or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Are those leashes/harnesses for kids demeaning?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are those leashes/harnesses for kids demeaning? - Page 5

post #81 of 251
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.
post #82 of 251
I think child leashes are awful. Yes, awful.

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrogirl View Post

Our kids lives are FULL of "containment" devices. Cribs with bars (aka "jail"), pack n plays, strollers.....I don't see a harness as being any different.
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.
post #83 of 251
I had an only child and didn't need one either. There were always two adults to keep track of her. And the next one will have two adults and an older child to keep track of her.

But let's be real here. There's an age where, if you don't have the ability to keep track of them to that extent, a child is either holding a hand, in a stroller, in a sling, or in a harness. They have to be kept close in some way. Also, my child was a clinger, not a runner. It was pretty easy to keep track of her because she wanted to stay by my side all the time. But what about those parents with a few small children, one or more of whom are bolters?

No, it isn't ALWAYS wrong to be judgmental, but it very often is.
post #84 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I had an only child and didn't need one either. There were always two adults to keep track of her. And the next one will have two adults and an older child to keep track of her.

But let's be real here. There's an age where, if you don't have the ability to keep track of them to that extent, a child is either holding a hand, in a stroller, in a sling, or in a harness. They have to be kept close in some way. Also, my child was a clinger, not a runner. It was pretty easy to keep track of her because she wanted to stay by my side all the time. But what about those parents with a few small children, one or more of whom are bolters?

No, it isn't ALWAYS wrong to be judgmental, but it very often is.


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. :
post #85 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

But let's be real here. There's an age where, if you don't have the ability to keep track of them to that extent, a child is either holding a hand, in a stroller, in a sling, or in a harness. They have to be kept close in some way. Also, my child was a clinger, not a runner. It was pretty easy to keep track of her because she wanted to stay by my side all the time. But what about those parents with a few small children, one or more of whom are bolters?
ITA, there is an age that they need to be kept track of. MY DS was (and is) a "bolter" - we literally go run laps around the mall just to let him "get it out" before grocery shopping now.
When he was just around 14 -15 mos old though, he refused to hold a hand (if I tried to "make" him he'd lay down on the ground). So options were to put him in a stroller or carrier, or let him run wild, or get a harness. To me, the harness is similiar to a stroller or sling....except that the harness lets a kid explore & get some exercise.

I don't understand why it's ok to use a stroller - ie, harness them into a sitting position - but not to put them in a harness that lets them walk, at the same age, if the kid prefers walking/running. Never will understand it.

In our case, once DS got old enough to understand holding our hand in parking lots and staying in sight at the stores (which includes us running with him at times, or swinging him others if DH & I are both there), we stopped using the harness. I still have it though, and wouldn't hesitate to use it if we were in a very crowded place, such as an amusement park.
post #86 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphneduck View Post
Wow, what are the odds of having so many bad leash experiences in one day?
I'm sorry to hear that happened to you. I know that I've had days when unharnessed kids constantly seemed to be tripping me up, so I feel for you.
They didn't all happen on the same day - I go to Disney World a lot!

And leashes are very popular at the parks; I see them all the time.
post #87 of 251
Quote:
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?
Well, my son was a climber and a dasher. More to the point, he has total focus (even now) - when something grabs his interest, he almost can't hear. Even if you're yelling "ice cream." He's just that kind of kid.

At our zoo, anyway, when we would go there would be a lot of school groups of sort of grade 4-6 and it helped a lot to not have him dash into a group of kids that way. We also have indoor parts to our zoo (pavillions) where there are a lot of good hiding spots that he adored dashing into.

On busy sidewalks in say, the Beaches area of our town, where the sidewalk is not extra-wide, there are lots of people, and parked cars and cars on the road, it was really a lifesaver. My son went through a period of hating the Ergo, the sling, and the stroller (unless he was worn out) and I really was glad to not have to make the choice of having one of us unhappy. He explored so many neat things with both hands - windows, pipes, bricks, planters.

For me anyway, the leash offered me the security of being able to enjoy his exploration. I know I posted already but I can't emphasize that enough. We were in situations where he was pretty safe, but I personally would have worried without that extra tie.

When I see a parent saying to their child "no! No! This way! Hold my hand! Right now! Don't go there!" as a constant litany, and the child is pretty young to follow directions, I often think that it's a little sad that they are spending so much energy on it at certain ages... but to each his own.
post #88 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
They didn't all happen on the same day - I go to Disney World a lot!
In that case, I'm very jealous!
post #89 of 251
Quote:
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. :

Why'd you make it so hard on yourself?
post #90 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Why'd you make it so hard on yourself?


Thanks for making me check myself and giving me an ounce of humor!

Really, I did it because I couldn't and cannot stand the thought of children on leashes. It seems so counterintuitive to how children should be raised.

It was worth it to me to instill independence, understanding and respect with those kids and now, with my own.
post #91 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post

It was worth it to me to instill independence, understanding and respect with those kids and now, with my own.
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.
post #92 of 251
Quote:
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. :
No, but I bet you were holding someone by the hand, which is every bit as restrictive. Actually, even more restrictive.
post #93 of 251
Quote:
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.
How is tethering your child to your arm instilling independence? Truly?

I mean no harm, I just don't understand this mentality.

I think that if you(general)take a stand on a parenting choice, such as breastfeeding, cosleeping, no leashing, homeschooling, etc. than you make it work regardless of the "different personalities" a child has and the challenges facing you.
post #94 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post
How is tethering your child to your arm instilling independence? Truly?

I mean no harm, I just don't understand this mentality.

I think that if you(general)take a stand on a parenting choice, such as breastfeeding, cosleeping, no leashing, homeschooling, etc. than you make it work regardless of the "different personalities" a child has and the challenges facing you.
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.
post #95 of 251
Quote:
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.
I'm not saying that cosleeping is "instilling" independence, I'm just saying that if its a choice that's valued you find a way to make it work. Even with challenges.

And as for leashes, I think they hinder independence. Not allow it to occur at its natural pace.
post #96 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post
How is tethering your child to your arm instilling independence? Truly?
By permitting him exactly the amount of independence that he's ready for and that he craves. My 2 year old brings me his harness backpack and asks for me to put it on. He's a runner. Like many 2 year olds, he's impulsive, and isn't old enough to understand why he shouldn't be running into the street. He wants to be close to me, craves safety and security, but also wants to explore his world as much as possible. The harness has been the best choice for him. I'd never tell anyone else what's best for their own child, but I'm perfectly secure in knowing my own children well enough to determine what's best for them.
My older son was also very impulsive and a runner. He was also my only child until two years ago, and I could more easily keep up with him and redirect him. Though, there were times when I wished I had a harness because he ran too fast and hid from me. Now that I have two children - and my oldest has autism and often needs more from me than my two year old does, including help with his impulsiveness and the many difficulties that come with sensory overload - I'm thankful that I have a way to keep my youngest safe without taking anything away from him.
I'm not a believer in many of the parenting ideals that some at MDC are. Had I bought into the Continuum Concept, for example, my oldest would likely be dead. Different things work for different kids. Thank goodness they're not all alike! The world needs a diversity of personalities!
post #97 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post

And as for leashes, I think they hinder independence. Not allow it to occur at its natural pace.
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.
post #98 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post


It was worth it to me to instill independence, understanding and respect with those kids and now, with my own.
My son is now 3.5 and he has plenty of that. We haven't had to even think about anything like a leash for a good oh - probably a year.

The leash was useful at an age when it wouldn't have mattered either way; he was just not there developmentally. Really, kids grow over time.

It is great you stick to your convictions, but there are lots of ways to get from point A to point B.
post #99 of 251
The leash is less demeaning than staying indoors all the time, until your child finally learns how to stay out of the freaking street. They are also less painful than the nursemaid's elbow your child could end up with because when you hold hands, she continually drops into limp-toddler mode, placing her full weight in one arm. While you are recovering from labor and have a child in a sling. In the middle of a crosswalk. For which the light is too short.

Quote:
And as for leashes, I think they hinder independence. Not allow it to occur at its natural pace.
I am allowing independence, just not running into a crowd of people or into the street.

However, the leash doesn't work either. Basically, the life dream of my toddler is to run into the street in front of a truck to see what will happen, and any effort of mine to prevent that happening results in a screaming fit (including, not going anywhere).

I once saw a kid run out in front of a car, mom had been holding his hand but he wrestled away and she had a baby in the other hand, and he did get hit. Luckily it was a side street and he wasn't killed instantly, but I'll never know if he died of a hemorrhage later.

Bring on the harness, the double-stroller, and the restraint system. Independence be darned, I prefer a live child. When she's five and more logical THEN she can kill herself.
post #100 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Well, my son was a climber and a dasher. More to the point, he has total focus (even now) - when something grabs his interest, he almost can't hear. Even if you're yelling "ice cream." He's just that kind of kid.

At our zoo, anyway, when we would go there would be a lot of school groups of sort of grade 4-6 and it helped a lot to not have him dash into a group of kids that way. We also have indoor parts to our zoo (pavillions) where there are a lot of good hiding spots that he adored dashing into.

On busy sidewalks in say, the Beaches area of our town, where the sidewalk is not extra-wide, there are lots of people, and parked cars and cars on the road, it was really a lifesaver. My son went through a period of hating the Ergo, the sling, and the stroller (unless he was worn out) and I really was glad to not have to make the choice of having one of us unhappy. He explored so many neat things with both hands - windows, pipes, bricks, planters.

For me anyway, the leash offered me the security of being able to enjoy his exploration. I know I posted already but I can't emphasize that enough. We were in situations where he was pretty safe, but I personally would have worried without that extra tie.

When I see a parent saying to their child "no! No! This way! Hold my hand! Right now! Don't go there!" as a constant litany, and the child is pretty young to follow directions, I often think that it's a little sad that they are spending so much energy on it at certain ages... but to each his own.
So basically you are almost a bad mom if you don't use one? That is a new spin!

Also, for what it's worth I try very hard not to say "no, no!" to my dd unless it is a really big deal ie going in the street etc.

I do gently remind her that she needs to hold hands with me and if she is having a hard time with the compliance a certain situation requires I adjust myself and my own expectations. If going to the zoo without a leash presented too many issues I would not be going to the zoo until it was more developmentally appropriate for her. I am not of the mindset that we need to be going and doing everything regardless of her current abilities.

I guess in that way it is to each their own.

I still will look sideways at a child being walked around on a leash.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Are those leashes/harnesses for kids demeaning?