How do I get them to walk? (and stop using the stroller)

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by lilybay, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. lilybay

    lilybay Well-Known Member

    I feel like this is a catch-22.  The boys are not good at walking with us and holding hands (when at a store, a zoo, etc.) so we mostly keep them in a stroller or cart.  But they won't learn to walk with us unless they practice, right?  I am so frustrated.  Our younger guy is pretty good at holding hands but our older one won't even try.  Let him out of the stroller and he RUNS.  GONE.  My husband and I have even talked about getting him one of those backpack leashes (and I really hate that idea.) 
    The final straw was this afternoon.  My husband's workplace had a trick-or-treat for employee's kids.  My boys were either being carried or in the stroller.  There were kids much younger than them walking nicely.  The couple of times we tried to let them down to walk, they'd either run away or stand still and not move an inch. 
    I'd like to give them more independence and not always have to use the stroller (not to mention they are starting to get a little big for it!)  Any ideas?  Thanks in advance!
  2. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Practice in your neighborhood with one boy. Get it down pat with each kid individually then you can ask them to do it together.

    Do they like being in the stroller? If not, use it to your advantage and make the stroller the consequence for dropping hands.
    1 person likes this.
  3. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    When we were ready to do more walking, we took weekday evening trips to Target (the least crowded time). We'd practice walking while holding hands and we'd explain why ("we hold hands for safety! Please hold daddy's hand!") If they pulled loose and ran, we left Target entirely. It only took maybe two or three times? We did the same thing with parking lots- practice in a safe environment, explain, pick up and leave if necessary. They're great now!

    Good luck!
  4. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    My boys are almost 4 and staying with us is still a struggle. They are good about holding hands in parking lots, but other times, it's awful. If one of us just takes one of them, they do okay, but it's nearly impossible for one of us to take both of them somewhere unless we can put them in a cart. I tried to take both of them to the pet store today to get dog food and a 10 minute trip was a total disaster because they swore they would stay with me and they didn't.

    We have done lots of practice, and it just doesn't seem to sink in. I wish I had the answer, but I don't. It's really frustrating seeing kids half their age walking along calmly and staying with their parents, and mine are all over the place. They are very outgoing kids anyway, so I think some of it is just personality. And we do have the backpacks with the leashes that we use places where it is really crowded (like the zoo).
  5. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I agree with Michelle.  I would practice with them.  We used to take our two to the mall for short strolls.  At that age, the mall was distracting enough that they were pretty good staying at our side, then we practiced around the neighborhood.
  6. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I remember this stage well. Honestly I kept my girls confined to a stroller (unless we had one adult to one kid), until they were 3. Mostly because it was usually just me with both of them and I couldn't practice with just one, and if I let one out of the stroller, the other would throw a fit. At 3 they were better able to understand my expectations and I would talk about it before we went somewhere. And I remember the advice of someone here who told me to still bring the stroller and use it as a consequence. If they didn't stay with me, they would get strapped into the stroller. Good luck and just know that it will get better!
  7. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    We started using backpack leashes with them very early on.  Never thought in a million years I would use one but I refused to be confined to home when I was the only one able to go out and it was not worth the risk of one of them taking off.  They did not like their stroller unless we were just walking on the bike path near our home.  And honestly I did not like the stroller for outings other than walks.  The real point of going places was to allow them to interact with the big wide world and that was not possible strapped in a stroller.  Also I liked for them to get the exercise and tire themselves out.  No point taking them places and letting them just sit.  They would be in and out all the time to do and touch and explore that it was pointless.  I would end up with a huge stroller and two kids going two different directions.   So we got leashes and I LOVED them.  It was odd but they would held our hands better with the backpack then without.  Go figure.  Practice practice practice and talk about it each time you get out of the car.  I used them everywhere for about 6 months.  After that only if we went somewhere very crowded.  
    Edited to clarify.  I used the leashes to help them learn to stay with me.  I did not let them run ahead.  The leashes were to keep them from running off.  They still had to hold my hand or stay beside me.  I also took them places for hiking and I would let them run a bit more.  Mine are not nice calm stay close type kids so it still takes a lot of reminding and practice. 
  8. lilybay

    lilybay Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for sharing your stories! It makes me feel better that I am not the only one to ever have this problem. :) We will start doing a lot of practicing!
  9. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    I think if you decide to do it, get rid of stroller or wagon period. Then deal with it a month, it will be like hell. But you will survive and won't turn back to stroller. Plus strict rules and punishments.

    We got rid of stroller pretty early like 2. We never turn back. Now if we spend all days at zoos or disney, we bring our bike trailer so they can nap inside lol. I take my kids to markets, restaurants, parks by myself alot. We only hold hands in parking lots or sides walks. They always walk next to me everywhere. Plus, they do learn at school that they have to stay with parents and hold hands.

    Good luck!
  10. babyhopes09

    babyhopes09 Well-Known Member

    We tie ribbons attached to those plastic toy rings to the stroller and tell them they either have to hold their "handles" or they go back in the stroller. It keeps everyone together and I'm pretty strict about enforcing the rule about holding the handles.
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