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Leashes for children...yeah or nay. - Page 7

Poll Results: Leashes...yeah or nay?

 
  • 24% (68)
    Horrible devices of evil.
  • 22% (62)
    Necessary evil for child safety.
  • 47% (132)
    A good tool that gives greater freedom to child and parent.
  • 5% (16)
    Cool....I always wanted another pet.
278 Total Votes  
post #121 of 211
My oldest dd was very active and did not like to stay by me. Her choice was the leash, sling, or stroller. She usually chose the leash. It was especially useful when traveling to/from and in India where there were huge crowds and she wanted to walk. Once we were walking on a sidewalk next to a beach (that one that got hit by the tsunami) and this family ahead of us had a toddler walking with them, too. Their ds dashed into the street (which included bicycle and motor traffic) and he was nearly hit. I felt even better about the leash then, because Abi started to run after him but was stopped by her leash.

I have only used it on Nitara once, but she's also a runner and I might be using it more often soon.
post #122 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by tboroson
Boundaries? What kind of boundaries can you expect a three year old to have learned? Go read the GD forum some time. Kid's don't develop impulse control until somewhere between 4-5 years of age. Yes, all that while, we're busy teaching them the rules that we hope they will apply readily some day. But, we can't count on them applying those rules until they're a bit older.
Right. You can't rely on them to adhere to boundaries until a later age. But if you're just walking them around on a leash, then they're not learning anything about boundaries and, at 5 or so, when impulse control is a little better, they still won't know much about boundaries if you don't work with them from an early age. Take dogs, for example - dogs don't learn to stay close when off-leash by being walked on-leash. It's an entirely separate learning process.

I think that you can teach boundaries while you're using a leash, but I also think it's harder because your child doesn't have any need to practice exercising impulse control and you don't really have much of a need to teach when you can just steer them with the leash.
post #123 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Right. You can't rely on them to adhere to boundaries until a later age. But if you're just walking them around on a leash, then they're not learning anything about boundaries and, at 5 or so, when impulse control is a little better, they still won't know much about boundaries if you don't work with them from an early age. Take dogs, for example - dogs don't learn to stay close when off-leash by being walked on-leash. It's an entirely separate learning process.

I think that you can teach boundaries while you're using a leash, but I also think it's harder because your child doesn't have any need to practice exercising impulse control and you don't really have much of a need to teach when you can just steer them with the leash.
First of all, a child doesn't learn *any* boundaries... if she'd dead. I'd rather my child be a little delayed in learning "boundaries" than flat on a road.

Second, a dog certainly can learn to behave off-leash while being walked on-leash. The objective of on-leash training is to teach the dog to walk at heel with a slack leash, the leash is theoretically only there in case something startles the dog and he bolts. A sight hound can be taught to walk beautifully at heel for hours... but released from heel might still bolt after something it perceives as prey. Conversely, a very social dog like a retriever may never learn to walk on a slack leash, but will never get more than a hundred yards from it's master because that's the dog's natural inclination. Similarly, children have natural inclinations that need to be worked with individually.

Third, how do you teach "boundaries" when you're carrying a child, in arms or a sling, or have him in a stroller? The only way a child can experiment and learn boundaries is by exploring and being corrected eight million times. Sometimes that's appropriate. Other times that's clearly very dangerous. I don't want to be educating my child in an airport or on Times Square. I want to be protecting her. I'll teach her boundaries at the local park, or in a small town, quiet mall on a slow business day.

Fourth, I don't think it's at all unreasonable to teach a child boundaries while on a leash. An appropriate radius for exporation in a park is several hundred yards. An appropriate radius while in a chaotic crowd is about two feet. If my daughter doesn't have the impulse control to stay that close in a crowd, my options are either to restrain her or don't take her into the crowd in the first place. Now, how am I teaching her appropriate boundaries for a crowd if I never take her into a crowd in the first place? Therefore, if I'm trying to teach her by taking her in, I have to restrain her. I have tried to chase her through a very crowded place, and she slips quite easily between people's legs and gets away while I'm busy bowling people over and failing to keep up. If I can teach her to stay close by keeping her on a harness and calling to her every time she pulls against it, it's obviously a lot safer and more effective than trying to teach her by chasing her and praying that I keep up well enough to prevent her from ducking into the street. Chasing her doesn't teach her "boundaries", it teaches her that it's a lot of fun to make Mommy run after her.
post #124 of 211
I would use them if they work, but I found they don't. If a child is so wayward and fearless that they need a tether, a tether isn't going to stop them. I have a 3 y.o. who runs into traffic, bodies of water, off with other families, etc. I have lost her twice at small, enclosed playgrounds. But the "leash" did nothing but make her get tangled up in her escape efforts and make people give me dirty looks.

We play in the backyard now.
post #125 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama
It looks stifling when the child is fighting and screaming to get down and have some freedom.
Yes, I agree - my ds is an 'explorer' and doesn't always want to be held 100% of the time. He is very securely attached but sometimes just wants down to go look, examine, feel, touch, etc, yk? Sometimes he wants to be held, sometimes not. I don't see that this means someone 'doesn't belong here' just b/c their child doesn't want to be held all the time.


That said, I wouldn't use a leash on him. However, I know a father of twin girls who uses them to walk the twins to the park. They walk several blocks to get there and for them, it is a safety measure. When they get to the park, the leashes comes off. I can understand why he chooses to use it.

I think it is an item that could be overused/abused but I do think there are circumstanses where they have a legitimate use.
post #126 of 211
Thread Starter 
tboroson- nice post addressing the boundaries issue!

I would like to add from BTDT exp- my dd learned boundaries better with the leash because we took a lot of the control issues out of it. She knew she had a certain amount of freedom that she could do what she wanted with but I wasn't saying anything to her or putting my hands on her body to stop her so she didn't get so defensive. If she got a little far she would feel the chest harness gently stopping her without a word from me- some of us really hate being told what to do and feel the need to rebel even to our own detriment. When she got a little old and her brother could be carried easier while I moved quickly I stopped using the leash unless she asked for it- she still tended to stay within 3-4 ft of me except in big open areas. She did this without constant redirection (verbal or physical). Now that my dc are 5 and 8 they have more freedom and a greater wandering range. They both do very well with their wandering room and rarely need to reigned in (although my ds did go through a brief but difficult "hiding" phase) and can be trusted to go to a safe place (usually the front of the store by the cash registers) if they get away from me. So- yeah, my dc understand boundaries.
post #127 of 211
I use them when I have to. Mostly when we go to the children's museum or the zoo, sometimes at the mall depending on which stores I'm going to and if I have any help. When we go on vacation this fall I plan to use them as well. The thought of my sensory sensitive dd getting lost in a busy amusement park on a holiday weekend gives me more blood pressure issues than my doctor would like even if I weren't pregnant...

The reason I use them is simple, I lost my then-four-year-old niece in a Kmart on Christmas Eve once. Only took my eyes off her long enough to click the off button on my cell {before hands free devices hit wal-mart} I looked back up and she was GONE. ended up having the whole store locked down. she finally turned up, and let me assure you, she was corrected. Not in an AP manner, but my eighteen year old self was not aware of any other way of correcting a child than the way my sibs and I were corrected... Went straight to the pet department and got a cat leash, hooked it on her belt loops, and she wore it every time we left her house until I quit babysitting. I had nightmares for years, especially after I got pg with my six year old, and when I finally saw the safety leashes at wal mart I was thrilled. still have the cat leash too, mostly to harass my niece when she gets the whole miss perfect thing going on....
post #128 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by DestinysMama
I saw at least one. if I remember right she had either used one or was thinking about it.

Er, yeah. That was me.
post #129 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by DestinysMama
there are just some things that are not negotiable. my dd sometimes throws a tantrum when she's strapped in her car seat. but it's for her safety so there's nothing i can do, it's not up for debate.
Where is Daisy Rose when you need her?
post #130 of 211
I'm another vote for "cool tool."

I think tboroson did a beautiful job addressing the issue.

I have a chest harness, although I haven't used it yet. Why? Because I hate the color. :LOL

My dd is 20 months old and a runner. When she wants down, she wants DOWN. Consequently, I spend a lot of time running after her. I pad extra time into errands so that she can have her time to explore. She needs floor time, and I respect that.

Because I have one child, and because (so far) she's been good about not darting into the street, I've been able to get by without the harness. On the other hand, I spend a good deal of time holding onto her clothes. She also has no fear of heights, and is physically reckless. I stay hyper vigilant when I'm out witrh her. Friends always laugh about how quick I am when I need to be. I've developed lightening fast reflexes. I make no apologies for the day we bust the harness out.

All kids are different. Even within the label "spirited," all kids are different. I would rather use a harness than fight with my dd every day about getting down. The fight would not end. Walking and running *are* that important to her. She isn't "testing boundaries." She is exploring the world.
post #131 of 211
I always thought they were horrible when I only had my first, a child who never ran off and always immediately complied with requests. Then, my second child took us by surprise by just running off in public from the moment he was physically able, pulling everything off shelves and freaking out if we tried to keep him in arms or hold his hand. Now for him, I seriously contemplated one of those leash things. I ultimately did not get one, but I stopped taking him out in public for months. Now, he's manageable in public. He doesn't just bolt anymore, although he does wrench his little hand out of ours. He's able to be reasoned with now, in terms of choosing being in arms or holding hands.

Now, when we went to a science museum when he was 17 months old, I did use my Maya Wrap as a leash around his chest. He's insatiably curious, very exciteable and high energy. There's no way he would have held my hand at the crowded museum. If I let go of him, he'd be gone in no time at all. With the Maya Wrap leash, he was able to freely explore and run around, without me totally losing him in the crowd. It seemed like the kindest thing to do. Some woman there kept giving me sideways, smug looks and it took everything I had not to confront her. At least my kid was able to safely explore.

I think people should generally refrain from judging others or making universal statements. Boy was I ever smug when I had my one mellow child and all of my energy to devote solely on him. I took a lot of credit for his basic personality. People should do this less. Who cares if other people use leashes? Really...
post #132 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama
I apologize for not being more specific. I was referring to the children who are crying in arms and twisting with handholding asking to do it for themselves.

Well that makes more sense. I'm not sure if I agree completely, though. (And you know I wasn't trying to be rude! But case in point, how you think you sound on the net isn't always how you come across )

I did buy one of those leash/harness things to use at the feast one year, but I never even used it. I just hated it! I couldn't bring myself to put it on her I had an early walker (10 months and 2 days) and she's fiercely independent, so I understand that. But her choices have always been: hold my hand or be held (or ride in the cart if we're at the store). It's not like she's never objected to that, but her safety is more important. Which I see is where the leash comes in, but really, how is it "better" than letting them walk while holding your hand? If anything, for us at least, she explores and learns more because I'm right there with her interacting instead of five or ten feet behind doing my own thing (of course you can do the same thing on a leash, but it seems like it would be easier to pay less attention to them and what they're doing that way. And of course you can still ignore them while holding their hand).
post #133 of 211
I found a harness useful for a few months- when my baby was first walking, but before she/he could reliably hold my hand in a public place/ listen when I said 'Stay near Mommy." Basically, age 1-1.5 or so.

Before my oldest was walking, I swore I'd never use one :LOL
post #134 of 211
Thread Starter 
Cherrybomb- I was not really offended although I did think the "are you sure you should be here" comments were a little snide. I think that about people all the time but luckily I am not in charge :LOL . Few people have the proper personality traits to be in charge of others. I apologized because, although, I knew what I meant and other who I post with often know what I meant.....you know where I'm going with this .

On your other comments- I go back to it being different for different children. My dd did not like to hold hands at all- they get sweaty, her arm had to be up in the air, it kept her to reigned in.... Not all children like direction or lots of parental participation in everything. Some thrive when left to their own thoughts- with someone close by of course. Case- She was an early verbal developer but struggled with letter sounds, etc. in Kindergarten (even though she had been in PK for years). I talked to her for a while an figured out that she just doesn't respond well to much direction. I got her some cool cards that had a combo of pictures, words, parts, sounds like, etc. and she was reading within two weeks (from not knowing the letter sounds. Remembering this...the next two school years I leave her alone about her work and only participated when asked (she also missed a couple of months of school due to a move). Now going to into the 3rd grade she is on the honor roll, got the Presidential Honor (whatever that is), and reads at least 3 grades ahead of herself. If I start budding in or directing she shuts down and loses all interest and basically rebels. She is unique but I know she is not the only one with this type of personality. So....again I think that for some children the leash is the kindest and most respectful option.
post #135 of 211
Quote:
Which I see is where the leash comes in, but really, how is it "better" than letting them walk while holding your hand?
For one they have both hands free. For another, you try walking around with your hand above your head for more than a few minutes. Yes, a child is holding on to something, but even then it's got to tire out your arm and neck after a bit. Just my opinion.
post #136 of 211
wow, this topic was just brought up in my local mom's group. and boy, did it get nasty! i have noticed that with the majority of moms here and in my local group, even if you personally do not agree with the harness (or other safety devices such as safety plugs, etc) that most are accepting of others choices. the thing about being AP, is there is no checklist. is simply responding to your child's needs. and for some children, the harness works.

back to my local group, one mom, whom no one had met in person yet, told another mom in our discussion board that she was being abusive for using the harness. it heated from there when she pulled the racist card. accusing "us white women" of being racist, disrespectful, and insensitive to the african american community by using a harness or supporting other parents who do. i swear. the funny part is, this playgroup is pretty multicultural. heck, we even have same sex partners in the group. this one woman just never took the time to get to know anyone before she started mouthing off wth her agenda.

i feel that most "devices" we use for our children can be used in a loving responsible way. the use of any of these "devices" can also be abused. i think you can say about anything we use for our children. some families use a crib. it's the best choice for their family. but it can also be abused by throwing the baby in and CIO. or using it as a babtsitter.

we personally used the harness for a while after ds started walking but only when we would go to places that were crowded, such as disneyland. i just don't think is is fair to expect a toddler to either sit in their stroller all day or to hold their hand above their head all day so that you can hold their hand. and in some places, i refuse to allow my child to not be attached to me for safety purposes. i would rather get ugly looks from people than to have my precious son be lost or taken.

anyway, i guess that was more than my 2 cents worth.
post #137 of 211
This is not a baiting question. I really want to know. For those of you who have a toddler who refuses to hold your hand, does not want to be carried or put in a stroller, and runs around like nut in a public place and will not respond to you calling him/her back, what do you do that makes everyone happy and keeps your child safe? Say you are walking to/from a store across a busy parking lot, or you are in the mall on a Saturday afternoon, or on a trail at the desert botanical garden with cacti on both sides. What do you do?
post #138 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by spsmom
wow, this topic was just brought up in my local mom's group. and boy, did it get nasty!

I was going to post a topic about this right after that blow up on the list. I was wondering if anyone else thought it was an insult to Af. Am. mothers. I had NEVER before heard that it was until the list blow up. Then when I saw this topic started I wondered if anyone from 'the list' would talk about it.

I thought about it for days.

So do any of you that are against it think that using it is being disrespectful to Af. Americans?

I have used my maya as a few others have mentioned. Only once at Sea World. It didn't really work for us. Sage thought it was a blast for a few minutes but then she took to falling down until I took it off.
post #139 of 211
I voted that they can be a cool tool. I never used one, but I have two somewhat cautious children who are three years apart, so by the time my daughter was walking, my son was 4 and pretty knowledgeable about safety. If I had a bunch of littles and felt that they would be at risk of danger, I would use one. No question. Safety is more important to me than a philosophical issue with "harnesses" for children.

L.
post #140 of 211
Quote:
For those of you who have a toddler who refuses to hold your hand, does not want to be carried or put in a stroller, and runs around like nut in a public place and will not respond to you calling him/her back, what do you do that makes everyone happy and keeps your child safe? Say you are walking to/from a store across a busy parking lot, or you are in the mall on a Saturday afternoon, or on a trail at the desert botanical garden with cacti on both sides. What do you do?
In the parking lot scenerio? If it's a safety issue, and he's doing something dangerous, I pick him up, kicking and screaming if I have to. In other, non-threatening situations, I distract, redirect, cajole, etc. I usually carry certain toys he loves (an Elmo phone : ) and bring them out in dire situations.
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