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Do You Use Child Leashes? - Page 9

post #161 of 205
Thank you North_Of_60! You summed it up perfectly. I kind of want to hug you right now.
post #162 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
What people are trying to defend against is the notion that because some people don't use leashes, that all people shouldn't use leashes.
I understand that completely, I just haven't seen that on this particular thread. I haven't ever said it, in fact I've clearly stated more than once that I don't have anything against parents who chose to use them for any reasons. What I've seen more of on this thread are people making blanketed statements about the lives of those choosing not to use leashes. "You probably don't live near traffic, you don't go out, you have children who listen, you only have one child...etc etc." It's not necessarily a put down, but that can be taken in a less than friendly way.
post #163 of 205
I have had to chase down my 3 yo before, in public places, and with my dd. I may have to eat my words in the future (my dd is a strong willed one), but I think child leashes are... odd. And it will be an absolute last resort, if I do have to use one.
post #164 of 205
What's odd about them?
post #165 of 205
I used to think they were degrading and weird and swore I'd never get one. As with many preconceptions I had about parenting, that flew right out the window when my son started walking and we quickly learned that he's a runner.

A couple of weekends ago we decided to try out our new camping gear (tent, sleeping bags) by having a little mini campout in the backyard. We live in the country on several manicured acres, so you'd think it'd be perfectly safe, right? Wrong. I put him down and turned around to hand something to DH. By the time I turned back around, my son was easily 20 yards away, running like a streak downhill, and headed straight for the frog pond. I'm pregnant and easily winded and I caught up to him, but only just.

That night I ordered a cute backpack harness shaped like a puppy. I don't really care what other parents think about it, because their kid isn't my kid and they aren't responsible for his safety. I am. And I decided that I'd rather have him on a tether than screaming and uncomfortable in the Ergo, miserable in a stroller he hates, or sitting and throwing a tantrum on the street or on a hiking trail because he refuses to hold hands.

It's easy to judge until it's your kid. I'm feeling pretty sheepish about my previous opinions regarding leashes and toddlers and wish I'd been more open-minded. But as they say, experience is the best teacher.
post #166 of 205
I have 9 children that range in age from 21 yrs down to just 1 year. I think I used a "child restraint" (because I cannot bring myself to call it a "leash") maybe once or twice. I gave it up because it strapped to the wrist and my lovely child would simply unstrap it with his other hand and go about his business.

I think they are a great idea, however, for those parents who need one and it works.

I have never yet had a child who had even a micron of "inborn safety". My children came out of the womb racing into the unknown and damn the dangers or consequences. I have a herd of pyromaniacs and cliff jumpers. They roam where ever their free spirit may take them and I am frantically running behind them, forever the harried mother duck. Squawking at them to head my warnings of danger that go unheeded at every twist and turn on their life road.

I should own a "leash" factory because of the crap I have been through because of my children.

To you moms who use them, you know your children better than anyone. You know their safety depends on it and you have courage to own up to it.
post #167 of 205
I personally don't like them... BUT have nothing against anyone who uses them properly. The ones that drive me nuts are the people who actually pull the child around by the leash, or ignore the child because they're on the leash so where are they going to go?

I WISH I could get over my dislike because I can't keep up w/ DS as well as I could before getting so pregnant, so we stay in a lot because I'm too afraid to take him on walks by myself.
post #168 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
It's easy to judge until it's your kid. I'm feeling pretty sheepish about my previous opinions regarding leashes and toddlers and wish I'd been more open-minded. But as they say, experience is the best teacher.
I think this is the best way to put it. So many people do have preconcieved notions about all kinds of things and sometimes it can be a lesson learned, especially hard for those who judged too harshly in the begining.

It is like when moms are out there saying women who get epidurals are not 'really' experiencing childbirth. I myself have never had one, but I couldnt imagine saying something like that to other mom's. How rude. And it is especially amusing to me when those same mom's who say you arent really serious/committed/strong enough to not have one, end up getting one in the end...

Like the pp poster said about the organic example, no one lives the same life, with the same life experiences, and no one has the same children with the same personalities. What works for some doesnt for others, and that is ok.

Judge not lest ye be judged. On both sides of the coin.
post #169 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy7-08 View Post
I WISH I could get over my dislike because I can't keep up w/ DS as well as I could before getting so pregnant, so we stay in a lot because I'm too afraid to take him on walks by myself.
I'm truly not arguing. It is entirely your right and decision as a parent not to use one.

But...when I read this I'm just a little bit sad that your dislike of this one thing is keeping you both indoors. It seems a heavy price to pay. It seems to me like keeping a kid off skates 'cause you don't like the look of a helmet.

This is what I don't get (not directed at you, just in general) about the whole "I hate leashes" crowd. It seems to be largely an asthetic argument. That and that the "child won't learn" - which may be true (for sure some people might misuse them), but for me AP has always been about trusting that if a need is met at the right stage, the natural growth will occur.

I agree that if someone is jerking a kid around that's not right, but people jerk kids around by the arm all the time and we don't all decide it's terrible to hold hands.

To my mind if you're pregnant and you want to go out for a walk, whatever helps with that is a plus. Congrats btw
post #170 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
Haven't read the whole thread yet.



My thought is that leashes are used for dogs as a way to show authority. It's a 'training' tool, and I don't train my children. If I see a dog on a leash tugging and pulling in the opposite direction, I chalk it up to bad dog ownership or inexperience in dog training. The leash is there to be slightly tugged at any time the dog wonders a bit from your side. You stop, dog stops. You walk, dog walks. You run, dog runs. The dog isn't even supposed to be allowed to poop on walks because you have control over him just from the use of the leash.

Anyway, that's my issue with child leashes. I don't train my children in that way. I encourage them to be free spirits and explore and control their own environment. I tried to follow the continuum concept with DD and that involves not reminding her to 'follow me' or 'stop' or 'don't do that' 'come back'. The theory is that children left to their own devices will establish their own safety level and follow mom closely on their own. With that said, I realize that we don't necessarily live in a safe enough community to practice this 24/7. There are times it's just impossible, like crossing the street or walking through a huge crowed. I also was 'blessed' (hehe) with a very adventurous child. Her personal boundaries were much wider than my own would be and we struggled with that. I think I would have benefited had she had a leash, but in the long run I think it would have been detrimental to her creating her own limits of safety. I can say that now, at 4 years old, her boundaries have narrowed and she's much more cautious than she was as a toddler. I think that's a direct result of her being allowed to absorb her own environment.
The bold is exactly why I used a harness when ds1 was little. It allowed him the freedom to explore that he wanted and gave me the means by which to keep him safe in crowds or near roadways. Little ones can find openings in crowds that adults can't pass through. The first time I was met with a wall of people standing between me and my child who was headed full tilt toward the mall fountain, I knew I had to do something else than what I was doing.

I never use the harness as a means by which to train my child. That simply wasn't the purpose. I never tugged on the lead to get him to follow me. A child in a leash is like a cat or a rabbit in a leash: you have to go where they choose to lead. It just gives that extra measure of control should an emergency situation where a child's life is in danger arise.

One could argue that diapers or having one's diaper changed is degrading. One could argue that having to be fed or dressed is also degrading, but these are things we must do for our children to keep them healthy and safe. I don't personally see harness use as any different. They're not for everyone, but for some children, they're lifesavers, literally.
post #171 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
I agree that a crib ("cage") bothers me more than a leash. The other day I say a baby crying and the mother automatically shoved a pacifier in his mouth to shut him up. No attempt was made to pick him up and/or try to see what was wrong. Sorry but that is much, much more offensive and anti-AP than any leash..
I thought AP was about anticipating a child's needs and responding to them? Sometimes non-stereotypical AP things work for certian babies. I think we should all reserve judgment until we actually know the whole situation.

When my second son was a newborn, he had pretty painful reflux. When he was actively refluxing, he didn't want to be held or soothed. He hurt and the pacifier was one of the only things that would help him besides the boob. If he'd just eaten, nursing him again just made things worse so, you might have seen me pop a pacifier in his mouth at some point in time without picking him up. I knew what was wrong and until we put him on heavy duty reflux meds the paci was the only other thing that would help him. It's hard to think that others might have been watching and finding my behaviour offensive.
post #172 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
I thought AP was about anticipating a child's needs and responding to them? Sometimes non-stereotypical AP things work for certian babies. I think we should all reserve judgment until we actually know the whole situation.
Exactly. Some babies sleep better in a crib - should those moms force their children to co-sleep just so that they can remain "AP"? What about the toddlers who hate holding hands but love to walk? Isn't a harness a better way to keep that child safe instead of carrying or riding in a stroller since it allows the child the freedom they crave while keeping them safe from the dangers of bolting from mom or dad? My daughters were only soothed when tired by their pacifiers - should I have denied them because a pacifier isn't AP?

I personally think that it is more important to meet a child's needs and keep them as happy as possible - even if it means that I am judged for being un-AP in my ways.
post #173 of 205
In my short few years as a mother I have learned that no matter what you do, someone is going to give you a high-five and someone else will give you a dirty look. Who cares?

As long as we are thorough in our thought process and confident that we are making decisions that are best for our own family, who gives a flip what anyone else thinks? You know?
post #174 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by momasana View Post
In my short few years as a mother I have learned that no matter what you do, someone is going to give you a high-five and someone else will give you a dirty look. Who cares?

As long as we are thorough in our thought process and confident that we are making decisions that are best for our own family, who gives a flip what anyone else thinks? You know?
Could not have said it better myself.

Which is also why I refuse to call myself AP or any other 'label'. I hate labels and checklists for my parenting style or any other way to live my life. I guess I refused to be categorized, becuase then you feel bad about what you do or dont do.
post #175 of 205
i never got a leash, in part because of discussions here but also dirty looks in public. and i totally regret it. my second has no impulse control even at age 4 now she is just developing a bit. and she is a long-legged sprinter. i missed so many events because she wouldn't stay with us, and the stroller was impractical, and she had gotten big enough to dislike being slinged all the time. the only way to keep her alive was to skip events- she is so fast and impulsive. if if if i had started with the leash on her sister (who liked to run away but wasn't as fast) when i was pregnant with dd2, and then used it with dd2 when she was ready, i would have been able to keep my wahm business and a bit of social life, both of which i desperately need now.
post #176 of 205
I used the leash from somewhere around 18 months to around 2.5 years. At almost-three we haven't used it in what seems like a long time. He knows his boundaries, watches his cues from us, can walk on the sidewalk or hold hands in the street, etc. Next time we fly, though, I might get it out again.

Every child is different.
post #177 of 205
Wow! I haven't read all nine pages. Apparently this is a tricky subject for some.

We have used a leash with our daughter while traveling through an airport, and also when we took a public transportation train that had electrified rails.
post #178 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by childsplay View Post
Yup, I used them. Mainly because I had two hands and three kids under three. We lived in a hot climate and wearing them - especially when they were bigger was heat stroke inducing.

I had a long rope with clips on it, I'd clip it around their waists and just hold the end.

One woman remarked to me that she found it so sad.

I said ya, I know, but their funeral's would be even sadder.
HA!!! I love it!!!
post #179 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post


In a natural environment you wouldn't put a baby on a 4 foot changing table. That would be consitant with the examples I gave of common sense parenting coupled with allowing a child the freedom to learn safety limits.

They do know that fire is hot. Fire gives off heat whether you touch it or not and it doesn't take much of that heat to pull back or know to stay away. Most fire accidents come from carelessness, not confusion about the fact that the fire is hot.

Again, I agree with all of you that in our society we have man made dangers and therefore I don't trust to use this theory 100% of the time. There are times I remind my daughter to "stop at the end of the sidewalk to hold my hand". But as a general rule I think we show our kids what we expect from them. If we show them that we expect that they'll run from us, they interpret it as reassurance that it's okay to run from us. It's not okay, and they have to learn that sooner or later. I'd just prefer they learn it sooner, I guess.
My kiddos (especially ds1) doesn't have this instinct...he will run right up to a bonfire. He'd never jump into it but being the prone to trip little boy that he is I keep him away from them because...well, as I said...he's prone to tripping, stumbling...what-have-you.
post #180 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy7-08 View Post
I personally don't like them... BUT have nothing against anyone who uses them properly. The ones that drive me nuts are the people who actually pull the child around by the leash, or ignore the child because they're on the leash so where are they going to go?

I WISH I could get over my dislike because I can't keep up w/ DS as well as I could before getting so pregnant, so we stay in a lot because I'm too afraid to take him on walks by myself.
I use a leash. It is the only way I can manage to take my two girls, 1.5 and 3.5, outdoors every single day, and to cultural events once a week. It is the ONLY way. Baby hates the stroller, goes nuts in the carrier when she wants to walk, and will. not. hold. my. hand.

And did I mention she darts into the street?

Mama, if you think it's hard with one and pregnant, imagine with two newborns!

If you don't want to use a leash, that is fine. But if that's "not working" for your family--meaning, your child is staying inside more than you'd like at an age when outdoor play is critical--is it really that big of a deal?

I never thought I'd use a leash. But with two darters (And don't think I didn't try to train them, but what can I do when they run off? Punish them at the age of one?!? They just learn mommy brings them back from the street.), two under three at one point, and a love of the outdoors and culture that I share with my children, this is the best alternative for us.

It is the only way I could have them both roaming about, exploring.

Quote:
One woman remarked to me that she found it so sad.

I said ya, I know, but their funeral's would be even sadder.
Perfect. Consider it stolen!
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