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Danger zone…parking lots

My two-and-a-half-year-old doesn’t listen, I know most don’t.  She’s at that age where she’s really getting difficult to carry, especially when I have things in my hands.  And she would much rather say “no” than hold my hand.  This makes parking lots the scariest places on earth right now!

Typically I carry Mary in the parking lot or keep her in the grocery cart but I’m trying to teach her how to hold my hand and stay close to me (because my back isn’t going to be able to handle carrying her forever!). I’ve seen stickers that you can put on your car where your child can put their hand while the parent is unloading groceries or store purchases – or even just open the door to get a child into their car seat. I’ve taught Mary to simply put her hand on the side of my car as something similar. And occasionally, I see a bit of maturity and Mary will keep her hand on the car just as I get the car door open.

But I don’t trust her – she loves to run, she hates to listen.  And my hard absolutely fell to the pit of my stomach a couple weeks ago when Mary ran from me when I put her down to open the car door (because my hands were full from our shopping trip).  Luckily, it was a near empty parking lot – but it was one of the scariest moments of my life!

So moms and dads out there – do you have any good strategies for teaching kids to be safe in the parking lot? I particular, during this difficult transition from being carried everywhere to more independence? Thanks for your input!

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