Wandering 4 Yr Old

Updated on December 23, 2008
A.H. asks from Powder Springs, GA
4 answers

I need a little help helping a good friend. Her 4 yr old son wanders off ALOT. I spend a ton of time with them. She has 2 other children also. She keeps a constant eye on him, but sometimes you have to look away for a sec, like while actually paying the cashier for the groceries. Look away for 1 second and he's gone! The problem is, he doesnt do this on purpose. He just dazes and starts wandering. My friend is open to any and all advice. It is pretty scary when he gets so far away so quickly. Her mother suggests the "child leash" but she isn't a big fan of the idea of him on a leash every time she goes out the door. Has anyone else been through this?

ADDED NOTE: The mom is not opposed to the leash because of an inconvenience or embarassmnet for herself. She is afraid that if she puts him on a leash, he will not learn to be independent of the leash. She can't have him on a leash FOREVER and is really looking for a way to get into his brain, psycologically, and help him to "focus". Solve the problem at it's core, not just fix the symptoms...does anyone else understand or feel the same?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

I don't have a child who wanders but I understand the dillema of teaching your child responsibility while trying to keep them safe. She may want to talk to her pediatrician beacuse the zoning out and wandering off could be indicative of a bigger problem. Short term, the leash my be her best bet while she researches other solutions. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Oh Heck Yes!!!!

My husband and I have a 5-year old daughter with Zero Stranger Danger. As a result, when we go out for whatever, I am pretty much a "sit in the basket, Mia" type of Mommy. Ya know, there are these backpacks shaped like animals where the tails are sort of a deceptive but effective way to hold on to your boy. Either that or install LoJack on his ankle.

An idea for you? Until your son becomes a bit more present and aware of his surroundings, why not have him wear a beeper that vibrates? If you set off the beeper, it might get his attention if he's wandered off.

A., not to scare you but how long did it take for Adam Walsh's abductor to get ahold of him? Sometimes you gotta make a short, immediate but temporary fix to this issue. I know you guys are gonna be just fine.




answers from Atlanta on

Personally, if it were my situation, I'd have a kid leash on him because it comes down to this:

1. It will protect him from being picked up by strangers.

2. It will put a thought in his mind that something he's doing is not quite right (not "wrong", mind you) and maybe he should pay more attention to his surroundings.

3. Again, it protects him because I'm thinking, what if he wanders off and gets hurt by a grocery cart, car, child-hungry animal or the like?

A little inconvenience for mom goes a long way in protecting her child and I'd do protect him in any way I could and suffer any kind of embarrassment or uncomfortable feelings by doing so.



answers from Atlanta on

I agree with Stubby 100%. I had a child that wondered it's a parents duty of make sure they don't. Stubby gave great ideas or the mother can get a cart, stroller etc. It's left to not many choices other then sending mental signs to the child like the volkins on startrack good luck with that.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions