1. Evaluate what the reinforcers are for your child and use them to reward him for leisure and educational activities.
2. When he leaves do not over react which might be giving him attention. Instead quietly guide him back to an activity and remind him of the reinforcers for the activity and importance of the activity.
3. Try not to have to much physical contact when guiding back to th activity since physical contact may be rewarding in itself to some children.
4. Always make sure your child has his address and phone number in his pocket or in a wallet or somewhere on him. The home address and phone may be valuable if he forgets this information or does not know the information. Teaching him to tell people where he lives and his phone number should be considered as something important to learn. Some parents even provide the child with a cellphone for emergencies.
5. Consequences of course might be useful in discouraging him from leaving. For example, he may not earn a daily reinforcer or weekly reinforcer if he does leave.
6. Apologizing is helpful and trying to make up for the stress the parent may have if he leaves.
7. Roleplay or discussion can be helpful in stressing the importance of staying together on outings and activities. Discussing the advantages such as saving time so you can do more activities and relax with reinforcing leisure activities afterwards may be useful. In addition pointing out what might happen if it takes a long time to find him he might get upset or hungry for example.
The above ideas may stimulate you to develope a plan to discourage this behavior in the future for your child.
Safety and learning will be improved throught the use of some of the ideas above! Your child will have less problems and more fun if he learns to stay with his group or in his schedule activities!!