No matter what age they are, when your child wanders off and gets lost, it is an absolutely terrifying thing to have to go through; the panic and fear about what will happen to them is like nothing else you will ever experience. And as much as you keep an eye on them, you are only human and humans sometimes lose concentration and kids seem to have a knack of sensing that split second when you are not paying attention to them.
Some kids will take full advantage of this. They will wander off every time you do not have hold of them. This can be not only scary, but it can be very frustrating. You feel as though you can’t do anything because your child might wander off. There are ways to deal with a wandering child.
You might trust your other children to look after them while they’re in your back yard, but you should not be burdening them with this responsibility when you are in public. Kids are human too and they lose concentration far more easily than adults and they can’t be trusted with something as important as looking after a child. The wandering child will be just as likely to get bored and walk away when their sibling is looking after them as when their parent is looking after them.
If your child wanders off a lot then you may need to work as a team to stop them. This means getting the whole family involved without giving one person with all of the responsibility. Making the whole family responsible for looking out for the child will mean you are working as a team and you will be more likely to spot the child before they wander away.
Explain to your child what could happen when they wander. This might scare them, but this is what they need. They have to know that it is not safe for them on their own and they could be seriously hurt or worse.
Make them aware of how it makes you feel, tell them how much it scares you and how sad it makes you. Guilt is incredibly powerful, often more powerful than fear for a child. And while you may feel a little manipulative, you need to stop them from doing it again, no matter what.
If they are young enough then using safety reins or a harness is a good idea. You will know where they are all of the time if you do, and it can stop them from running into the road as some kids tend to do!
Keeping a close eye on your child is not always as easy as people think, especially if you have more than one child. But using these tips should help stop your children from wandering away from you.