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Are those leashes/harnesses for kids demeaning? - Page 8

post #141 of 251
In the eighties, my mum had one of those wrist to wrist harnesses for my younger brother. I'm pretty sure she used it until he was almost six; he had ODD and ADHD and with five kids, she needed him close by. He never fought it because it gave him enough room to roam and explore, but the security to know that he would be stopped short if he got too far.

I haven't needed to use anything like a harness/leash/what-have-you with my older dd (she is 6.5) but I KNOW I will need to use one with my 16 month old. She's already a runner, and we have several big trips planned this summer. She thinks the horsey-tail/back-pack combo is hilarious and doesn't fuss at it at all.

She prefers it to the stroller, and at 29 lbs she's too heavy for me to mei-tai for very long.
post #142 of 251
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
OT of HTIS discusssion but the above is not true if your baby absoultly HATES being slung. My DD hated being slung as a bay absoultly HATED it (loved it past 2 when shes was too heavy to do it a long time ) but as a baby However the stroller she loved. Don't assume...

Sorry, I meant why a sling should be tried first and is better for most babies. Kind of like how co-sleeping should be the default, but some babies sleep better with some space.
post #143 of 251
Originally Posted by Little grey mare View Post
Are they demeaning and passive-aggressive?

IMO, yes.

post #144 of 251
Originally Posted by kay4 View Post
I don't like the child leashes and have never used one with any of my 4 children. I held hands or they went in the stroller. If they wanted to walk they had to holds hands, if they didn't they went in the stroller.
Why is making a child walk with their arm in an uncomfortable position being held up as virtuous
post #145 of 251
I keep waiting for someone to share a story of being told that their child will never learn not to run off if they keep using a harness.
post #146 of 251
: Would the hand-holding advocates do a little experiment? Spend an hour with your hand up in the air. I think you will find it rather uncomfortable.
post #147 of 251

Jeez now with thinking how uncomfortable that must be with the arm up...I am getting one...Now for DD to start walking so I can use it...
post #148 of 251
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
: Would the hand-holding advocates do a little experiment? Spend an hour with your hand up in the air. I think you will find it rather uncomfortable.
Also, a friend who used one had a ds who was an explorer - he wanted his hands free to touch things. And that small amount more freedom - just being able to move a little more with a harness than holding a hand - was important to him.
post #149 of 251
if you and child are oay with it I think its fine.

I don't forsee myself using one, but my kids have seen them in target and think they look fun.
post #150 of 251
great insight on the hand holding thing. I never thought of it that way. My kids like to hold my hand though. My 3.5yo just outgrew the desire to do so, but will hold my hand sometimes. if he doesnt want to hold my hand when we cross the street to school I just hold the hook on his back pack. They have at times held onto the baby's leg while baby was in a carrier, or held onto a stroller I was pushing. we've never really had a problem with this, yet
post #151 of 251
ditto to the baby carrier too, if mom and child are up for it. My kids LOVE the carrier and often ask to have a turn in it.
post #152 of 251
Since there seems to be a bit of "I never had to use them" boasting from the few people who disapprove of harnesses, can I ask if you fear that people will assume that a parent who uses a harness can't control their children?

I think it's a bit like the difference between child-proofing and saying "no" all the time.

And kids are all different. I read all the time about having to have the kids in the bathroom stall with you, but I saw a mom just ask her kids to stand in front of the stall door where she could see their feet while she went to the bathroom. One started to step away and she said "Name, I need to see your feet" and he stepped right back into place. Of course, they were ~3 and 6.
post #153 of 251
Originally Posted by Biscuits & Gravy View Post
If you and your child are comfortable and happy with it, and it keeps your child safe then I see no harm. It is the misuse of them that I have a problem with. I've seen parents use them like a leash, snapping the child back to them instead of gently guiding them. That is demeaning.
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I've seen a lot of people yank their kids around by their arms too.
I've seen both of these, and also seen children being "dragged" by a leash or by their arm.

Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I agree and have never thought about using one-- with four kids. But, if it works for another family, and the the toddler doesn't mind, then who am I to say it's not appropriate. If you are comfortable with it, don't worry about what other people think.

I do think, personally, it looks funny Just cause I saw a little girl with one on her back last weekend and the dad was seriously jerking her around, the opposite way she appeared to want to go. She clearly was not liking it.
I think they are cute! I realize though that while my children also think they look fun they wouldn't like them. Just their personalities, so far.
post #154 of 251
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Since there seems to be a bit of "I never had to use them" boasting from the few people who disapprove of harnesses, can I ask if you fear that people will assume that a parent who uses a harness can't control their children?

I think it's a bit like the difference between child-proofing and saying "no" all the time.
maybe i dont count since I dont disprove the harness, but I am one who hasnt had a need for one, and my childrens personalities lead my to think they would not like one in use...but I dont think AT ALL its a sign someone cant control their children. then again, I dont think parents should control their children, so perhaps I am th wrong one to answer in that respect too
post #155 of 251
to be honest, when I see a child walking well with the harness I think those parents look more "in control" then me, bbecause I shudder to think how my children would act with one of those one. surely not the way I see them working for other families! definitely no room for me to boast there, if your child is cooperative in a child harness they are (in my eyes) probably very cooperative the rest of the time as well. In those cases where both parents and child seem to like using them, I would say its more so child can feel free to explore without having to "mind" how far from their parent they are.
post #156 of 251
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
: Would the hand-holding advocates do a little experiment? Spend an hour with your hand up in the air. I think you will find it rather uncomfortable.
I've seen that argument a lot, but honestly, that never was a problem for us. Maybe it's just because I'm short!

For the most part my kids stayed with me; if they bolted, I was always faster and could catch 'em quick!

I'm glad they are well past the toddler stage now!
post #157 of 251
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
Given the choice between stroller, sling, hand holding, and harness, DD would choose the harness. She wanted to move those little legs, and hand holding hurts after a while. Also if she decided she was going to go, she would yank and wrench her hand away from us and I was always afraid she would dislocate her elbow or something, she was that determined to get away. At least with the harness she had less of a chance of injuring herself. She would also scream and thrash in the sling or the stroller if she got to that point.

I wonder how many people who never used one and would never consider it had screaming thrashing runners? Did you ever try to push a flimsy umbrella stroller with a kid flailing every which way, or try to keep one from tossing themself out of the sling upside down? (nevermind the weird looks, I'm sure I did wonders for the normalization of babywearing those days)
how wonderful that you are in tune to your daughter's preferences. It's great you looked at all your options an found one you both feel comfortable with! For me, if my children were thrashing runners Id probably be even less likely to use one though LOL I'd try it, but knowing *my* kids I know if they felt that way then being in a harness would make them more angry. Honestly though, the backpacks are so cute and practical, I'd love to be able to use one!

Originally Posted by savithny View Post
My response to anyone who gave me crap was "My kid is up and walking. Yours is strapped with a 5-point harness to an inanimate object with wheels. Which of these things is more demeaning?"
I am not sure I would want to meet unkindness with unkindness. My children LOVE the stroller. I rarely use one, because I think they are a huge hassle to use I much prefer my kids to walk, but when I do use one they get VERY excited about a stroller "ride".

Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Yeah but you can't trust an 18-month-old to not let go of the rope and run off in the busy airport, for instance. And what difference does it make if it looks leash-ish, or if they're also used for dogs? Fences are put up for both children and dogs and it doesn't make them demeaning for children. The fact that they're useful for both doesn't make them bad.

Some children like to be down, moving around. Slings won't help for them any more than strollers.

And holding them by the hand is just as restrictive, if not more so. There's more room for movement with a harness.

The "it looks like something for a dog" argument is really just irrational. The fact that dogs use harnesses is completely irrelevant as far as whether they're good or bad for children.
ITA with you. Your insight has been awesome in this thread!

Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
All I can say, is that if people use leashes to keep pets safe, of course it's ok to use one in a situation that requires keeping your child safe. Not demeaning. It's smart. Children are way more important than pets.
excellent point again!!

Originally Posted by goodheartedmama View Post
My kids think they're hilarious and willingly wear them. I'd much rather be judged for keeping my kids safe than have something bad happen to them. How is it any different from forcing them to hold hands?
I agree! My only thought different is that I don't force my children to hold hands. I wouldn't force my child to wear a harness either. If the harness is being used forcible (or hand holding or a stroller, etc) I would not say I think its appropriate, but I do think its great when parent and child both feel comfortable with it.
post #158 of 251
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I don't care if parents use leashes - none of my business. But what does bother me are:

Leashes that are very long, and parents let the kid cut in front of my family and me or my kids get clotheslined by it

Leashes that are long and parents don't pick up the slack so other people end up tripping on it.

Parents who use the leash to tug, drag, or otherwise control the direction the child is going

Parents who think that since their kid is on a leash, they don't have to pay any attention to what he's actually doing (like in one case I observed at a campsite, where the carefully leashed child was stuffing leaves and sticks in his mouth while his mother chatted away, completely oblivious).
I agree with that.

Originally Posted by mamarootoo View Post
(bolding mine)
little legs can't walk as far as really energetic parent legs.
so true! Thought my kids seem to be able to walk much further then the average child lol. (2 miles to the park no problem, and half way back after playing at the park for a while)

Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
Well, if your sister is right, I should be emotionally harmed, and so should almost all the people of my age who grew up in the UK. I lovedmy harness - I still remember it now. It was red leather with a cute little pony on the front. I have very fond memories of it.

And if your sister is right, I"ve damaged all my kids too.

I wonder how emotionally damaging it is, in her opinion, to stick kids in boxes on wheels and push them around, treating them like shopping carts...........
I think I had something similar growing up. didnt bother me AT ALL. it was a rope with handles on it at camp. They use the same thing in my sons school, but my son doesn't hold it lol. They let him walk ahead or behind, or sometimes he chooses to hold someone's had. but when *I* was a kid, I liked the rope thing

Its great to hear how in tune everyone is with their children and what wold work for them
post #159 of 251
Originally Posted by geiamama View Post
Good lord no. No-one will even bat an eyelid. It sounds to me like your sister is just trying to use guilt and shame to get you to do what she wants. She's also obviously clutching at straws too since she has to come up with such a ridiculous statement!
I agree!

Originally Posted by momtoS View Post
I have not read the replies...and I may not be one of the few that say that the harness...in some cases is a positive thing.

My daughter has SPD (sensory issues) she will bolt without warning, and when she was three WOULD NOT hold my hand.

I bought a monkey backpack/harness.

Instead of being confined to indoor playareas, or inside our house...

We were free to walk the boardwalk, go to the mall, go to the park.

It did not cage her...it freed her..and made it safe.

She loved her monkey backpack.

Now...at 4.5 she is better out in public and she has a 2 year old sister that has never worn a harness....she is much better in public places.

A safe, happy child is the key!
I think this is why my son doesnt want his hand help recently - sensory issues... to be honest, now that I think about it, maybe my son would like one at this time - he wouldn't have in the past though, and I don't really see a big "need" for one to justify buying one, at this point.

Originally Posted by justthinkn View Post
I didn't have time to read all responses, but I'm definitely on the side of, if it gives the child more freedom (and the child likes it, as my DD loves her monkey who gives her "hugs!") and the parents more security, go for it.

I would also say, that I try not to use the tail like a leash, but as a safety backup. I still try to guide DD by hand - it feels more gentle and respectful to me - and have asked DH to do so as well.
<3 <3 <3 Love the way you use it! :

Originally Posted by Daphneduck View Post
I've never seen any of this happening with a child on a leash, not once. I have however had to dodge, and have even tripped over, a child/children running around uncontrollably while their exhausted parents begged them to stop. I've seen parents stand by idly while their unharnessed children, ate leaves, climbed lamp posts and generally made a nuisance of themselves. Anything can be inappropriately used, even handholding.
We love our monkey backpack. It allows DD more Independence and more importantly, it allows DD to feel more independent.
I have seen/experienced both. (children running around, wandering away from parents etc, and also children whose leashes are tripping everyone or parent is just ignoring the leashed child.

Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
I don't know what this poster was trying to say by this comment, but it is what I have been thinking the whole time I have been reading this thread.

I have a high-spirited 16mo dd and when we were last at the zoo I did not notice anyone with their child on a leash and neither was she.
She did run ahead, she did get excited, but I expect all of that as the mother of a toddler. My legs are longer than hers so logically I should be able to keep up with her. I could concede that if you have other children then that might introduce other variables that I don't always have to deal with, although I have taken several children to the zoo sans leashes with great success.
I am surprised that the general consensus seems to be pro-leash, but at the very least I'm glad most of you realize that it needs to be at the approval of the child!

I have always thought leashes did look demeaning and that has not changed since I have become a mother myself. I personally would never consider a leash and I don't even feel comfortable saying, "to each their own". I was at a parade recently where I saw a 3ish year old on a leash and it just looks wrong. If I were at the zoo and saw a child on a leash, especially with a mother that had no other kids with her, I would think it was lazy. I am just trying to be honest here, perfectly expecting to be flamed, but I ha to present the other side. So, flame away!

And I would love to know how parents exsisted before the introduction of the leash? Or is that a piece of history that time has forgotten?
If it were me, and i was just one child with me, I would also prefer not to use the leash, but if my child preferred to use one I wouldn't be close minded to the idea. I think the last question in your post is a bit
post #160 of 251
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
I don't like them for my own family. They are not for us. I worked a lot with my son (without force or coercion) on the matter so I could avoid the use of them. I saw it as more beneftial to all of our family in the long run (just like how I showed my son how to get safely up and down the stairs on his own when he was physically capable without the need of stairgates). I have also never used any other means to contain him (such as strapping him in a pushchair/sling/etc) - so no hypocritical contradictions here!
I really don't care if other people use them though. I only do wince a bit and breifly think about it when I see them used in a way that I feel is wrong (I have seen them used pretty harshly on a child) - I also do wonder how much people have tried other approaches before resorting to such a device (I was breifly tempted myself but it just seem wrong for our family)...but I am also smart enough (and growing father and farther away from naive) to know that not all people use them that way and that many people use them simply as a safety thing and that 'working with' a child is not always that easy without such a device (multiples/close spacing). For us, this was (one in a million of them of course!) a reason we waited to have more children though. Its about trust for us and trying to live consensually so having a small spacing would not have been practical (in regards to this topic alone) - and of course I can't control wether or not an accident happens or the possiblity of multiples - it didn't happen that way for us and the way we have done things has worked out just great.
I love the way you think.

Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post
I think child leashes are awful. Yes, awful.

I would never, ever put my child on a leash.

There's a difference if you don't confine your child.

Out of those things you listed we only use a stroller and even then, DD is not buckled in and allowed to get out and roam at will. We use it for when she gets tired, not to confine her.

What I don't get is how we can teach children to be autonomous, to listen, to maintain a sense of freedom and still understand safety, if we are leashing them.

IMO there are ways around these so-called safety devices AND in a way, then lend themselves to a false sense of security for the parents.
thats the same way we use a stroller. we dont strap in either. or a sling if they want to be in it. My kids view it as something special, so I can respect how a child may view a harness the same way. What I dont like in this thread is those who are "pro-harness" trying to make it sound like other options aren't as good or are in fact bad I think all the options are good choices, if it is working for that family.

Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post

I used to nanny. For five kids.

We went places, did things, were in crowds and I never ever used a leash.

Was it always easy? No.

Did I have to work hard with the kids? Yes.

Were they confined in a stroller, harness, sling etc.? Never.

Was one or two of them a runner? Absolutely.

I still never used a leash. :
I hear you, but dont understand why you are angry about it?

Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I dare say that the rest of us are also instilling independence, understanding, and respect in our kids. Perhaps we simply have children with different personalities than the ones you have encountered.
I think both sides are instilling healthy independence in different ways

Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
How is sleeping with a baby "instilling independence"? I can't tell you how many times I've been asked that. And the answer is the same for both. I work to give my child safety and love and attachment. She will naturally become independent as she's ready. I don't have to "instill" it.
alas, even on MDC we can't escape the mindset of we must make our children independent. I like the idea of harnesses because it lets kids be kids. I like the idea of not using harnesses because it lets kids be kids. Either way can be safe and right for a family, it depends on those involved.

Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I disagree.
But, I offer the idea that a dead child would also not become independent at a natural pace.

May you have the freedom to continue parenting in the ways that you believe. And may I have the same.
My child is not going to die because I don't use a harness.. but I agree with the second part. Those who harnesses work for should use them. They are so cute!! and some kids seems to THRIVE with the use of them. If they dont work for you, don't use them. No big deal. And if someone barks at you the only person who will look foolish is them!
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