this is one of my clearest memories of ds1's early childhood.
i took him back home to NYC when he was not quite 2. he had JUST gained the ability to stay in the stroller formore than 30 seconds. it was a breeze.
2 yrs later we went home again. he was just shy of 4yo. no more stroller. i thought it would be simple to just hold hands or have him piggyback in the busiest parts of the city.
my dad, who we were visiting, thought otherwise. he went to toys r us the day b4 we hit the city and got me a leash. it was hte kind that went wrist to wrist, they didnt have the cute stuffed animal ones back then (1998)
i of course was way wiser than my father, and told him off in no uncertain terms. i would NOT walk my child like a dog! not AP-mom-of-the-year me! LOL i told him to leave it home.
flash forward a few hours. we were about to cross times square. we got from one side across to the median, and then halfway across the second part and thats when ds saw something flashy, broke free from my hand, and ran free a quarter of the way across times freaking square.
my wonderful father took the leash out of his pocket (i though i told him to leave it home?!) but it on ds, and we walked calmly and safely around manhattan for the rest of the day.
nts, i took the leash back to FL with me.
so, yes, i think a leash can be very AP. it honors the need to walk independently while offering security. that said, my ds2 never needed one, he is much less impulsive than his big bro.