Leashes for children? Yes or no? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 120 Old 05-12-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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Ah, but when you have a 36 pound 24 mo who hates the Ergo, this is not so easy! smile.gif

I wear my 5 mo and bring a stroller for my 2.5 yo if we go on long walking activities. DS1 gets tired still and I'd rather not wear a baby and carry a toddler wink1.gif We also recently bought a double stroller since our 5 mo is also on the large side. My bad neck and back just doesn't like all this baby wearing and I can't overdo it. I'll use that double stroller and do use our single stroller without a worry when I need to!

As for leashes, yep, my kid is a bolter so when I see leash wearers now, I totally smile at them and laugh at my pre child conception of leashes. We don't have one for DS1 but I have considered it many times. We stick with the single stroller now that we have two kids, before DS2 came I'd just go streaking after DS1 to catch him. Not always fun, especially when nearly 42 weeks pregnant. Really should have just bought a leash for him wink1.gif

Good point ;)

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#92 of 120 Old 05-12-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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Just to be clear, like I said, "hidden issues". Of course there are good reasons to be in a stroller, and in practice, its never wise to judge. Of course. I don't think I explained myself very well. 

 

What I take issue with is people judging others for using reins or a leash but then being happy to put a kid old enough to walk and in a situation where the only thing stopping them from walking is safety, into a stroller, rather than go the extra mile and put them on a leashh. TBH I think strollers are sometimes used to restrain kids and while I can totally understand that, and don't even have a problem with parents just doing it because they are tired and fed up-we all need to pace ourselves-I do think that to present a stroller (or a sling) as somehow superior to a leash is a bit daft. 

 

I just honestly do not get this. Special needs, your own tiredness or convenience or whatever aside-and these are good reasons- why on earth would you want your kid in a stroller or an Ergo, sat there, not moving much, when they could be walking independently and being safe? I don't have a problem with people using strollers or slings at all, I just struggle with them being presented as somehow better for the child. Most kids need more exercise than they get.

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#93 of 120 Old 05-12-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A lot of toddlers aren't content to sit in a stroller when they're out, too. Some are explorers and really need to be on their feet looking at everything. I think leashes can be preferable to a stroller for those kids. I see this as another "know your kid" issue. We know what our kid can handle, what our kid wants, what our kid needs, and what safety considerations we need for our kid. We can take all that information and find the right solution for us.
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#94 of 120 Old 05-12-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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I don't care if anyone uses a stroller or leash or ergo or whatever. Who cares what anyone else does? I have not used a leash yet but i won't say never. I am about to have my 4th child after all...


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#95 of 120 Old 05-15-2013, 01:46 PM
 
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I don't care if anyone uses a stroller or leash or ergo or whatever. Who cares what anyone else does? I have not used a leash yet but i won't say never. I am about to have my 4th child after all...

Me too (except about the 4th kid thing). Let's be friends ;)

 

I remember a thread about this eons ago.  Somebody had some crazy theory about how you could train your toddler not to run off by teaching them car danger and all that.   Oh, and there was some magical "zone" where they wouldn't run further than 20 feet from the safety of their mother.  being a new and easily guilt-tripped parent, I bought all this BS hook, line, sinker.  Until I actually tried it with my bolter.  Turns out there is no magical safety zone and even with training they still run off!  Cos, it turns out, toddlers (or at least mine) aren't very smart! hahaha. 

 

Man.  Who cares, seriously. 

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#96 of 120 Old 05-15-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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I think using leashes is just like baby wearing and cosleeping: that is to say not useful or needed for every child but ideal for some. My DD didn't like being worn and sleeps better apart from me. She doesn't need a leash because she's one of those mythical two year olds who only gets at most 10 feet ahead of me, stops when I ask and ALWAYS holds my hand to cross streets and parking lots. She also tolerates the stroller when I really need her in one. It would be silly of me to put a leash/backpack on her because she doesn't need the help and extra safety due to her cautious nature. I'm expecting baby #2 this summer and won't hesitate to get a leash if this little person turns out to be a bolter. I really think this is a matter of mom knows her child best and if a backpack/leash is used, it is for good reason.
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#97 of 120 Old 05-15-2013, 03:03 PM
 
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My daughter had one for when we went on the Vegas strip or to other busy places. She had one that looked like a monkey and loved it, well still does. She is now 5 and I still catch her with it on in her room. She said before that its like getting monkey hugs and she puts stuff in the little pocket. We only ever used it a few times out but when she was 4 she wanted to wear it all the time in the house when she was playing.
 


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#98 of 120 Old 06-09-2013, 03:47 PM
 
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I am glad to see so many nonjudgmental replies! I definitely think child leashes are fine. I grew up with two autistic brothers, one of them was a bolter. He would just run off without looking. When he was 9 or so (I was five) we were walking back to the car after a picnic at a park and he bolted, got hit by a car and spent 3 nights in the hospital. CPS was called due to child neglect. Years before, I was a tiny baby in a stroller, my sister (not autistic) was 4, brothers were 5 and 6- the whole family went to the fair and Grandpa had the bright idea to put the boys in overalls and attach ropes to the back of the overalls. They enjoyed it, had a good time at the fair but someone called CPS and reported it, so they never did it again. Sometimes you can't win :)

 

Like many of the previous posters, my older son was an early walker and I bought a "monkey backpack" for him to use at airports, etc- He enjoyed the freedom and he STILL remembers it, although the last time he used it he had just turned two. It was a serious lifesaver on a trip to India when he was 19-22 months old and he got a lot of attention! "A monkey with a monkey" ppl said. 

 

In other cultures, it's perfectly acceptable to 'leash' a child. In a very populated place like India, it isn't uncommon to see mothers trying fabric on their wrist and their child's wrist so they don't get separated from their little one. 

 

My youngest son is 2.5 now and he has always been very easy.. holding hands when we walked, if he did wander off, just calling him back was enough. In the last few weeks though, he has totally changed. He refuses to hold hands and will NOT come back if he wanders off. I have considered getting a leash for him, hoping it will make him feel a little more independent while still being safe but really don't want to deal with peoples comments. 

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#99 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 04:13 AM
 
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I worry that a leash might give the child a false sense of security. I always keep an eye on my kids, but I also teach them to keep an eye on me. Being on a leash would be teaching them that it's safe for them to bolt or just go in any direction and rely on me to pull them back or redirect them. I really don't want to do that.

I also think using a leash is lazy parenting sometimes. Either keep your eyes on your kid, or stay in places where your kid will be safe. Of course there are exceptions and special circumstances, but for a trip to the grocery store or a walk in the park? No, I wouldn't ever have considered wearing one, even when I had two under 2 and my oldest DD was a bolter. I kept an eye on her, and when we were in a dangerous place, like on the side of a road, I made her hold on to the handle of the stroller or shopping cart or hold my hand.

 

And about the degrading vs. not degrading debate: what would you say if you saw an adult with special needs on a leash? Would that be okay? Because if not, then why is it okay to put one on a toddler?

To me, it's not about the childs or the person with cognitive difficulties' perception, it's about the signals that we send to other people. How can we  expect people to respect childrens rights and treat them as individuals, if we send out a not-so-subtle signal to society at large that kids are just like dogs to be kept on a leash?

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#100 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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And about the degrading vs. not degrading debate: what would you say if you saw an adult with special needs on a leash? Would that be okay? Because if not, then why is it okay to put one on a toddler?
Your analogy isn't quite working for me. Ever see an adult with special needs breastfeeding? How about naked, running through a sprinkler in a front yard? There are too many ways in which the two groups are distinct. You have a strange method for evaluating what is ok for a small child.

And as for the rest of your post, it seems judgmental for the sake of being judgmental.
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#101 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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I worry that a leash might give the child a false sense of security. I always keep an eye on my kids, but I also teach them to keep an eye on me. Being on a leash would be teaching them that it's safe for them to bolt or just go in any direction and rely on me to pull them back or redirect them. I really don't want to do that.
I also think using a leash is lazy parenting sometimes. Either keep your eyes on your kid, or stay in places where your kid will be safe. Of course there are exceptions and special circumstances, but for a trip to the grocery store or a walk in the park? No, I wouldn't ever have considered wearing one, even when I had two under 2 and my oldest DD was a bolter. I kept an eye on her, and when we were in a dangerous place, like on the side of a road, I made her hold on to the handle of the stroller or shopping cart or hold my hand.

And about the degrading vs. not degrading debate: what would you say if you saw an adult with special needs on a leash? Would that be okay? Because if not, then why is it okay to put one on a toddler?
To me, it's not about the childs or the person with cognitive difficulties' perception, it's about the signals that we send to other people. How can we  expect people to respect childrens rights and treat them as individuals, if we send out a not-so-subtle signal to society at large that kids are just like dogs to be kept on a leash?

I sort of get the false sense of security thing, although the use of a leash doesn't mean you're going to let your kid pull you with it and be wild. It can definitely be used as a training tool for learning how to hold hands and stay close, which I think is great.

As for not being a lazy parent and "keeping an eye" on your kid, an eye is not going to stop your kid from running into the street unless you are some kind of wizard. If your daughter would hold your hand or hold onto the stroller handle when asked, she was not a bolter. Bolters don't hold things and stay close, they bolt when you least expect it, in a parking lot, or a crowded airport. That's why they are called bolters. In my opinion, good parenting happens when you care more about the safety of your child than the message you are worried about sending others.

And again, exactly how is a leash worse than strapping a kid in a stroller? How would you feel if you saw a special needs adult, who could walk, strapped into a stroller?

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#102 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 01:19 PM
 
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I worry that a leash might give the child a false sense of security. I always keep an eye on my kids, but I also teach them to keep an eye on me. Being on a leash would be teaching them that it's safe for them to bolt or just go in any direction and rely on me to pull them back or redirect them. I really don't want to do that.

I also think using a leash is lazy parenting sometimes. Either keep your eyes on your kid, or stay in places where your kid will be safe. 

 

Places where your kid will be safe? So, never leave the house? Never walk through a parking lot (I hate and fear parking lots when it comes to kids - they're insanely dangerous)? Never walk down the street?

 

I only used a harness with one of my children, but she certainly never experienced a false sense of safety. Also, being on a leash isn't to teach them anything (I'm not trying to teach them anything when I use a stroller or carrier, either). It's a tool to help keep them safe while they learn. 

 

Of course there are exceptions and special circumstances, but for a trip to the grocery store or a walk in the park? No, I wouldn't ever have considered wearing one, even when I had two under 2 and my oldest DD was a bolter. I kept an eye on her, and when we were in a dangerous place, like on the side of a road, I made her hold on to the handle of the stroller or shopping cart or hold my hand.

 

My oldest son once pulled loose from my hand, and bolted straight into the street. I went after him, lost my footing on the wet grass, and wasn't able to regain my feet before he was smack in the center of the intersection. I was keeping an eye - and a hand - on him. I never actually used a harness with him, but if I'd been using one that day, he wouldn't have ended up in street, with a truck stopped dead not ten feet away.

 

Quite honestly, if you have/had a child who would simply hold onto the handle of the stroller or shopping cart, because she was told to, you have no conception of what many of us are talking about.

 

And about the degrading vs. not degrading debate: what would you say if you saw an adult with special needs on a leash? Would that be okay? Because if not, then why is it okay to put one on a toddler?

 

I have no idea what I'd think if I saw that, especially as special needs (in children and adults) can be totally invisible to the outside eye. However, I doubt it would raise my eyebrows to any greater extent than seeing an adult in a stroller, being cradled to another adult in some kind of sling, or any of the other ways in which the ways we treat children are different than the way we treat adults. (For example, while I'm all for extended breastfeeding, I'd certainly be surprised to see an adult nursing in public!)

 

To me, it's not about the childs or the person with cognitive difficulties' perception, it's about the signals that we send to other people. How can we  expect people to respect childrens rights and treat them as individuals, if we send out a not-so-subtle signal to society at large that kids are just like dogs to be kept on a leash?

 

This is just weird, imo. If other people are stupid enough to equate my concern for my child's safety with a belief that my children are "just like dogs", I'm not really concerned about what those people think. If someone fails to treat children with respect, because some parents choose to use a leash or harness, then that person is looking for an excuse to disrespect children. There is nothing inherently disrespectful about using a leash or harness with a child, and other people's perceptions and emotional baggage aren't -and shouldn't be - the deciding factors in how I choose to parent (or how anyone else does so).

 

I also have to say that I've met a whole lot of people who disrespect children who wouldn't even consider using a leash.


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#103 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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Seeing an adult on a leash would give me some pause, because leashes on adults are associated with master/slave-type sexual relationships; as opposed to leashes on toddlers, which are associated with keeping toddlers from running off. Entirely different. But, thinking about it, if a mentally-impaired adult would have greater freedom and safety with a leash than with a stroller, and was able to share more life experiences due to a leash, and didn't find it degrading... why not? I have a sister with special needs, and it probably looked degrading when my family calmly let her fall asleep in a heap under the table at restaurants, but it didn't bother her at all, and once she was too heavy to lift it was pretty much that or keep her home from restaurants, which she loved (at least in the five minutes before her excitement-induced narcolepsy kicked in!)

 

As to whether leashing promotes disrespect - well, plenty of cultures have done it throughout history. Can you draw a correlation between cultures that leashed children and cultures that failed to respect them, compared to similar cultures who did not leash (to control for other social factors)?

 

The "leashing children likens them to dogs" thing reminds me of the old line about "I'm not going to breastfeed, I'm not a cow." If more humans did it, it would lose its animalistic associations. And indeed, to a large extent leashing has, given that they make cute backpack-style leashes clearly designed for children, not dogs.

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#104 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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I already mentioned this upthread, but we don't leash dogs because we're trying to communicate something about them being subhuman. We leash them so that they won't run away and get lost or hurt. Why wouldn't we do the same for our children if necessary? 

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#105 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 07:40 PM
 
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I just wanna say that my husband was leashed as a kid and now he is an aerial cinematographer and flies around in helicopters shooting video and film all over the world.

I don't think he feels or ever felt disrespected or treated "like a dog" LOL.

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#106 of 120 Old 06-12-2013, 07:43 PM
 
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Totally agree Lovemylab - I wasn't a fan until I became a mother. I really understood the point and use for them once my babies started jetting off into different directions. I tried to not use it that much, but came in handy when we went to really busy places!

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#107 of 120 Old 06-14-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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I would not use a leash. Mainly because I believe in treating children as though they have the same feelings as adults. The feelings an adult would experience if forced to wear a leash could be the same feelings a child might have: embarrassment, fear, feeling trapped, etc. I also feel that it's important to explain things to your children. If you use a leash instead of teaching them about traffic, the possibility of getting lost, etc, then you are missing an opportunity. I also think that it takes away a level of trust. Even a two-year-old can tell if you don't trust them.

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#108 of 120 Old 06-14-2013, 01:54 PM
 
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I would not use a leash. Mainly because I believe in treating children as though they have the same feelings as adults. The feelings an adult would experience if forced to wear a leash could be the same feelings a child might have: embarrassment, fear, feeling trapped, etc. I also feel that it's important to explain things to your children. If you use a leash instead of teaching them about traffic, the possibility of getting lost, etc, then you are missing an opportunity. I also think that it takes away a level of trust. Even a two-year-old can tell if you don't trust them.

 

You might want to read the thread, as you clearly haven't. Using a leash isn't a substitute for teaching children about getting lost, traffic, etc.

 

My daughter loved the harness and frequently got it out to play with for several years, both during the period when we were actively using it, and afterward. She never showed any sign of embarrassment, fear or feelings of being trapped. 


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#109 of 120 Old 06-14-2013, 02:44 PM
 
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You might want to read the thread, as you clearly haven't. Using a leash isn't a substitute for teaching children about getting lost, traffic, etc.

 

My daughter loved the harness and frequently got it out to play with for several years, both during the period when we were actively using it, and afterward. She never showed any sign of embarrassment, fear or feelings of being trapped. 

Certainly you are not suggesting that I must read all six pages of a thread before I'm allowed to offer my personal opinion in response to a question asked. Maybe you have time for that, but I occasionally want to weigh in on an issue without spending hours contemplating the opinions of every other person first.

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Of course it's your prerogative to respond to a thread any time, but if you weigh in on a thread before reading it, you're likely to cover points that have already been discussed, and in the discussion you might read some perspectives that inform or even change your own view. 

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#111 of 120 Old 06-14-2013, 09:40 PM
 
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Certainly you are not suggesting that I must read all six pages of a thread before I'm allowed to offer my personal opinion in response to a question asked. Maybe you have time for that, but I occasionally want to weigh in on an issue without spending hours contemplating the opinions of every other person first.

 

Of course you're free to weigh in whenever you want. But, if you want to have an opinion on the effects of a leash, the reasons for using a leash, etc., it's a good idea to actually find out something about it before randomly insulting other parents.

 

FWIW, I've personally seen more unwilling children strapped into strollers, strapped into carseats, or bundled into a carrier than I've seen put on a leash. (That might be because a leash allows a certain freedom of motion, and children who don't like them quite often simply sit down and refuse to walk.)


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#112 of 120 Old 06-14-2013, 09:45 PM
 
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Certainly you are not suggesting that I must read all six pages of a thread before I'm allowed to offer my personal opinion in response to a question asked. Maybe you have time for that, but I occasionally want to weigh in on an issue without spending hours contemplating the opinions of every other person first.
It just seems like bad form to be eager to express your opinion but unwilling to entertain those of others who have already been participating in the conversation. I can understand skimming the thread or skipping some of it, but just butting in with your $.02 without reading it at all is kinda presumptuous, I think.

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#113 of 120 Old 06-14-2013, 10:01 PM
 
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Okay ladies,

I am reminding you the topic of the thread.Leashes for Children ? Yes or no?

Please stay on topic and respectful to all opinions given wether you like them or not (http://www.mothering.com/community/a/user-agreement). It is okay for someone to post their opinion on a thread even if they have not read every(100) post. Most people skim over posts and then respond. Let's move on with the discussion of leashes.

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#114 of 120 Old 06-16-2013, 07:05 AM
 
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(skimmed - sorry of some of this has been covered)  

 

I agree with a lot of members here who say that these are another tool that can be used well - similar to a stroller or carrier. My first was a total sling baby. It's true that you can totally pop a baby, toddler, kid in a carrier when taking the time and energy to allow them free movement isn't possible. I know, because I did it all the time! And, also, trust me that some people think the sling is akin to child abuse!  eyesroll.gif

 

My second doesn't love the sling, or maybe we just don't have the lifestyle/climate to make the sling as useful as it was for my first. She really likes the stroller and even likes the car. She's higher energy and I think being strapped into a moving thing where she just sits there feels like a break to her. 

 

Because of that I feel like I get a big break in the day with her willing to be in a stroller (and occasionally the sling) so I usually don't mind giving her my focus when she walks and explores. 

 

I've never used a harness with either of my kids (though I may have tied a sling like a harness for fun on occasion) but I certainly don't begrudge a parent using a tool to get through the day. 99% of us do in some way or another and there's always someone who sees fault in this or that. I say live and let live! love.gif


Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#115 of 120 Old 06-18-2013, 05:23 AM
 
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My two girls were early walkers, but they never bolted. I thought the tethers were terrible. Like a dog leash. Just a horrible thing to do to a child. Then, like so many things that have humbled me, after I had my son, I swallowed those views whole. He walked a week before 8months, and was on top of tables and running by 9 months. He had (still has at 8) poor impulse control. He could get himself out of a stroller or grocery cart, no matter how tightly he was belted in (he could also get into/out of most child safety devices, but that's a whole other story for another time). The backpacks were cute (way better than the wrist to wrist tethers that were around when my oldest was born 17 years ago), and he didn't mind it. Also, he wasn't a big fan of being worn, and I hadn't really mastered baby wearing at the time.

 

The older child you are mentioning could have special needs. Or the parent could be horrible. You just don't know. I choose to think the best and not judge, because I know *I* don't want to be judged for choices I make with my children. Choices that may not look like the best to others. But I know my intent, and I know I'm trying my hardest, and doing the best for them. I would like to assume others are doing the same.
 

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#116 of 120 Old 06-18-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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Today I spent time with a friend whose daughter just turned 2 and is the size of an average 5-year-old, so it occurs to me reading the above that a child who seems inappropriately old for a leash might also be big for her age. Again, there are many possible reasons that a parent chooses to use a leash. 

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#117 of 120 Old 06-18-2013, 08:14 PM
 
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It still weirds me out when people complain about kid leashes on the basis of the the superficial similarity to dog leashes. What do all these people have against dogs? I mean, there are all sorts of other things people do with both toddlers and dogs. Play pens and cribs seem like they'd be more objectionable than leashes. (Especially those big usually-hexagonal pens that are pretty much identical to the ones they make for dogs.) But there's all sorts of other things we do with both babies/toddlers and dogs, like forbid them from leaving the home without us, cuddle them, carry them around (size permitting), dress them in stupid sweaters, feel a compulsion to interact with them when we meet new ones in public, baby-talk, let them sleep on your bed even when society says it's a terrible idea, etc. I mean, should I not get my sick child medical attention because the fact that vets exist makes it disrespectful to do so?

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#118 of 120 Old 06-18-2013, 09:08 PM
 
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I used one for my oldest and it looks like I may have to use one for my youngest. I care nothing for what other parents think because it's not their kid that will be squashed in a parking lot, it's mine. If you think I'm lazy for it, well...I can't convince you otherwise. If you have kids who are compliant enough to not ever have to entertain the thought of a leash, then I envy you smile.gif
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#119 of 120 Old 06-18-2013, 10:01 PM
 
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Funny development- I got the harness with the frog "backpack" and it has totally become his lovey. So cute'

At home amongst the redwoods treehugger.gif with my husband and my son, born 7/5/11 familybed1.gif  Instant CNM, just add caffix.gif !

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#120 of 120 Old 06-22-2013, 11:01 PM
 
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ElderSon was always incredibly aware of his surroundings and danger. When he was just barely 2, I went for a walk with him and my father in downtown San Francisco. He had never been on a sidewalk in his life (we lived on a sailboat in the Caribbean, and this was our first visit home). ElderSon ran ahead every block, and I knew I could totally trust him to wait at the corner for us to catch up. My father was petrified, and would have been so much happier if I had used a leash, or stroller, or sling, or handcuffs! Neither of my other bio-kids ever needed a leash, so I was quick to critisize parents who needed leashes. But then I met LittleGirl, a foster daughter who came to me at 6 years old. This child had no concept of danger, no awareness of traffic, no idea of safety. I wish I could have used a leash for her until she was 8 or 9! I needed the childproof locks on the car doors, to hold her hand anytime we were out of the house. She could be counted on to dart across a parking lot, wander off in the supermarket - I lost her more times than I can count. I promise I will never judge anyone again for keeping their kid safe - whatever it takes!
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Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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