyone is obeying.
So I don't know Mel, you tell me. Am I doing it wrong? Nobody has come near running into traffic, but that's because I have constant hands and eyes on the one of three who would be prone to it if I didn't. I don't know how someone else would evaluate my success in this area?
Last edited by SaucyVidel; 03-20-2011 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Added more
Only 3 of my 4 kids are walkers at this moment...I've also never dealt with the darting into the road. I would like to add that we have lived in areas with lots of traffic too, and not on a trafficless court.
Kids hold my hand in the parking lot or to cross the road. The older two hold each other's hands, but I always hold Leo's. He knows that if he doesn't follow the rules, he doesn't get to walk. The right to walk is something Leo values highly. LOL.
I actually almost wrote "fluff" in the topic headline because I am mostly kidding.
I think that I just see the "when they run into the road" thing a lot as a reason for doing all sorts of things....and I drive a good bit, and I have never (yet) have to either had to evade one of these road runner kids, or had a road runner kid myself. I was more curious if this is an actually common thing that I have simply been lucky enough to avoid, or if this is like urban mommy board legend justification extremism talk thing.
We work it like this. I unbuckle my bigs out of their 5 points because they can't do it themselves. I leave the door open. I walk around to get the baby out. Our rule is "Stand on the line". My bigs stand on the line (the parking space line) like it is a balance beam while I get the smalls out. I get him, shut the door, walk around, shut the bigs door, we hold hands, and we cross the parking lot (generally this happens only at the gym or in weird circumstances, we don't do the mall thing or food shopping as a 4 some, so I admit to having limited experience.) We have never had a "dart" situation. I find it hard to believe that so many of these "dart" experiences happen based on my experience as a parent, or that of my friends, or that of me as a driver who has not yet had to evade small street darting children.
I have never had to stop my car on a whim for a child darting into the road in a parking lot... BUT I have had to in neighborhoods - where the parents are usually inside and the kids are playing on their own. Usually it's because a ball rolled out into the road and the kid's immediate reaction is to run after it, before looking for cars. This is why when I am in residential areas, I ALWAYS drive slowly. If the speed limit is 25, I go 15-20 (unless someone is behind me). When Jace is of age where I can trust him outside on his own, I really want to teach him that material items that go into the road are to be let go, until it is safe to go and retrieve them. Whatever item is lost or run over, it can be replaced... He can't be.
My kids do understand needing to stay close and hold hands in parking lots...but I have only more recently been trusting them to do it when out with them by myself. Previously I would carry one or the other (depending on who was cooperating better) and hold hands with the remaining kid. My issue is not so much darting as my children are small and don't really comprehend the danger of cars backing out. Maybe it's just how parking lots are designed around here, but they are often very busy and drivers (usually in large trucks/SUVs/vans with less visibility) are not as polite about yielding the right of way to pedestrians. Having had people almost back over me (while I am paying attention!), has made me more cautious with my kids.
As for running into the road? We live in a subdivision and I can't even count the number of times I have seen kids of all ages chasing balls into the streets. Often this happens where there is a car parked on the street in front of the house, so you don't even have visibility. I always wonder why those parents are not more vigilant in teaching their kids to be respectful of traffic. Two years ago there was actually an accident where an 8 yo ran into the street and was hit (in our 15 mi/hr sub). She luckily ended up being okay, but was hospitalized and had serious injuries. The driver was going the speed limit and was not at fault.