6 Year Old Son Runs off from Me All the Time in Public Worried About Abduction!!

Updated on October 09, 2011
B.D. asks from Augusta, GA
13 answers

My 6 year old son runs away from me all the time out in public. He will talk to anyone and everyone. I am terrified that he is going to be abducted!!!! He will stand outside on the sidewalk of a very dangerous neighborhood when no one is outside with him. (not our residence) we have watched the safe side super chick video several times and i have talked to him about strangers but he doesnt seem to listen..so ive got 2 questions for this..first this was mentioned by a friend...they said to be in a public place with him and have someone you know and trust come up and try to get him to go with them. Scare him i guess..but i dont want to scar him for life. Has anyone heard of someone doing that or them theirselves has done this? And lastly ive heard of these chips that goes into kids hands or arms that is like a gps in case of an abduction occurs. Has anyone had this done or had some kind of gps like a keychain or something kept on their child?? Im terrified that something is going to happen to my little boy because of his constant running away in public and his needness and wanting to talk to everyone.. No negative please im just an overprotective mom.

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answers from Phoenix on

Discipline him for it. He's old enough to follow directions and obey his parents. Get strict about this as it's a hazard to him. Ground him, put him in time out, stay on top of this. If you "scare" him by getting someone to come up to him, it might backfire and make things worse. You also shouldn't have to get that leash or whatever it's called at this age. I believe that is for younger children. He can learn. Good luck!

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answers from Missoula on

I know most people here are against spanking, but when my son use to run out of our yard, I would bring him inside and swat his butt. He had to know that that was serious and it was never ok. It only took about 2 times and he never tries it anymore. I think he needs a good spanking. He needs to understand that this is not ok.

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answers from Austin on

You are going about this backwards.

He is 6 years old. He should know he is never to run off. Is he special needs? Or is he Autistic? If he is then you cannot have a stranger scare him, he will not have the same reaction or lean the lesson from this.

If not, then you and he need to learn he needs to ALWAYS hold your hand out in public. Or to hold on to the grocery cart. or place his hand on your car till you can hold his hand or unlock the car. If he cannot do this then he really needs a child leash. You must demand this every time you go out.

What does he do at school? Does he run out of the classroom, run out of the school, run away during outdoor PE?

If not that means he knows there are expectations at school, but not so much at home.

YOU will need to decide what discipline he needs. Heck our toddlers knew not to go outside without us, ever. We just reinforced it over and over and EVERY time.

Maybe you need to place keyed locks to the inside of those doors he runs out of. This is for HIS protection.

No I do not think you should have someone scare him. That is not necessary if he has constant rules and expectations. He does not need the stress and then the distrust of you.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

Why in the world is he out in a very dangerous neighborhood alone?? I would never test him like that but I certainly would be teaching him every day and he would never walk without holding my hand if he can't behave. My daughter was "easy" I guess...we have a video of her talking about stranger danger at 2 and she just got it.

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answers from Santa Fe on

What I would do is every single time he does not listen on this issue I would come down with THE HARDEST consequence I can think of. Something that will make him terribly unhappy - take away his most favorite thing in the world for a week or his favorite thing to do. I would sit him down and tell him this is what is going to happen the next time you deliberately do not stay by my side the entire time. Then follow through. He is old enough to make the correct choice.

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answers from San Antonio on

Mine six year old could walk with me (the rule was I had to be able to touch him when I reached out my arm) OR he would have to hold my hand. He hated having to hold my hand!!

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answers from Dallas on

Why don't you just get one of those leash like things for him to wear when you are out in public? It may be frowned by some but you have a legitimate fear and it is a lot better than him getting lost or taken. if he doesn't like wearing it, it may help keep him from running.

I wold not try to get a friend to 'take him' - that is just plain mean.

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answers from Los Angeles on

You basically have 3 options:

1) Because he doesn't listen (whether he chooses not to or is incapable at this point of understanding) YOU have to be proactive, you are his mom. When you go into a public place hold his hand. He won't like it, but you can tell him that because he doesn't listen to you and you are afraid that something may happen to him this is his consequence. (I really don't think he'd like a harness on him.) If you have a younger child in a stroller make him hold on to the stroller at all times. Or you can do what I did with my daughter (whose brother, my son, WAS kidnapped) and have him hold on to your pocket (she would slip her hand inside as she walked beside me), your shirt, jacket, handbag, etc, he would have to hold on to some part of you at all times.

2) When you are in a very dangerous neighborhood (not your residence, I understand) YOU have to tell him he's not going outside, period. You don't need to give him a reason, but if you choose to tell him because it is not safe for him there, end of discussion. Since you more than likely can't trust him make him stay right with you so he can't slip away unnoticed.

3) Stop taking him anywhere. Tell him that he has lost the right to go anywhere because he doesn't listen to you and wanders off, it is a consequence of his actions. Leave him with someone, hubby, neighbor, whoever it may be when you're going shopping or another public place, and don't take him to the very dangerous neighborhood at all.

As far as scaring the living daylights out of him i truly don't think it would work. Dr. Phil has done numerous shows on the topic, the kids always go with the stranger, and the emphasis is on teaching the parents how to protect their children, not the children getting scared of what happened.

Teach your son all the ways that someone (even a trusted friend up to no good, a more likely situation than a stranger coming up to him) may try to lure him away, and what to do in the situation: bite, kick, scratch, scream, etc. Come up with a "code" word for your son to ask a person if they show up to pick him up unexpectedly. My daughter and I had one, and one day my best friend got off work early and went to afterschool care to pick up her son and was picking up my daughter as well. My daughter, 7 at the time, had been expecting me, and wouldn't budge to get her things. My friend asked her why she wouldn't get her things, and my daughter asked her, "Don't you have something to say to me?" My friend thought and then remembered and told her the word, my daughter brightened up and ran to get her things. You need to change the word after it is used, and make it a word he chooses so it's easier for him to remember, and stress that he is not to share it with anyone.

Don't put a chip in him, but if you want a GPS locator on him consider this locator he cannot take off. Works like a watch for the child, and in the event an unauthorized person attempts to or removes it an alert will be sent to your cell phone and email. There is a one-year service plan you can pay by the month or all at once. Might be pricey, but he's worth it, right?

You absolutely do not want your son to go through the trauma of being kidnapped or the trauma it would put your family through, it was pure hell on all involved, something I and my son still deal with. YOU as his parent must be the one that takes responsibility and control of his safety, he obviously can't at this point.

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answers from Chicago on

this has nothing to do with being an overprotective mom, you are not disciplining him properly or consistently

he is way to old to be doing this.........none of my 4 kids would ever do this otherwise they know there would be major consequences.....get disciplining him now

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answers from Kansas City on

Do not have some one fake abduct him that is a slippery slope. Also, I don't think that there actually is a chip you can insert inside anyone, again, a very slippery slope. To my knowledge, the only technology that is similarly available is the chip that is put into animals and then scanned at the vet's office to pull up the details of the dog's name, owner, etc. This can't really be used in people yet b/c there is no prescedent to scanning people when they are lost or found. (I know a lot about this b/c my good friend has a family member who wanders off due to a medical condition, it's a long story, and anyhow, the family checked into this "chipping" extensively)

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answers from Redding on

Is your son special needs? If so, maybe talk to your social worker or pediatrician or teacher on the best way to to get him to understand not to run off. If he's not special needs this is one of the best occasions where a spankin shows your authority for his safety.
We once filled a dolls head up with ketchup and put it back on the doll, my husband ran over it with the car. My boys were 2 and 3, and that graphic worked well on them, other than that they got a swat whenever they did something dangerous like run off.
My guess is that a leash or wrist strap might work but probably not without a battle.
Good luck.

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answers from Houston on

6 yrs old isn't too old for a spanking. This is a matter of safety. Not just being kidnapped but getting hit by a car on a busy street.

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answers from Honolulu on

This is a product called: "Mommy I'm Here cl-103br Child Locator, Brown
by Mommy I'm Here"
Amazon has this.

But it is not a substitute, for your child.
But, you can then have a 'locator' device for your child, per being out in public and if he gets lost.
My daughter used this, when my Husband took her on a trip.
It works well.
It works from over 150 feet away from the child. And in buildings.

Next: How is he in school? Is this a problem there too?
Have you talked to your Pediatrician?
He seems to lack Impulse-Control.... and all the talking to him and showing him videos, does NOT help.
He does not, listen.
What other things, does he seem to have a hard time grasping?

2 moms found this helpful

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