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Are those leashes/harnesses for kids demeaning? - Page 2

post #21 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by skueppers View Post
I think it's funny that most people don't think twice about confining their kids to a stroller, preventing them from having any control over their own movements, but think it's horrible for a child to have the freedom of walking around on their own with a harness.
That, too.
post #22 of 251
I don't like them, and I have judged other parents many times for using them, but I did once use one when I had my toddler in a busy airport and we had to run to catch our 2nd flight. So yes, hypocritical all the way.

But I will also say I can't stand strollers and kids in strollers...I think if you have to use one, that leashes are better b/c at least the child is getting some exercise. Strollers just seem so wrong...I see all of these really energetic parents with their kids in strollers and wonder how that is teaching the kid that exercise is important and fun.

I'd probably go for a sling at this point. I couldn't do that the last time (in the airport) because I had to carry a convertible car seat with me and couldn't have had her in a sling too, but if you can sling, I'd go for that.
post #23 of 251
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)
post #24 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by skueppers View Post
I think it's funny that most people don't think twice about confining their kids to a stroller, preventing them from having any control over their own movements, but think it's horrible for a child to have the freedom of walking around on their own with a harness.

That said, I don't own one myself, despite having a "dasher." I've certainly thought about it.

I totally agree with this-- except that I did have and use a harness and found it very usefull for a certain period of my child's toddlerhood.

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?"

Or it would have been. No one ever gave me crap. I got a few "second looks" but mostly I got "Oh, wow, I really like that, where did you get it?"

(A followup, to bring home the point, woudl be "Why don't you just get a hockey mask for him and do the full Hannibal Lecter?")

Seriously. We strap kids with 5-point harnesses into strollers until they're 5 years old in the name of "control" and "safety" and that is somehow better than letting them up and walk around and explore their world with a safety line on? Get real!!!
post #25 of 251
It is totally a safety thing and as long as the parent and child are both cool with it, there is no problem. Sure, the first time I saw them I thought it was a little weird, but then when I thought about it with some of my young cousins that were "darters" (would dart away FAST with no warning) I could definitely see why they would have them. And yes, it is exactly the same as strapping a kid into a stroller or having them hold your hand.

Also, I have never heard anyone make a comment about them to a parent or kid with one in zoos or parks or whatever. Your sister is just being difficult IMO!
post #26 of 251
DD likes the stroller. I don't think she would like the harness thing, and I don't personally think I would like it (as she's a dasher and sometimes darts under and around things I can't, she'd get tangled up.) Usually, though, depending on where we are, she just walks, and either holds my or DH hand, walks close to us, or holds onto something like the cart shopping or the stroller if we have the stroller.
post #27 of 251
you know, it's a good point about strollers being more restrictive. We haven't used one since we went to FL last August and our youngest was 18 mos. He just doesn't like to be in one, and I don't see the need. BUT he does very much enjoy being worn on my back. Which is obviously confining and probably looks cruel to well-meaning people to see a 30 lb 2 yo stuck to my body. If he didn't like the carrier, and I was in a situation that would be dangerous for him to run off (ie a busy public place, me alone with four children) then I guess I could see the need for a harness. I just haven't been in that situation. Luckily, if we are say at the grocery store and I forget a carrier, he will happily sit in the seat of the shopping cart. Otherwise, he would wander off quickly.

Something I just thought of is that when I worked in a Montessori school with toddlers, we took them out on a walk daily. We used a long rope for the children to hold on to w/one adult at each end. In Montessori, which stresses independence, we surely were not going to put toddlers who were physically capable of walking into wagons or strollers. But we had to find a way to keep them safe and all together as we were walking around busy neighborhoods. The only difference I see with a rope and a harness is the strapped on aspect which does make it look more leash-ish.
post #28 of 251
nak- didn't read all the replies, but DD1 had a monkey backpack! She loved it (still wears it around the house, lol)
Anyway, we got nothing but positive comments and smiles when we used it (airport, town festivals, busy places w/ lots of people and dangerous roads, etc)

In fact, some little old ladies were staring and whispering and I thought "oh no, here it comes " BUT the ladies just gushed and oooh-ed at the "monkey on her back" and tyhey wished they had one for their kids
post #29 of 251
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.
post #30 of 251
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.
post #31 of 251
Quote:
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.
Oh, I wasn't suggesting parents use a rope instead. I was just thinking the concept was very similar. We would have 8 toddlers (from 14 mos-30 mos) on the rope with me at the front and my assistant at the end. It always took a day or two for new children to figure it out. They would let go and try to run off and we would stop walking and gently help them hold on again before we started moving. They caught on quickly that they could not run off until we were at the grassy area of the park.

I don't think harnesses are demeaning if both child and parent are comfortable. I just said I don't like how it looks. But that's obviously MY issue and shouldn't matter to anyone who is happy using one. Just as I get crazy looks for wearing my 2 yo in an ergo, I'm sure others think it looks really mean to not let him run around or at least sit back and relax in a stroller ya know?
post #32 of 251
Ok, sorry - I misunderstood.
post #33 of 251
There is a good chance that some people at the zoo will give you praise and smiles, and others will give you the stink-eye and say unkind things. I’ve discovered that’s pretty much the case about every parenting decision anyone has ever made since the dawn of time.

As long as the choice is made respectfully and with unselfish motives it’s all good. If your child enjoys it and it gives her the freedom and safety needed to have a good time, then go for it.
post #34 of 251
My oldest was a bolter. She bolted away from us all the time. This was 22 years ago when no one used them. We used a wrist one and it worked great. I had many many people give us dirty looks and sometimes say mean things to us. We always said it was better to have her safe then to please others. Didn't stop them saying things but it settled our nerves. Do what is right for your family.
post #35 of 251
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?
post #36 of 251
Ummm I'm guessing your sister does not have kids?? We have a little puppy backpack/harness which is rarely used but we do use it on occasion. The zoo seems like a good place to use one as long as your child likes it which sounds like is the case. I know my youngest loves to run and usually refuses to hold hands but loves to wear the puppy backpack. Don't worry about others; they wouldn't have to deal with the panic that comes with a lost child.

Another idea that we used in Disney World was having the kids wear wrist bands that had our contact info in it. My older son really liked his.
post #37 of 251
No way! If you child is a runner, and wants to take off, the harnesses are safer for them. Plus think about it, it's a lot harder for them to run off and then get abducted by someone in public. People just don't get it, if your kid would run off and get hurt or worse, isn't that more horrible than them wearing a harness?
post #38 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by soccermama View Post

I don't necessarily find them demeaning, they just look uncomfortable for the child.
Actually, for our dd, holding our hand was uncomfortable because her hand was up so high over her head!

This is dd in her leash (no monkey backpack, it's a leash) at Yellowstone. I got lots of positive comments about it and no negative ones.

The leash gave her the freedom to walk (which she demanded!), and us the comfort of knowing that she wouldn't walk off into something dangerous. We only used it in big crowds (airports, Yellowstone), when they were in the awful under 3-can't stop-what-I've-started phase of dashing off.
post #39 of 251
I don't see any problem with a leash either. She gets to run around, you keep your sanity - you both win. And to the pp above who said they'd bark back - you took the words out of my mouth!

As for strollers, I wear DD a lot but there are times when my back just won't take it and we use the buggy. I've made it as comfy as possible with a thick fleece and she seems to enjoy being in there with her toys. I think the key thing is not to ignore babies when they're in the buggy, especially if they're facing forward, and to get down on your knees and take a look at what they see. I'm sure busy shopping centres can be overwhelming from that point of view.
post #40 of 251
We've only used them once... when we went to the Grand Canyon. My youngest niece had this thing about running away from us or sneaking off when you weren't looking and we (my whole family, mom, sister, etc) were all in agreement that we had horrible visions of her going over the edge. She is also, has been since birth, fearless and not scared of heights or edges. There was no way we were going to keep her in a stroller the whole time we were there. She would never allow it! My other niece wanted one because at the time she was going through a phase were she would pretend she WAS a dog and being on a leash was even better! She went through an entire store once panting and barking and only responding to Rover. Yeah, she has a serious imagination. But anyway, no one barked at us! The only person who said anything meant it to be not heard by us but I heard it anyway. Super hearing. It was an older lady and she was there with a bunch of other older people, probably a bus tour and she said, "oh, the shame, such a beautiful little girl on a leash. How demeaning." And I turned to her and said "Would you prefer a beautiful little girl go over the edge of the Grand Canyon?" I rolled my eyes and walked away. People need to keep their opinions to themselves until they know the whole story.
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