Supernanny's Roaming Technique

As seen on the Supernanny show, the Roaming Technique helps stop your toddler wandering off when you're out and about…

Once your toddler or child can walk for any length of time, the prospect of them running off unsupervised can cause real anxiety.

Racing away on their own can quickly become a game for the child… and one worth playing as it usually ends with them getting a lot of attention.

Your little one uses their newfound ability to walk as a way of establishing independence from you. At this stage of their development, it’s important that you make it plain that running away is unacceptable behaviour.

Tips to keep them close:

  • Begin by explaining that you’re going on a fun walk and that your child will be free to walk by your side so long as they understand that when you raise your hand and say ‘stop’, they must stand still and return to your side.
  • Engage your child in conversation the moment you’re out of the door; ask questions, see if they know which way to go next and can tell you what to do when approaching a road.
  • If your child runs ahead, hold up your hand and say ‘stop’. Praise them if they stay where they are waiting for you to catch up or, better yet, they return to your side.
  • Start walking again, this time allowing your child to get a bit further away before you say stop. Build up their independence on your route in this way, praising them every time they react properly to your ‘stop’ command.
  • If your child doesn’t stop, tell them they must hold either your hand or the handle of the buggy for a set time - three or four minutes - and then start the technique over again.

If your child's obedient when you're out and about, that not only keeps them much safer, it gives you greater peace of mind and helps to establish a bond of trust between you.

Related links


  • Off the Hip Technique: As seen on the show, the Off the Hip Technique can be useful with a child who insists on being carried...
  • The Reward Chart: Positive attention and praise are the most effective rewards for good behaviour. As used on Supernanny, the Reward Chart is a useful way to reinforce good behaviour on the spot.
  • Superstars Reward Charts: Saying ‘well done’ to your child is the very best way to promote good behaviour. Download for free one of Supernanny’s ready-made Reward Charts.
  • The Involvement Technique: Getting your children involved with chores and shopping trips can make all the difference to how much they (and you!) enjoy them.

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