Leashes for children...yeah or nay. - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Leashes...yeah or nay?
Horrible devices of evil. 67 24.19%
Necessary evil for child safety. 62 22.38%
A good tool that gives greater freedom to child and parent. 132 47.65%
Cool....I always wanted another pet. 16 5.78%
Voters: 277. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you believe that leashes are horrible devices of evil, necessary evil for safety, or a good thing for everyone?

quoting myself so I don't have to retype my view point

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A word in defense of leashes.

Getting a leash and using it was done out of respect for my dd's needs. I used the harness type (don't like to restrict hand movement) for quite a while to the enjoyment and freedom of both my dd and I.

Beyond the safety argument (which parents who must grocery shop, have two children, etc. should understand) there is the issue of child freedom. My dd did not want to hold my hand and stay 6 inches away from me all the time. It was insulting her personhood and she let me know about it in no uncertain terms. When she was wearing her harness she could be 3-4 feet away from me doing her own thing, talking to herself, being her own person. She really needed and enjoyed this freedom and it showed in her attititude and also in mine. The increased pleasantness gave me energy to be a more fun mama to her.

Nothing is ever right for all people but leashes are a great thing for some
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#2 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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What, on children??

ETA my response. I personally think they look ridiculous, and wouldn't use one on my children. But I can't put myself in other parents places i suppose. So I shouldn't judge.

Non Practicing Midwife, going back to school! Mamma to my 3 loves, living each day to the fullest.
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#3 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good point- off to edit title. BTW this is a spin off from the- threads you would never see here- thread.
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#4 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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yes on children.

I don't think they're evil, but as I said in the other thread I wouldn't use them. My dd doesn't like me holding her hand all the time either, but if she doesn't stay within an appropriate distance from me or come when called then she either has to hold my hand or be carried. She's actually pretty good about it now, she's had a few tantrums about it but learned quickly. My problem, as I stated in the other thread, with leashes is that they don't teach children boundaries. Once the leash comes off they could run off. To me that's like being extremely strict with your child, spanking them, being overcontrolling etc and then when they are out of your sight they rebel and do whatever they want. I think my goal as a parent is to guide my daughter so she can make the right choices whether I'm there or not. If I used tools like leashes or spanking(not that they're the same, spanking is much worse) she wouldn't learn self discipline and control.
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#5 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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btw I can't vote on your poll. I don't think they're evil and I don't think they're wonderful either.
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#6 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:44 PM
 
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My mum used a harness for my younger sister, it was great in the sense that she was never out of sight but as soon as the harness was off so was she. It just looks so degrading to me. I used to work with mentally disabled adults who had the mental age of 2 year olds imagine if I had put one of them on a leash!
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#7 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DM- did you cover the electrical outlets in your house or did you leave them all exposed so you could physically teach her the boundries?
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#8 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I see children always being held or kept within a foot of parents it looks repressive and stifling to me. ((((shrug))))


To clarify AGAIN for any newcomers- I am referring to children who are being held against their will and are requesting freedom of movement and are not being given it.
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#9 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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I can't be there watching her like a hawk 24/7 in the house, so yes I covered the outlets and did other baby proofing. When we're outside I am watching the entire time though

My child is not always within a foot of me. When we walk from the house to the car she is as much as 5-10 feet away from me sometimes in the yard, not far enough to be able to outrun me though. If we're crossing the street though she has to hold my hand. Carrying your child all the time is stifling? Do you really belong on this board if you believe that?
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#10 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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Never used one myself but I think they can be great. There are photos of my parents touring Europe with my brothers and me. 4 kids under 7 yrs. They have a harness on my toddler brother. He almost fell into the gondolla before they decided to buy it.
I think I would get one of those bracelets with a plastic coil. We could both wear a bracelet and it would be even. I see it as a safe thing to use if you expect to be in a large crowded, outdoor event.
Those with more than one child would probably have an easier time envisioning the use of a harness or wrist coil.
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#11 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:52 PM
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I just tie a long scarf around DD's wrist and around my belt loop. It's about five feet long. DD (two in august) simply refuses to hold my hand while walking. so, the "leash" it is.

The only comments I've gotten were from several little old ladies at the farmers' market who commented on some variation of "oh boy, you must have a runner, huh!" and commiserated with me about the joys of toddlerdom.
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#12 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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I voted Horrible......

However, that was my rigid opinion for many years. I still am very uncomfortable with the idea, but I can see families with more than one very small child, twins, etc. using them. And if it makes a mama feel safer, then who am I to judge? I also don't flip out over someone's choice to use them, just seems horrible to me for mine
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#13 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 06:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama
When I see children always being held or kept within a foot of parents it looks repressive and stifling to me. ((((shrug))))

I carry my dd most of the time we are out, and other times she usually stays close to me.
Funny that what I think is securely attached you see as being stifling.
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#14 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DestinysMama
I can't be there watching her like a hawk 24/7 in the house, so yes I covered the outlets and did other baby proofing. When we're outside I am watching the entire time though

My child is not always within a foot of me. When we walk from the house to the car she is as much as 5-10 feet away from me sometimes in the yard, not far enough to be able to outrun me though. If we're crossing the street though she has to hold my hand. Carrying your child all the time is stifling? Do you really belong on this board if you believe that?
Watching does not equal safe. On a sidewalk 5-10 feet is plenty of space for a child to get into the street. In a store 5-10 feet is enough for them to get in a crowd and be lost.

Different children are well...different. My dd was a freedom fighter from the very beginning. She was almost 2 1/2 when my ds was born and she loved to run and wanted space. There was no way for me to keep her safe without the leash. It grew from there though- she blossomed under that little bit of freedom. Her frustration level decreased dramaticaly and she became a happier child.

Yes I belong here. Not all children want to be held all the time. Some children don't like being held a lot, slings, strollers, high chairs, play pens, cribs, etc.- basically anything that restrains their free movement. My dd is one of them. My ds loved his sling, loved being held, liked strollers, no play pens or cribs for us though.
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#15 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:02 PM
 
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I used a leash on my ds2 after I had my third baby. He used to think it was hysterical to run and hide when we were out. After the second time that I almost had a heart attack, I put him on a leash. I actually only used it 2-3 times, because he started to relize if he didn't run, I would let him be a bit further away from me and the compromise worked! I guess it depends on how you use it, and your childs personality.

 
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#16 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiahnsmum

I carry my dd most of the time we are out, and other times she usually stays close to me.
Funny that what I think is securely attached you see as being stifling.

It looks stifling when the child is fighting and screaming to get down and have some freedom. Don't we have to balance love of a philosophy with respect for our children's needs?
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#17 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:04 PM
 
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Not something that should be necessary for everyday use, but definitely has it's place for the very crowded/busy public place + very spirited, quick child.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#18 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:05 PM
 
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Well, if they work for others and the child is happy, then fine. I tried it with DS at the airport and it was a nightmare. He pulled too hard on it and fell on his chin. Haven't used it since and never will again.
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#19 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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Hmmm I voted Cool...I always wanted another pet because none of the other options fit. I have seen some parents use them as substitutes for parenting. Hey the kids on a leash I don't have to watch them. And I've seen Other parents useing them responsibly. And I have used one on my high energy 3yr old and just about strangled him as he was spinning circles wrapping the leash around his neck in the process. For me using the Leash is not a good idea. For others if you use it correctly and not as a substitute for watching your children its okay.


On a related note. One of my Ex Step Brothers used to put a dog harness on his 4yr old hook her to the dog zip line and let her go because he didn't want to be outside with her playing/watching. Course all that stopped when he had to explain to the ER Doc how his four year old daughter ended up with fractured ribs after falling from her playset and dangling upside down by a zip line.
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#20 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama
Watching does not equal safe. On a sidewalk 5-10 feet is plenty of space for a child to get into the street. In a store 5-10 feet is enough for them to get in a crowd and be lost.

Different children are well...different. My dd was a freedom fighter from the very beginning. She was almost 2 1/2 when my ds was born and she loved to run and wanted space. There was no way for me to keep her safe without the leash. It grew from there though- she blossomed under that little bit of freedom. Her frustration level decreased dramaticaly and she became a happier child.

Yes I belong here. Not all children want to be held all the time. Some children don't like being held a lot, slings, strollers, high chairs, play pens, cribs, etc.- basically anything that restrains their free movement. My dd is one of them. My ds loved his sling, loved being held, liked strollers, no play pens or cribs for us though.

Like I said, if we're in a street she has to hold my hand or be held. If we're in the store she usually rides in the shopping cart. My daughter is the typical toddler, she tries to push the boundaries and see what she can get away with. She has always been what dr sears refers to as "high needs" ever since she was a newborn. She loves being held though and is generally a very cuddly baby. But sometimes she wants to explore and that's fine as long as it's a safe place to do so.

if you're a slinging mama I really don't understand how can you think that holding your child often is stifling them. I had to check the top of my browser, I thought I was on a mainstream board for a second! LOL
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#21 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama
It looks stifling when the child is fighting and screaming to get down and have some freedom. Don't we have to balance love of a philosophy with respect for our children's needs?
Children cannot always have what they want. When my daughter throws a tantrum in the store because she want's a toy I don't just give into her cries because I'm worried that other people will think I'm not "respecting her needs". She has to understand that she cannot just run off whenever she wants to. Personally I think putting a leash on a child is what's stifling, you're sending them the message they can't be trusted to learn impulse control.
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#22 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coopnwhitsmommy
Hmmm I voted Cool...I always wanted another pet because none of the other options fit. I have seen some parents use them as substitutes for parenting. Hey the kids on a leash I don't have to watch them. And I've seen Other parents useing them responsibly. And I have used one on my high energy 3yr old and just about strangled him as he was spinning circles wrapping the leash around his neck in the process. For me using the Leash is not a good idea. For others if you use it correctly and not as a substitute for watching your children its okay.


On a related note. One of my Ex Step Brothers used to put a dog harness on his 4yr old hook her to the dog zip line and let her go because he didn't want to be outside with her playing/watching. Course all that stopped when he had to explain to the ER Doc how his four year old daughter ended up with fractured ribs after falling from her playset and dangling upside down by a zip line.

omg
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#23 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
Not something that should be necessary for everyday use, but definitely has it's place for the very crowded/busy public place + very spirited, quick child.
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
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#24 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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I'm actually off to order one right now. I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately. I've never really liked the looks of them, but my dd is a runner and she has given me several near heart attacks in the recent weeks. I also have two small children and it's very difficult to keep my hands on her at all times. The other day she totally ran out into the road before I could get my hands on her and came within a few feet of getting hit. It scared me so bad. She also doesn't like to be held and doesn't like the stroller. We are going to be in an airport this next weekend and I have to have a way to keep track of her w/o stiffling her freedom. To the poster who said it doesn't teach them boundaries; I don't think at 2 they have the control to have boundaries. At 3 or 4, I could see it as more of a problem, when they are more verbal and should be learning more boundaries, but right now, it is something that we need.

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#25 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama
When I see children always being held or kept within a foot of parents it looks repressive and stifling to me. ((((shrug))))
:LOL

Oh wait, you're serious? What board am I on? I'm confused!

I can't vote, because while I generally think they're horrible, I'm sure there are children or situations where they might be appropriate. I try not to judge, but it turns my stomach to see it. I think too many people give their children too little credit. It's one thing when they're too small to understand, but when we're talking about 4, 5, 6 year olds, I'm sorry, but it's ridiculous (in most cases).

Using the outlet covers example , when she was small, I had them. Once she got around two and understood why she couldn't mess with them, I took them off. She's never touched them. But she understood that before I took them off, because I never let her mess with them, and I always explained why she couldn't touch them. Removing the covers was just me saying I trusted her.
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#26 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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Just want to add that my older dd was the runner child of all time. Don't think that I didn't wistfully glance at the leash an unsuspecting friend gave me, once or twice. My younger baby seems to be less "run with the wind child", happily for mama She still likes to explore and has plenty of personality but doesn't go flying toward the road at breakneck speed, delightedly chasing a leaf or a bird. At least not yet, hope I haven't jinxed myself My oldest did this until she was like 5! A leash would look pretty odd at that age, eh? :LOL
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#27 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scheelimama
I'm actually off to order one right now. I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately. I've never really liked the looks of them, but my dd is a runner and she has given me several near heart attacks in the recent weeks. I also have two small children and it's very difficult to keep my hands on her at all times. The other day she totally ran out into the road before I could get my hands on her and came within a few feet of getting hit. It scared me so bad. She also doesn't like to be held and doesn't like the stroller. We are going to be in an airport this next weekend and I have to have a way to keep track of her w/o stiffling her freedom. To the poster who said it doesn't teach them boundaries; I don't think at 2 they have the control to have boundaries. At 3 or 4, I could see it as more of a problem, when they are more verbal and should be learning more boundaries, but right now, it is something that we need.
my daughter is two, she's learning boundaries. I think they're a lot smarter then we give them credit for. Of course I only have one child to keep an eye on, if I had a few it might be different.
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#28 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:18 PM
 
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I think we as a society think of it as a "pet" device, which may make some people feel it demeans our children to use a "pet" thing on a child.

However, when you must be in a large crowd of people, and you may already have a baby in a sling or stroller, and you need to keep another child close at hand, why not? Better to keep them safe and close, imo...

And I don't know about anyone else's kids, but my girls always hit an age where sling or stroller just WOULD not work anymore, and they would wiggle and struggle and freak out, so I had to let them down... however, they all stayed close to me so I never used a leash... but my sil's son? Needs one!

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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#29 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DestinysMama
if you're a slinging mama I really don't understand how can you think that holding your child often is stifling them. I had to check the top of my browser, I thought I was on a mainstream board for a second! LOL

My dd did not enjoy being in the sling a lot of the time- my ds another story. My dd liked the feeling of walking and looking at things without anyone touching her.

Is respecting a child's individuality and needs more mainstream than AP?
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#30 of 211 Old 06-25-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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if your child doesn't like to be stifled then by all means don't use a sling. But don't say that everyone else who holds their child or keeps them within a foot of them is stifling their child. My daughter likes to be close to me usually, loves to be held and cuddled. You said when you see other children being held all the time they look stifled. That is why your remark sounded mainstream. You weren't talking about individual children, you made a generalization.
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