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Let's say I went for a walk with a child, and I want them to be close to me so that they are safe. Which of the following sentences sound the most natural?

Keep close to me!

Keep near me!

Don't go far from me!

If none of them sounds natural to communicate the message, what would a native English speaker say?

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  • The shortest, and most common version I hear: “Stay with me.” Jan 29, 2020 at 5:20

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There's an explanation in 5 ways to get your preschooler to stop running away from you how to tell your child to stay close and not run away from you:

We’re going to go grocery shopping now, and I need you to stay beside me. If you don’t, you’ll have to hold my hand or sit in the grocery cart.”

So, if you want to tell your child to stay close say Stay beside me!.

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