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Leashes for children...yeah or nay. - Page 9

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 #161 of 211
I think it truly depends on the child and especially the situation.

My DD, who is actually quite spirited, was fine from an early age to walk with us and hold our hand if necessary. But on the other hand, we really avoided situations where she would have to either be in a stroller or on a leash/tether (ie the fairgrounds in the summer, the zoo when it is jam packed full of people etc.) She hated being slinged and hated being in a stroller, she wanted to walk but she would stay close and hold on for the most part.

My DS on the other hand is completely different in that he bolts, runs and will not at all hold our hand, won't sit in a stroller and only likes a sling when he is sleepy. He's not even 18 months and he just doesn't get it yet, that he has to stay close or hold our hand. So same thing, we only take him to places where it is safe for him to roam about freely and will get him to that place safely (whether it be holding him, in a stroller for a short time no matter what his reaction, safety comes first).

Quote:
They are degrading and dehumanizing, IMO. A child does not learn safety from the use of a leash. There are many healthier and more beneficial ways to teach your child safety and not to run away from a parent.
I don't think they are dehumanizing or degrading, I think they are a tool that should be used sparingly and only when truly needed.

When we moved back from the north end of Vancouver Island last spring and my kids were in the car for 3 hours to Comox, and then on the plane from Comox to Vancouver, you bet I used a leash/tether for my DD who was 2.5 yrs when we got to the Vancouver International Airport.

It was insanely busy, and I wasn't going to use a jam packed international airport as a tool to create, or for her, continue a learning opportunity about safety. Considering that she had to be seated for almost 5 hours, she wanted to walk and see everything (and who could blame her) during our 2 hour lay over before our flight to Calgary, and there is no way I could have held her hand that long while pushing a huge stroller with a 6 month old in a sling and our carry on luggage all by myself.

So that is an example of when I think they are perfectly fine to use, when you don't have a choice about the environment you and your children are going to be in and it is truly a matter of safety while meeting the needs of your child (ie a 2 year old that has been sitting for 5 hours and needs to burn off some energy). I think that is one of very few times I have ever used it and it was always a matter of safely being able to give my child what they needed in a time when I wasn't in control of the environment we would be in.

And MITB, I'm not being snippy at all. I read a lot of your posts and truly admire and respect your thoughts and opinions. I just felt compelled to point out a situation like mine at the airport, when they are beneficial for both the parent and the child.
post #162 of 211
I used to think the parents who used leashes were either lazy or bad parents. Now I know. they have darting toddlers and it's scary as heck!!

My Dad likes to tell the story of how I at 2 turned to him in O'Hare airport and said, "Catch me, Daddy!" and took off running. He said probably 100 people could have grabbed me at any time and that I was out of his sight for several minutes. I was running between people's legs! This was 34 years ago. Can you imagine the outright TERROR a parent would feel about that in today's world? If 100 people could have grabbed me then, it's probably 300 people now and there are probably a good 5 pedophiles in that group.

So we don't have a leash for DD. I can't put my infant DS down someplace to chase her and running with a bobblehead is just plain dangerous. Right now, DD likes her stroller as long as she gets adequate running time. And I usually don't go anywhere like the mall alone. Grocery shopping is mainly quick trips unless DH or a friend is with me.

We are traveling internationally in the spring. I'll probably get a leash then. I'll be darned if I'm going to lose a child in O'Hare or Columbia.

You can definately abuse a leash. But you can abuse junk food and TV too. Good parenting requires a lot of thoughtfulness.
post #163 of 211
Well, we just went to Disney for 4 days and the first day I did not use a harness on my dd, and I was frieking out all day, she would walk 2 steps away from me and couldn't see her because there was so many people. She wore a harness for the next 3 days and she actually liked it because she didn't have to stay right at my side and hold my hand or stay in a stroller. She is easily distractable and doesn't always mean to walk away from me. And sometimes she does mean to bolt. She's impulsive. Anyway, it was a great tool for us during our Disney trip, not something I would use everyday though, by any means.
post #164 of 211
yes for busy places, amusement parks, flea markets, crowded cities, etc. I was at the almighty Walmart and they have some that are actually backpacks it looks like, the back pack is a monkey and there is a dog one, I wanted to get one b/c it was sooo cute but my daughter isn't of age yet. I would love to see her running around with a monkey on her back - how cute!
post #165 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinkinMama
I agree, I can see the need in a place like Disneyland, personally I would rather use a stroller but obviously holding hands or keeping an eye on them within a few feet wouldn't work in that situation


Disneyland?

Try outside my home.

Other big-city mama here will agree ... they may not look great, and the first time you use it you're probably horrified at yourself ... but in Manhattan, they're a wonderful thing.

The sidewalks my children have always known are filled with humanity. That's the only way to put it. My child is three feet ahead of me, and there might be three people between us. So that is just not going to happen. Plain and simple.

And I hated those things when I had no children, was appalled at the thought that anyone could do that to a child ... and then I had my own children.

FWIW, a Maya Wrap works wonderfully as a "leash," if you just put it under the child's arms and pull it comfortably secure ...







Am amazed that so many mothers here are so horrified by it.





Now to finish the rest of the thread ...
post #166 of 211
I haven't voted yet because I'm still thinking about the choices. I didn't use a tether on my children, but I would not judge someone else solely because they were using one. What I want to know is why is it o.k. to use a sling to keep safe a child who does not want to walk, but not o.k. (by some) to use a sling as a harness to keep safe a child who does not want to be carried?

If the issue is that the harness is "unnatural", then how is a sling any more natural? People say that leashes are for dogs, but people also say that pouches (ie slings) are for marsupials. Humans aren't born w/ pouches, they're born w/ arms. If we should use our arms to keep our walking children near us, then we should also use them (instead of slings)to carry our children.

Please understand that I'm not arguing against the use of slings! These are just questions that didn't get answered on "the other thread" and I'm curious to know what people have to say. Is there something obvious that I'm just not gettting?
post #167 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadmom

If the issue is that the harness is "unnatural", then how is a sling any more natural?
Okay, when I got my sling and read about using it as a Harness, I did not take that as meaning a leash or tether, but using it as a harness to your body....your child is harnessed to the adults body, it is not like a sling, but the child is upright and able to see and interact....like how those Snugli backpacks are, I would criss-cross the sling so that my child was piggy-back, but could not fall off my back and onto their head, kwim?
post #168 of 211
It is like anything else-- can be a wonderful tool under the right circumstances and degrading under the wrong. If a parent uses the leash so they don't have to pay attention to their child and pulls them around against their will, that is abuse of a benign tool, just like a knife can be a great tool or a horrid weapon depending upon how its used. But if a child is prone to running away and you have to be in a crowded place, and you have other children to watch, then boy a leash can be a lifesaver. Out of my mothers five children, including one who was mentally handicapped, I was the one who needed a leash. She simply could not watch me like a hawk because that meant she couldn't watch the others as well. I loved the leash. It was pink and after having gotten lost twice, I was happy to know that if I had it on, it wouldn't happen again. I was very prone to walking/running toward things that caught my attention and could suddenly find myself separated from my family. I STILL remember THAT feeling.
post #169 of 211

What's the difference between using the tether and holding her hand?

I use a tether for my 2 yo. It connects her wrist to my wrist, and gives her much more freedom than holding my hand would. I notice that many of the posts for being against them are from parents of one child, children spaced farther apart or milder mannered children. I used to think they were not necessary as well, until baby #2 arrived. A busy, energetic toddler is enough to keep track of...but add a baby to the mix, and you will know what stress is. My toddler loves to walk, hates riding in the cart/stroller, and doesn't want to always hold my hand. In busy places or if I am grocery shopping, I will put the baby in the cart, and the toddler gets the tether. I am a label reader, so my eyes can't be everywhere at all times. If she goes too far away, I feel that little tug and focus my attention on her. I never use it to reel her in, nor do I use at as punishment or in a negative way.

What would I do if she did run away, in the busy grocery store? I would have to choose between following her and the baby in the cart. How crazy is that? My dh and I took both her and the baby on a field trip recently, and she decided to run off into the grass. I had to run full force to catch her. There was no way the stroller would have made it through the terrain.

I have had so many people tell me what a wonderful idea it is. I have also had my share of snub-nosed judgemental looks. I just smile at them and go on my way.

The other day I was at the mall, and saw a parent screaming at her harnessed child, and yanking on it to get him to comply. In that case, I was sickened. In this case, the harness wasn't the problem...the parent was. Any tool of punishment or reward is only as effective as the attitude in which it is presented. Many of you are debating on slings, for example. My dd used to love being carried in the sling. Then, one day, it became the worst torture you could imagine for her.

I also want to add that I despise the terminology "leash". I would never call it that, as it puts the child in the class of a pet. I get really mad when folks I bump into call it that, as well. Really, when you think of it, though, why do you put a "leash" on your pet? Because you love them and don't want to lose them. Doesn't it make sense to protect your child, too?
post #170 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzetta
I use a tether for my 2 yo. It connects her wrist to my wrist, and gives her much more freedom than holding my hand would. I notice that many of the posts for being against them are from parents of one child, children spaced farther apart or milder mannered children.
I am against them and have six children.

Quote:
In busy places or if I am grocery shopping, I will put the baby in the cart, and the toddler gets the tether. I am a label reader, so my eyes can't be everywhere at all times. If she goes too far away, I feel that little tug and focus my attention on her. I never use it to reel her in, nor do I use at as punishment or in a negative way.
Why not find alternatives that are healthier and more beneficial to her devlopment than a tether?

Quote:
What would I do if she did run away, in the busy grocery store?
Teach her that it is never okay to run away?
Quote:
My dh and I took both her and the baby on a field trip recently, and she decided to run off into the grass. I had to run full force to catch her. There was no way the stroller would have made it through the terrain.
Why couldn't your DH run after her, or watch the baby while you ran after her?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzetta
Really, when you think of it, though, why do you put a "leash" on your pet? Because you love them and don't want to lose them. Doesn't it make sense to protect your child, too?
No, a leash on a dog is required by law to keep the dog from attacking people, children, and other pets/animals.
Most dogs are capable of being trained. The ones that are not, might be better off not being a pet, as they could pose a serious danger to a family.
post #171 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granola Girl
I think it truly depends on the child and especially the situation.

I don't think they are dehumanizing or degrading, I think they are a tool that should be used sparingly and only when truly needed.
ITA, and, maybe I would think about using one if I were in a situation that it became a sort of lifeline.
But for just everyday, I do the same as you do. I do not take my children to places that are unsafe for them to roam or run.
To everyone else:
There is nothing wrong with picking a child up and removing them from danger, even if they are screaming and crying. You are literally saving their life sometimes. IMO, it is healthier to pick a toddler up and hold them, than put them on a tether/leash that does not truly teach them about danger or how to stay safe.
post #172 of 211
I think that a leash is not a necessary evil. I found that teaching my daughter to hold my hand kept her closer than a leash would have. I have seen kids get into things at stores while their parents attention was off of them because they were trusting in the leash to keep the kid out of trouble and forgetting that they had hands and that really turned me off of them. I know that some kids want to be able to walk around, so did mine and so I used that as an incentive for letting her hold my hand, she got to walk and see things as long as she held my hand and when she didn't I carried her, she learned very quickly. I don't think that carrying a child is stifling to either them or the parent, I love to carry her and she loves to be carried. When she wants to walk she holds my hand and is still able to stop and look at things and explore like any normal child and I think it is silly to say that it is only the people who's children are mild mannered who object to a leash, my child is very excitable and into a lot of things and I still object to a leash because they still allow kids to get into things they just prevent them from running away which is something a close eye and carrying them or holding their hand to keep them out of danger can also do without an insturment meant for a dog.
post #173 of 211
Quote:
I don't think that carrying a child is stifling to either them or the parent, I love to carry her and she loves to be carried.
Well, see, that works for you, but my DD does not "love to be carried" at all. I often wish she did, but since she learned to walk she has been loath to be carried for more than a few minutes. It WOULD be stifling (not to mention loud...my kid has some lungs!) to *her* to be carried all the time.

I can only imagine the power struggle if I'd tried "You hold my hand or I carry you." Also, truly, hand-holding is not comfortable for long periods.

We have worked *hard* on teaching DD to stay close...at 21 months, she listens more, is less impulsive, and needs the harness a lot less. At 15 months, though, it was a different story.

Quote:
I have seen kids get into things at stores while their parents attention was off of them because they were trusting in the leash to keep the kid out of trouble and forgetting that they had hands and that really turned me off of them.
As others have pointed out, it is a tool, and can be used well or used poorly. Have you ever seen a kid sitting in a stroller, being ignored, looking glazed out and bored? I have, but does this mean I think strollers are evil? Nah. They can be used or misused, just like a leash.
post #174 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
I can only imagine the power struggle if I'd tried "You hold my hand or I carry you." Also, truly, hand-holding is not comfortable for long periods.
That is why it is not an either/or, only in certain situations when it is warranted. Not all the time, like you seem to be saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
We have worked *hard* on teaching DD to stay close...at 21 months, she listens more, is less impulsive, and needs the harness a lot less. At 15 months, though, it was a different story.
I just can't believe what you are saying. A 15 mo is still a baby and I cannot believe that someone would put a leash on a baby.
Here I am arguing for 2, 3, and 4 yo, I never thought ppl would put a leash on a baby.
post #175 of 211

Harness for kids

My dd loves her harness. It has elmo on it. I only use it when we are going to a crowded or busy place or traveling by air. It just makes me feel a bit more secure knowing if I am distracted, she cannot take off running by one of her distractions. Example: I loved it when we were at the airport. She felt like a big girl pulling her backpack on wheels and I felt secure when I got to the check in desk and had to talk with them and present id etc.

Rox
post #176 of 211
Deja Vu

Wasn't that 30 page post in GD enough?
post #177 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by archaeomom
Deja Vu

Wasn't that 30 page post in GD enough?

Obviously not. We have to hear more belittling by some people I guess.
post #178 of 211
I seriously have to question the motives behind reviving this thread.
post #179 of 211
I have one and am not afraid to use it. My dd oves it and loves being able to not hold my hand. she prefers teh stroller but we can't always use it. Sometimes it is more practical for her to walk but not practical for her to suddenly dart into traffic.

In a moment of desperation I asked my 5 year old if she needed a leash like her sister (we were at the bus stop, she was playing with a toy, dropped it in the street and hopped up and grabbed it from one of the busiest streets in town) anyway she got a big smile on her face and said YES! guess we know what she kids think of them.

anyway it is a saftey device similar to a life jacket, seat belt or bike helmet. it looks kind of goofy but serves a purpose.

It isn't like people leave thier kids tied up somewhere on these things.
post #180 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
I can only imagine the power struggle if I'd tried "You hold my hand or I carry you." Also, truly, hand-holding is not comfortable for long periods.
So true. I can STILL remember from my own small-childhood just how uncomfortable that hand-holding was. My mom had another method - smallest in stroller, my sister and I holding the side bars of the stroller. Brother big enough not to hold on (5 or 6). It was better than the hand-holding, anyway, but I think I would have preferred a leash.
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