These reasons are exactly why I use one. I have a runner who loves to explore. He doesn't like being carried, worn, or pushed in the stroller for very long. He hates holding my hand because he wants to feel free. (Not to mention bending to hold his hand can give me a back cramp, as well as the fact that he's quite good at wriggling free.) This allows me to give him independance without endangering him, and I can still teach him how to behave appropriately by speaking to him, redirecting him, etc. I think it's too much to expect of him for him to stay close by. Even if he knows better, how can he be expected to control every little baboddler (baby + toddler, lol) urge he has? I see no difference in using a harness than in restraining your child with words and behavioral training, a stroller, or a carrier. I think you should do what keeps your child safe, healthy, and happy.
Most of the people I've met are okay with them, but it really bugs me when I hear people say that we must not be able to control our children, that we are treating them like dogs, that we're lazy, or that we should just stay at home if we can't give them attention. I can't stand that! I'm not lazy. I'm just not always as quick as my son, and I don't want to risk him getting snatched by a stranger or hit by a car before I catch up to him. Of course I can't control him with words; he can't even say mama yet, much less control himself! I leash my dog to keep the dog safe, and that's what the child harness is about. As for just staying at home instead, how ridiculous...like a child should never get to explore just because he hates the stroller, kicks and screams if he's held when he wants to run, etc. Some of us have to go grocery shopping and buy winter wardrobes for our ducklings. What else should we do, let the child scream and cry in the cart as we shop? :/
I was afraid I'd be opening a can of worms. I know most mainstream moms are ok with harnesses, so I didn't know how the AP moms would react. I'm glad to see everyone playing so nicely and being so nonjudgemental.
Besides, I know a lot of very well-treated and very loved dogs, so why does it have to be a bad thing to treat a child like a dog anyway? Most pet owners these days love and spoil their little furbabies!