Last week I took my youngest daughter, Abby, in for her 3-year checkup. I asked the doctor if she had any suggestions for controlling this little strong-willed ball of energy - specifically, how to keep her from running around in the parking lot when my hands were full.
A few weeks ago, we were at the library. I had two bags of books that I needed to put in the car before I could put Abby in the car. I was putting the books in the car where Abby sat, so it wasn't like I was clear on the other side of the car. I opened the car door and asked Abby to "stay right there; don't move." I put the first bag of books in the car. I looked down to check on Abby and she was gone. She had run around to the back of the car. This scared me to death and I wasn't sure how to get it across to her that this was really dangerous and that she could really, really get hurt. How do you get that across to a 3-year-old - a very stubborn 3-year-old?
Well, her doctor suggested we try this:
The pediatrician suggested to either put a magnet on the car or choose a spot on the car that would be Abby's safe spot - a spot on the car that Abby has to keep her hand on until she is told she can move.
The gas tank lid is close to Abby's car door, so I thought we'd pick that to be her safe spot. To my surprise, this has really worked well for us. Abby thinks it's really neat that she has her own little safe spot.
Now, I'm not suggesting you ask your toddler to stay at their safe spot while you unload a buggy full of groceries on the opposite side of the car. But if you're just putting a couple of things in the car, then give this a shot.