Originally Posted by AllyRae
My free spirited children, left to their own devices, would have been killed. Free spirited toddlers, preschoolers, and even older kids don't often realize that running into traffic = dead child. And even when they realize that, sometimes impulses take over. My older two children know that running into traffic is dangerous and a car can hit them. But in the heat of the moment when they just want to run, all that goes out the window and they just bolt.
Even APed free spirited children need some guidance. They don't come out of the womb knowing that getting hit by a car could kill them. And this is one natural consequence I'm not
willing to let them experience, obvious.
And trust me, my older two, which have had the harness from time to time, are still extremely curious, free spirited, and inquisitive children who love to explore, run, play, and have fun. Not being allowed to bolt into traffic by having a harness at the appropriate times hasn't ever hampered that in the least. Instead, I think they are so curious and inquisitive simply because
it was possible for them to do in a safe manner.
Hhhhmmm, I don't know, I seem to be getting misunderstood. Has anyone here read The Continuum Concept?
One more time I'll try to explain: Children are
born with an innate sense of safety. If you put a baby in front of a large hole, or a bonfire, they'll steer clear of it on their own because they see the danger there. How do you think animals avoid danger? Have you ever seen a mama duck walking with her ducklings? She doesn't turn around and call the one at the end of the line. She certainly doesn't need to use any physical contact to keep them following her. They do it because it's instinct. Because children of any
species have a basic understanding that mom=survival. The thing that makes human children so different (ie: running from us instead of to us, the ONLY species on the planet who will do that) is our society forcing unnecessary 'safety' tactics on our children. Because of the society we live in, it's near impossible to raise a child completely in this way because the outside world has an influence on them. But children who are left to learn safety limits on their own FROM INFANCY are far less likely to run from their parent in the first place. It's not even an option because they've spent their life up to that point being expected to stay close.
Sure, kids are still learning impulse control, but there are ways to avoid
dangers without directly damaging a childs development in their own safety limits. Like it's obvious that leaving a knife on the floor within reach is probably not a good idea. Or not holding a childs hand to cross the street. But for me personally, I feel like the leash is a far cry from standard safety precautions. I'd be curious to know what a child who is notorious for running would do if their parent simply kept walking with the expectation that the child would follow them. No prompting, no running after the child, just simply continuing on their business. Of course that experiment would have to be practiced in a safe place, but my VERY adventurous DD was always willing to follow me when I would put that responsibility and expectation back into her own hands.