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Do You Use Child Leashes? - Page 3

post #41 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy's Mom View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I've got a runner as well, but one-on-one it's never been a big deal. I preferred to carry him or put him up on my shoulders when needed. Plus now he's old enough he is much better at listening.
And when you only have one it's a whole lot easier. I have 3.
post #42 of 205
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.
post #43 of 205
Haven't read the whole thread yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
I think it's funny that some people are so against them because they remind them of dogs - but why is it no big deal to have a leash on a dog to make sure it doesn't run off, but not a child? Aren't children more important to keep safe than dogs?
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.
post #44 of 205
I was always totally against them too, thought they were way strange. But the first time #2 ran off while I was unlocking the car with my hands full in a busy parking lot I immediately went to the store to get a backpack leash. When you've got your hands full with more than one kid you need help. I got over my hatred of baby swings too. Sure most people here just train their kids not to run off via spanking but I wasn't willing to do that. We only used it occasionally for a few months until DD got a little older and understood dangers.
post #45 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
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.
But (most) people will still use a leash on their dog even if he is perfectly trained. Why? Because it keeps them safe. The leash can be BOTH a training tool & a safety device. I'd find it weird to 'train' your kid on a leash but perfectly acceptable to keep them 'safe' on a leash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
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 think this has been one of my biggest hesitations to use a leash on DS. It sure would make my life a lot easier & it may become necessary to use it for safety reasons, but I prefer him to learn safety limits on his own, and I do see how a leash might interfere with that.
post #46 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.
Again, you have one child. When you have two children you are allowing to be "free spirits" and they are going in opposite directions without "realizing" where you are, it's a problem.

I let me dd go where ever and she knew her own boundaries. Ds doesn't give a flip about boundaries and regularly does things that could easily kill him if I wasn't near by.

And now that we've added another one to the family, it's even more imperative that he be on the leash.
post #47 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
But (most) people will still use a leash on their dog even if he is perfectly trained. Why? Because it keeps them safe. The leash can be BOTH a training tool & a safety device. I'd find it weird to 'train' your kid on a leash but perfectly acceptable to keep them 'safe' on a leash.

I think this has been one of my biggest hesitations to use a leash on DS. It sure would make my life a lot easier & it may become necessary to use it for safety reasons, but I prefer him to learn safety limits on his own, and I do see how a leash might interfere with that.
Yup, I hear ya on dog leashes. People use them for their dogs safety, for the safety of others, and because in most places it's illegal not too....lol. I was speaking more for why people have a gut reaction when comparing child leashes to dog leashes.

As for child leashes and safety limits, this was my reason for not choosing to use one. But I do understand why other parents have made another decision. Especially when you have one parent to multiple children. My only real issue when I see someone using one is if they are pulling on/tugging at the child/leash or when the parent uses the leash as an excuse to not pay the child any attention. There are plenty of dangerous things a child can get into just 3 feet from you if you're not watching, not to mention that it just makes me sad. I see a sling/wrap and or stroller a little different because it's obvious to the child that it isn't time for exploring but time for observing which triggers a different developmental process. It actually signals dangers in the environment without having to say, "Watch out danger up ahead!" And they can then learn how to avoid those dangers by watching us avoiding them. But again, I can understand the situation some parents are in if they have an active toddler who refuses to be worn or ride in a stroller.
post #48 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmh23 View Post
Again, you have one child. When you have two children you are allowing to be "free spirits" and they are going in opposite directions without "realizing" where you are, it's a problem.

I let me dd go where ever and she knew her own boundaries. Ds doesn't give a flip about boundaries and regularly does things that could easily kill him if I wasn't near by.

And now that we've added another one to the family, it's even more imperative that he be on the leash.
See my above response. The original OP was asking why we personally do or do not use a leash. I'm just explaining why I don't, not trying to insult any other parents choices. And I agree, more children = more escapees.

ETA: just wanted to clarify my original post because it seems it was misunderstood. I don't 'let' my kid/s go wherever they want. DD is expected to stay close by me. I just don't believe that I need to tell her that every time we're out, or hold her hand. I think it's her instinct and the more I hinder that instinct the farther she gets from it. I'm not saying it works for every kid, heck it hardly worked for mine, but it's one thing I strive for.
post #49 of 205
It was either that or the stroller - and with a high needs active child the leash gave him the ability to walk safely. I have lost him in large, crowded, unhelpful a store with 2 exits... He was fast enough I only barely caught him once I finally found him. We bought it after that. Now that he is 3 we do not use it, but it is because we no longer have to. Oh yeah, and in international airports we still would.
post #50 of 205
AP parenting has never been about appearances over safety.
post #51 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
See my above response. The original OP was asking why we personally do or do not use a leash. I'm just explaining why I don't, not trying to insult any other parents choices. And I agree, more children = more escapees.

ETA: just wanted to clarify my original post because it seems it was misunderstood. I don't 'let' my kid/s go wherever they want. DD is expected to stay close by me. I just don't believe that I need to tell her that every time we're out, or hold her hand. I think it's her instinct and the more I hinder that instinct the farther she gets from it. I'm not saying it works for every kid, heck it hardly worked for mine, but it's one thing I strive for.
I think we all strive for children who listen 100% of the time and stay close by us in busy/crowded situations. The reality is that many children do not. When I had my first child, I couldn't imagine using a leash. DD#1 is a good listener and a child who doesn't want to be too far away from me (even at 6 yo). Then came my 2nd child who was born with a spirit that I cannot (nor do I want to) tame. She'd run in an instant. So yes, we bought a harness. One of the stuffed animal backpacks mentioned up-thread.

I ask any parent who disagrees with the harness:

What would you do if your child screamed in the wrap, screamed in the stroller and ran away from you (or dropped to the ground and refused to move) if you tried to hold their hand? What do you do? Stay inside for the next 4 years, punishing everyone in the family by not being able to do anything? Not us. We're on the go all of the time and we like it that way. It's good for the kids to be out and about and not stuck inside all of the time.
post #52 of 205
We did. It was a teddy bear backpack. We've had times where DS didn't want to leave the car without his "bear hug". It gave him freedom to roam and explore while staying safe.

He's learned enough rules now (staying out of the street, staying close to us, etc) that we haven't used it in a few months.
post #53 of 205
I haven't ever used one. But I've never had a child who would take off on me. My kids have always stayed close.
post #54 of 205
We do not use child leashes. It isn't something that works for our family or our parenting philosophy.

But I don't care if anyone else uses them. Every family is different.
post #55 of 205
Yes, I have used a leash with my kids about half a dozen times total. I also put them in cages* at night when they were under two years old and unless you are running in AP circles, no one bats an eye at that.

*i.e. cribs

I understand the hesitancy people have toward them, especially here. It may seem to clash with AP practices. I just get irked when people who have no qualms about cribs and other methods of restraining their children for safety (playyards, strollers) get all up in arms about child tethers.
post #56 of 205
I don't like the look of them either. I am sure I have a weird thought every time I see one, which is not often around here. But I might just buy one. It turns out that my younger son is a runner, unlike DD, who never went anywhere without me.

A friend nearly lost him at a large national park, while I was holding her newborn. She said she would watch him. In the 10 seconds I didn't pay attention, (because I was holding the newborn and my friend said she'd watch him!) he got pretty far. He went out the restaurant we were sitting in, into the main park area. I couldn't see him. Finally, he came running over when I called out for him in my "really scared mama" voice. I was SO FREAKED OUT! Now, I am considering a leash. Better a horrible looking device than a kid in danger, right?
post #57 of 205
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 used one briefly with my son and I had one as a baby. As far as I can tell, it didn't do me any harm. My mom was against but my grandmother, who was very small, simply couldn't go anywhere with me on her own. She insisted and my mom relented. My grandmother also had to use a pad in her car because she couldn't see over the dash (in the days before individual adjustable bucket seats). The pictures are actually kind of amusing...

I see a pattern of people using them;

-Some children are "runners", some are not. I had two that were and one who was not. I needed it just for the oldest. By the time I had my youngest, who would also bolt, I could keep an eye on her since her siblings were older and listened. It was harder running after her older brother when I had one, then two smaller ones. My kids are close in age...

-Where you go. I live in a big city with dangerous traffic. I needed it more when we lived in the apartment. When we moved to a house on a quieter street, I never used it.

-How much time you spend in parking lots or other public places. Those of you who live in rural or even suburban communites have less worries.

We also fly a lot so airports are very scary places to lose children, especially before going through security. Even after, you don't want it to happen.

If your lifestyle and children are thus that using a leash are not necessary, congratulations! Believe me, most of us who have, wouldn't if we could get away with it. Like it or not, our children's safety has to come before any superficial claims. Sorry if it's not pretty!

When people say it's degrading, I want to ask them about cribs and diapers. If you think of it, letting your child pee and poo in a diaper is kind of degrading but unless you EC, you don't have a lot of options. I felt the same about cribs and only used Moses baskets. Our next-door neighbors used to put their toy Yorkie in a playpen. I think that's why I never used one of those either...

The only time I've seen leaches is in very obviously necessary situations, like near traffic or in a big areas like shopping malls and airports. One time I overheard some people dissing some parents using one so I said to whomever I was with at the time, loudly enough for them to hear "Oh look! A leach! I had one of those when I was a toddler too!" Hopefully that made them shut up.
post #58 of 205
it's interesting to me that the responses of mamas with one child are mostly quite different than the ones from mamas of 2+. when i was a mama to just one, i thought kid leashes were degrading and icky, and I was quite rigidly judgemental of them(and lots of other stuff, fwiw)...now, after having a second child, and expecting #3 in September, I can absolutely see their value.
post #59 of 205
Yes I have used a child leash. We have this bee bag, it also comes in a lot of different designs. Its cute, its functional. Ds carries a diaper, some wipes, a water bottle, and a snack in his own backpack. The leash is detachable, so we don't use it all the time, but he can wear his bag anytime, and there is a handle at the top of the bag, which is great for holding instead of a hand when needed.

I see kids on tethers all the time, I also see folks baby wearing all the time, kids in strollers, kids on bikes (strapped in), kids in carseats etc.

My twin housemates (now 28 yo) remember being tethered at 5 or 6 when they flew to Mexico with their mom (they had two older brothers too, so mom was alone with 4 young boys in Mexico), they have no hard feelings about it and it made them feel safe because they knew they wouldn't get lost.
post #60 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatoablessing View Post
What would you do if your child screamed in the wrap, screamed in the stroller and ran away from you (or dropped to the ground and refused to move) if you tried to hold their hand? What do you do? Stay inside for the next 4 years, punishing everyone in the family by not being able to do anything? Not us. We're on the go all of the time and we like it that way. It's good for the kids to be out and about and not stuck inside all of the time.
That was pretty much my son. He loved the Ergo - at times; same thing with a hip carry & sling. Most times, though, he would fight them. I can't imagine trying to put him on my shoulders upset. He would tolerate the stroller when completely exhausted. He hated holding hands and he was both a climber and a runner. He quickly learned how to drop.

He was also quick to pick up on the "red light, green light" game and knew "freeze!" from an early age...but the minute something really interesting grabbed his attention he became functionally deaf - he was probably 3 before he could both explore his surroundings AND hear what we were saying if we were not sort of down on his level gazing in his eyes.

We lost him in a toy store once and it was crazy scary.

Where we were walking was often areas with traffic on one side, or crowds.

I really think that particular tool -- at appropriate times, stages, and places -- preserved our relationship because I could really relax and be in the moment with him.

That's one reason I often comment in these threads. If I had just kept a prejudice that in my case was totally based on appearance -- I have no objection to harnesses in strollers, carseats, shopping carts, bouncy chairs, etc., despite them operating largely like straightjackets and "tying the kid down" -- I would have made my life a lot harder. And at that wonderful toddling exploring age, which is still so intense, I sort of hate to see people struggling so hard with a tool we loved.

You have to know your child and yourself. I'm a worrier. My child at that age was a fearless and quick explorer. The leash literally bridged the difference.

I have such fond memories of him finding butterflies waaaay under the leaves at the zoo. And at almost-5, his dignity is totally intact, he listens, and he is trustworthy about taking directions. He still loves to run and explore though. (and of course he hasn't worn the thing in years )
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