As a parent, we all dread the moment we determine if we have a “runner” or not. You know the kind, the kid who takes off the second their feet hit the floor in a public place. They are the kids wearing the “backpacks” and who can frequently be found holding the security guard’s hand at the mall. I once even saw one in the arms of a prison guard while we were visiting Alcatraz- the pinnacle of all runner stories. Having a toddler that runs off is stressful, frustrating and scary. While your toddler is just being a kid, curious and full of energy, that curiosity can put them in harms way without them even realizing it. Most parents prefer their child to stay by their side, but until your wee one develops the ability to obey with no questions asked, most everyone will go through a running stage. We’ve compiled a list of a variety of ways you can tackle your runner (not physically of course!) and help them to stay close!
1. The Backpack Harness
Ok, let’s get this out of the way first. Most parents fall in the “to leash” or “not to leash” category and there isn’t much gray area. One thing is certain, if you have a runner, the last think you even want to THINK about is chasing them into the street. The backpack harness is NOT torture, and you’re not a bad parent if you use one. You should never be likened to a pet owner if you have one, and people who shame you have never had a child who could disappear at a moments notice. The safety of your child is your number one concern, and if the backpack helps then use it- no guilt attached!