Never said the Victorians were role models, but they did sometimes have their children on leashes.
In your travels, did you see people wearing their babies in Bjorns, slings, mei tais, wraps, back packs, pouches, etc?
If you did, then the child was being restrained, right?
I sincerely don't get why people believe that harnesses are so bad. Most say because they "look bad". If a child is being kept safe then what is the big deal? Seriously. I personally could care less what anyone thought as long as my child is safe. When he is harnessed, he is moving around and exploring safely. There is more independence for a child in a harness than there is for one being worn.
And to repeat- I still wear my very large 2 year old. I have nothing against baby wearing since I still do it.
I hardly even use the harness (I've had it for almost a year and have probably used it all of 5 times) but you can be certain I'll be using it at the airport in 2 weeks so my son can move around but still be safe.
Yes, in Africa moms did wear their LOs... a lot. On the back. And guess what, the child didnt have a choice to be down running around touching things and experiencing things on their own unless they could be trusted to stay close to mom, or even help her doing her tasks. And there certainly weren't trips to the zoo because their LO had to get out of the house and be places other than home. And I did not find these children to be disrespected. In fact just the opposite, I strive to take a page out of the mothers I knew in Africas book. They balanced responsibility, practicality, respect for themselves and their children with teaching their children the when's where's and what's. I often remind myself that respecting my LO does not mean conceding to her wishes/demands or keeping up with societal norms like trips to the park everyday.
And to another poster who wondered if in Africa there were the same things to worry about like traffic.
Yes, there was traffic.
There were also biting baboons, huge black snakes, kidnappers, men with machine guns or swords on horseback......just to name a few things. And don't think that the moms cared less for their LO's safety, either. I just think it would not have occured to them to tether their children to a leash. I think the options were I carry you on my back or you learn to walk beside mommy because that is safe and you need to learn to be safe if you are going to survive. Period. SO...maybe you have the luxury in America to use a leash and no one has told you how silly it is and you think it works great and alls well that ends well.