Does your toddler refuse to hold your hand?

Parenting expert Kathryn Mewes, answers one reader’s question about her toddler’s dislike to holding her hand

Q.) My two and a half year old son refuses to hold my hand and is always running away from me in public, what can I do?

Before leaving the house bend down and explain to your child that you are going to be holding hands when you are outside walking along the pavement.

Let him know when you will be letting go of his hand i.e.: When we get to the park / grandma’s house etc.

The process is called ‘sit and wait’.

This means that when your child tries to pull away from your hand you simply sit them down on the pavement (have a carrier bag for them to sit on if the floor is wet from rain.)

Simply say “OK. You sit and wait until you are ready to carry on walking with me holding hands.”

Now stand close to him but act totally disinterested in him, even look at your phone or talk to your other child.

It is so important that you show him you are not bothered as to whether he sits or holds hands.

A short journey can initially take a very long time so allow plenty of time.

I guide parents to take a morning and afternoon walk with no time constraints for 3 consecutive days and your child will soon stop so much sitting and just walk along with you.

When you are walking holding hands talk about your surroundings to keep him interested in walking with you.

Parenting expert Kathryn Mewes is brought to Baby London in conjunction with Milton. Well known as C4’s Three Day Nanny, Kathryn’s expertise covers sleep problems, eating and weaning, behavior and discipline.
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