Do You Use Child Leashes? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-03-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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I just wanted to thank everyone for the civil tone here and opening my eyes about appropriate reasons to use a kid leash.

Until I read this thread, I was 100% opposed to them and thought they were degrading. Of course, I've seen them wildly misused by neglectful and borderline abusive parents, so that didn't give me a good impression.

Having it framed as an alternative to being unwillingly carried or strapped in a stroller, plus the discomfort of holding hands for an extended period, has been enlightening.

So, thank you!
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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(bolding mine) So I guess my DS is careless, not confused. Fine, I have no problem with that label. He is brave and fearless and exceptionally curious. It's part of what makes him unique. Unfortunately its also puts him in danger. We don't want to squelch his sense of adventure. We just want to keep him alive so he can enjoy life past the age of 3!

Side note. There was an article called "Jumping Off Cliffs" in Mothering Magazine in the March/April 2009 issue. Much like my son, the boy in the article was full of endless energy, curiousity and fearlessness. They embraced it and tried to keep him safe while he explored his world. One of the pictures is of him as a little guy wearing a helmet so he could climb up into their treehouse. He's now an amazing dancer. I wish I could link to the article but it's not online.

Sometimes a child's need to "explore" is greater than their need for self preservation.
I meant carelessness as in accidental. I don't see many kids hanging out in the middle of a bonfire just for kicks. If they fall in, it's an accident, right? Curiousity is a little different from confusion. Curiousity might bring you close to danger, but usually there are still personal boundaries in place. Not everyones personal boundaries are the same. My DD's were WAY wider than mine. There were times we'd be at the pool when she was a toddler and she'd sit right on the side, or go running full force toward the pool as if to dive right in head first. It took all that I had not to yell "STOP!" or run and grab her. But 10 times out of 10 she did stop when she got to the edge even though it didn't look like she would. She would turn around and go in slowly. (FYI, I was always in a safe distance to help her, or in the pool myself so no real risk of her being in danger. I just had to prepare for it ahead of time because I knew as soon as she saw the pool she'd run right for it).



One more clarification for everyone - this whole infant innate sense of safety thing has really been scrutinized. All the points made about that are valid, and I agree with all of you who are saying it's not enough. I personally believe that we are born with safety limits, yet they continue to develop a lot through our young life. Infants who are worn on a daily basis are able to stay out of harms way while observing the safety limits of adults in their culture. Infants who aren't worn every day are still able to pick up on the actions and danger cues of those around them. Once toddlerhood hits, they take on a little more hands on method of learning safety. I'm not afraid to let my kids get hurt in the process of learning. (I'm talking falling down, bumps and bruises here, obviously not putting my kids in extreme danger).

I forget who asked about the difference in hand holding versus leashes? Sorry. For me, the difference is that hand holding happens during clearly dangerous situations, therefore signally a hightened stated of awareness. I hold DD's hand briefly to cross the street. While on a sidewalk she isn't made to hold hands. Maybe the main differences here are that we don't typically go anywhere super dangerous. We do a lot of city walking, but haven't run into a problem. We don't go to air ports. We only go to the fair once a year, and to the mall infrequently and when we do it never seems dangerously crowded.

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Old 06-03-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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Quick video of an interesting experiment:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyxMq...eature=related

It shows that while kids may recognize something as potentially dangerous, the look to adults for confirmation. They don't have that instinctual "safety" for the same reason that they aren't born with claws or fangs- unlike other animals they have an extremely effective safety mechanism: their parents.
I saw the whole video I think (it's great, or at least the one I saw with a visual cliff was), and what I retained from it was when the SAME KIDS started WALKING - they 'fell' off the cliff, because they had to relearn what a stair looked like from a standing position.

I can't remember if it was my husband and I talking after or in the video itself that we were like "whoa, if parents thought kids would still behave the same way, that would explain a lot of ER visits."

That was enough for me to decide that for our family that we would be in charge of safety as the adults. I do agree with giving kids some room for bumps and bruises, but there's a limit.

I also think that our modern world just doesn't give kids the right cues. If you're an adult Ye'kwana you probably won't step into a bonfire, and so the kids will never see that. But as an adult in the modern world, you might well walk past a line of parked cars in a parking lot. A child will not necessarily be able to get as much out of that modelling for a lot longer.

But I did get that MammaB21 was just explaining her approach, which works for her.

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Old 06-03-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Not everyones personal boundaries are the same. My DD's were WAY wider than mine. There were times we'd be at the pool when she was a toddler and she'd sit right on the side, or go running full force toward the pool as if to dive right in head first. It took all that I had not to yell "STOP!" or run and grab her. But 10 times out of 10 she did stop when she got to the edge even though it didn't look like she would.
I think this example really illustrates the difference between a child who, while might run off at times, is generally responsive to either parents' warnings or some innate sense of danger and a child like my oldest, who was the one who used a tether. He, more that one time, threw himself in to swimming pools, fountains, etc and had to be fished out. He didn't seem to learn from one time to the next. I'm not bringing this up to argue with you - it's just that I know plenty of real life AP parents who said that they were totally opposed to the "leash" thing until they saw my kid in action . Like you, I'm not a parent who is constantly on my kids with "be careful"s and "don't falls." In some areas, this same child had great instincts about his abilities. Take climbing, for example. He could scale the bookshelves in my living room from the time he was 8 months old. Scared the crap out of me, but I would just calmly remove him when I saw it happen. He has always had remarkable climbing skills and the only time I remember him getting hurt from the daredevilish stuff he did in that department was when he purposefully jumped from the top of a play structure just to see if he could. He found out that he could, but it hurt . It was a good lesson to learn. He's a monkey and I'm cool with that, and I get annoyed when other parents would tell him to stop doing something I knew he was comfortable doing (thankfully hear this less now that he's 9 than when he was three). I think those of us who are really in touch with our kids know what they can an can't handle - mine could handle walking on the top of a wall at 3, but he couldn't handle staying close enough to not get lost or hit by a car at that age.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Kinda like DS knows instinctively what he should and shouldn't touch or pick up, but has no clue that when he runs in one direction and I'm going in another it means we have a considerably harder time finding each other than if he stays near by.

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Old 06-03-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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And I hope that MammaB21's experiences help a cautious mama with a good listener seek out some safe exploration.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:39 AM
 
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Interesting subject. My mother used one on me after I tipped over my pack and play, stood on the couch, unhooked the screen and climbed outside only to have have our babysitter find me sitting in the yard playing with the dogs. She came in and asked my mom if she knew I was outside...........Mom freaked. I'm told I did this in less than 5 mins. I don't remember how old she told me I was but I know it had to be 4 or under because we left Ohio when I was 5.

She said at that point she realized that it was futile to attempt to thwart my curiosity and simply figured a leash would be the best compromise. My parents were strict disciplinarians and responsible parents when it came to my safety as a child so that was not an issue.

I generally carry my 3 year old daughter into the store then place her in a cart if there is one. If, for example, the store does not have carts such as the mall or best buy, she explores intensely in the immediate area. She's never taken off yet. Partly because she is so enthused about showing us the things she's discovering every 3 seconds. MOMMY DADDY LOOK!

When I see kids on leashes I sometimes laugh because I remember vaguely having one attached to me but I'll be honest and say that I've had the initial mental reaction of "just be a better parent" before. I of course know that every case is unique and that this mindset is poor. If it took attaching an anchor to my daughter to keep her safe, I'd do it. Public perception be damned.

The other thing that works is we are sensitive to our daughters time perception and try to keep boring trips directed and purposed. My mother used to hang out at the mall all day. This is simply not fun for kids, generally. It's easy for us to do because we don't like wasting time and can't for the life of ourselves figure out why people aimlessly hang out at stores. Now, when we got SAMS or costco; it takes a little while. Lot's of people, lots of stuff to buy, things are spread out etc. We rarely have in issue but when we do, we simply handle it by correcting her behavior. We have at times, admittedly, resorted to bribing as a poor substitute for maintaining patience but the overwhelming majority of the time we use it as a teaching experience.

This raising kids stuff is dynamic. Thus, there being no one model for success. I'd say attempt to curb the behavior with instruction but if you just can't, leash-em up. This isn't to suggest a failure on your part but perhaps just one of those things. I'm sure, eventually, anyone could curb a child of anything, but at what cost? You could scare the little guy till his creativity is shot and fear rules his life... yeah he may not run off anymore but... man.... what an expensive price! Every kid is different. I needed a leash. So far, my daughter doesn't.

Good topic.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:37 AM
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i do not know if i wrote on this thread before.

our preference is for our DS to be rather free-roaming when walking. for the most part, we simply walk closely to him and observe his surroundings when he explores. he can take off, but we are usually right there to grab him before he gets too far, or near something too dangerous for him.

when we are in crowded spaces, we are more likely to hold him or ask him to hold hands. he can still draw his hand away and take off, so we are cautious in crowds overall. i tend to avoid them myself.

likewise, we take him on city walks. a few afternoons a week, DH takes DS on city walks. they hold hands while walking on the side walks and he gets carried across the streets. he walks on the inside (away from the road side) and does well overall. he is learning the basics of city-street walking.

he is happy in carriers as well.

but.

there are a few times when the leash has been valuable.

1. my father broke both of his feet (17 breaks in one, and 21 or so in the other), and so his feet hurt quite a bit even though they are fixed. he can walk on them, albeit slowly.

my father loves to walk with DS, btu DS is still unpredictable enough to take off and head towards something dangerous. my dad cannot keep up with him or after him. so, when my father wants to be with DS, we put the leash on him (monkey back pack).

in particular, my family and I would go to crowded places togehter as well--so the mall at a sale time, or to the botanical gardens during the christmas time--and so on top of not being able to keep up with unpredictability, i also wanted he and DS to be close together as the leash would allow.

on such occasion, women have made comments. every person who did had their child in a stroller. to which i asserted "is it more or less problematic than having a child strapped into a wheeled chair?" honestly, a stroller is useful in many ways, but i believe it is overused, and that often used to control a child rather than simply to provide respite to child or adult (if the adult can't babywear for example). often, it is simply a means of control.

at least, the leash allows the child freedom of movement to explore.

2. when we moved from US to NZ, we had 8 large bags. i had the baby on the leash because he would not be worn that AM--we were all to keyed up.

it was helpful to me because i knew that he would be within a safe distance, and that it would be unlikely that he would be carried off, get lost, etc, and it made it easier to manage the tickets, the bags, security, etc etc etc while travelling.

once we were at the gate (bags checked, through security, etc) one would stay with the carry ons while the other pottied the baby, then we would switch (one going to get food or what have you), and then when both of us were settled, one would walk/play with the baby in the waiting area while the other read/rested. and we took turns.

because of our process, we had to go through security many times, and so once getting off a plane, we would have to transfer from domestic to itnernational flight, for example, going through security to get on that flight, and then once in NZ, getting off one flight and transfering to domestic--going through pass port control, inspection of our items, etc, and then back through security for the domestic flights.

so, i think we went through security about 6 times just to get here, and it was helpful to have hands free when he would nto be wrapped (also security didn't want him wrapped so that they could check us thoroughly).

otherwise, it is just a stuffed toy to him (i remove the leash when we are at home, because it is jsut a choking hazard IMO), and he loves his "monkey baby" and plays with it often. he also likes t attach it to his back pack (one of the carriers we use) so that his baby can also go for a ride).
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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Honestly, this is all because you have a compliant child. My first was that way and it's great. My second loves "red light, green light" unless we're out in public and and then "red light" turns in to "run faster light." It took until he was almost 3 for him to understand that he is not allowed to go in the street unless a parent is right next to him. Parking lots are my personal hell for similar reasons (though it's slowly getting better now!)

ETA: Our leash is a bear backpack harness that ds LOVES, so very un-dog like.
Yes. I agree. I have a child who is a runner. Or, rather, a bolter. Bolts everywhere, full speed, often not looking out for things that are in the way.

I have been out so many times with friends whose children are the same age and whose children STAY BY THEM for the most part at parks, stores, parking lots.

They might go off 5 feet or so, but they do not run off.

My child runs.

He does this at daycare, too. Runs off. So, it's not like I'm just not watching my child adequately.

My child has major sensory issues and I think the running is part of this.

I've used a leash, and it works wonders. It's sensory feedback (the harness). It calms and regulates my child. We have one of the bear ones too. Not at all like a dog lease. To say that is sort of belittling and missing the point, I think.

I've received some comments from afar, though, while DS has used the leash. It does hurt my feelings and I think some people just have no understanding. On them I wish someday they too will have a runner, so they will know what it's like to walk in our shoes.

I see nothing wrong with using a leash if it's for safety. They make some very inconspicuous, fun ones. They are not demeaning. And for kids with sensory integration issues, a harness is like a weighted vest - it's regulating and therapeutic.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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I meant carelessness as in accidental. I don't see many kids hanging out in the middle of a bonfire just for kicks. If they fall in, it's an accident, right? Curiousity is a little different from confusion. Curiousity might bring you close to danger, but usually there are still personal boundaries in place. Not everyones personal boundaries are the same. My DD's were WAY wider than mine. There were times we'd be at the pool when she was a toddler and she'd sit right on the side, or go running full force toward the pool as if to dive right in head first. It took all that I had not to yell "STOP!" or run and grab her. But 10 times out of 10 she did stop when she got to the edge even though it didn't look like she would. She would turn around and go in slowly. (FYI, I was always in a safe distance to help her, or in the pool myself so no real risk of her being in danger. I just had to prepare for it ahead of time because I knew as soon as she saw the pool she'd run right for it).

One more clarification for everyone - this whole infant innate sense of safety thing has really been scrutinized. All the points made about that are valid, and I agree with all of you who are saying it's not enough. I personally believe that we are born with safety limits, yet they continue to develop a lot through our young life. Infants who are worn on a daily basis are able to stay out of harms way while observing the safety limits of adults in their culture. Infants who aren't worn every day are still able to pick up on the actions and danger cues of those around them. Once toddlerhood hits, they take on a little more hands on method of learning safety. I'm not afraid to let my kids get hurt in the process of learning. (I'm talking falling down, bumps and bruises here, obviously not putting my kids in extreme danger).

I forget who asked about the difference in hand holding versus leashes? Sorry. For me, the difference is that hand holding happens during clearly dangerous situations, therefore signally a hightened stated of awareness. I hold DD's hand briefly to cross the street. While on a sidewalk she isn't made to hold hands. Maybe the main differences here are that we don't typically go anywhere super dangerous. We do a lot of city walking, but haven't run into a problem. We don't go to air ports. We only go to the fair once a year, and to the mall infrequently and when we do it never seems dangerously crowded.
I am glad for you that you have a child who obeys so well and seems to know how to avoid danger, but that is not my reality. My reality is that I have a child who will dive head first into the pool 10 times out of 10, I have a child who will dart off the sidewalk into the road every chance she gets, who will dash off head first down the stairs at the mall, who, out of curiosity, grabbed the flame of the candle and will touch the red, hot stove every time she is close to it. I have a child who hated being swaddled and worn from the second she was born and has always wanted to be independent and free. And the best way for her to encourage safe, independent exploration is a child harness. Even as a toddler, she has no concept of personal safety. Sure, I have let her get bumps and bruises, but it never teaches her anything, she is fearless and the next time she will try and climb something higher and more dangerous.

I didn't do anything (or not do anything) to create her behavior, this is just who she is. And I'm sure that she will one day develop a better sense of safety, or she just might end up like her daddy and grow up to still do all sorts of crazy, dangerous things just for the thrill of it.

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Old 06-04-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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eclipse and felix23 - Sounds like you both have thrill seekers on your hands. Your stories made me giggle and your children sound wonderfully fun!! I can most definitely see the benefit of using a leash in certain situations to allow your kids to feel more free to explore. Every kid is different and every kid needs a different approach to learning. Maybe this next little guy coming in a couple of months will be jumping into pools and scaling walls. I might be coming back here to ask where to purchase the best leash.

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Old 06-04-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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I ask any parent who disagrees with the harness:

What would you do if your child screamed in the wrap, screamed in the stroller and ran away from you (or dropped to the ground and refused to move) if you tried to hold their hand? What do you do? Stay inside for the next 4 years, punishing everyone in the family by not being able to do anything? Not us. We're on the go all of the time and we like it that way. It's good for the kids to be out and about and not stuck inside all of the time.
as a mother of 5 children with #6 on the way i have had to deal with going out on my own with all of the kids. as of yet i have not had to use or felt the need to use a leash. if the littles don't want to hold my hand they usually hold someone elses. i guess maybe i lucked out, although i have a couple runners, and we have been to malls, airports, fairs, etc. i just give them the space they need and they stay pretty close, maybe my idea of safe and close are not the same as most people on this board, i don't know. i have had kids not want to be in the sling, hold hands or be held, so they walk. i found when i listen to them they actually listen to me. not talking smack to anyone here. it just always seemed to work out. so we go out alot, just me and the kids.

i also had a question: why is mammaB21 opinions less valid then those who use a leash? it seems that no matter how she explains her position she is miss read. if, for your and your child's safety you feel that a leash is important and valuable then use it! if someone else feels that they do not need one, then they have just as much right not to use one, and to voice their reasons not to use it. if it works for your family then do it. having read about 75% of this thread i see that people who are using the leashes feeling attached, yet i have not seen anyone say anything in that way. the OP asked for opinions, so there will be more then one, and people have different ways of dealing with challenging children.

as for mammaB21's info on CC i found that after reading it although i didn't agree with 100% of the stuff in it, i have parented better because of it, and i think my children have benifited from that greatly. anyway those are my thoughts.

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Old 06-04-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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I didn't read all the previous posts here, but wanted to say that we tried a backpack leash for DD1 when she was about 2 and would go crazy and run off in the grocery store. People looked at us like we were so horrible, and I felt awful. DD would just get a running start and then run as fast as she could and fall down when she hit as far as the leash would go. Then we were like half-dragging her, so we stopped using it. Instead we confined her to the cart (where she would scream in horror) and finally taught her that she can not just run around. Turns out if we kept her task-oriented ("Sophie, can you go with Daddy to find some peanut butter?") and let her put things in the cart, she was much much calmer. She's 4 now and thankfully, we haven't had that problem with any of our other kids up this point. Whew.

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Old 06-04-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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This is a perfect example of why these leashes are a good idea. When my dd was little she didnt run away from me like that but if she did I would want a leash too. I am to the point where I do not judge another mother because something isn't "ap enough." By the way, Dr. Sears started the name AP and baby leashes weren't on or off the list....what was was "doing what's best for your family."
i don't think i have seen anyone on this thread say flat out that they felt that a leash was non-AP. you keep saying it is some sort of AP contest. what i see is people giving their opinions like the OP asked. use one, don't use one, no one is attaching anyone. people just seem to get offended when someone says they don't need one.

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Old 06-04-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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I also never sent her any message that I expected her to bolt. I didn't. She started doing that at about 15-16 months or something, whenever she saw something interesting.
And if you have a kid who bolts far and fast enough to pass out of your sight, you are out of their sight and they may not have the cognitive abilities to work out how to reasonably search for you.

I've had my kid bolt and get lost. Bolt and vanish around the corner of the aisle, then sit down crying when he can't figure out where I am. The experience/memory of "being lost" even for a few seconds/minutes wasn't enough to prevent him from bolting the next time too. 99% of the time I did know where he was (he also hasn't stopped talking constantly at the top of his voice since about 22 months) so I could calmly locate him and go collect him without reacting in a strong way to the bolting itself. But in his case, nope, experience didn't help worth a damn. Only him getting older did.
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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I haven't, but I would if I needed to.
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
eclipse and felix23 - Sounds like you both have thrill seekers on your hands. Your stories made me giggle and your children sound wonderfully fun!! I can most definitely see the benefit of using a leash in certain situations to allow your kids to feel more free to explore. Every kid is different and every kid needs a different approach to learning. Maybe this next little guy coming in a couple of months will be jumping into pools and scaling walls. I might be coming back here to ask where to purchase the best leash.
Hey, FWIW, I commend you for sticking around the thread and participating. Leashes have been controversial here for some time, and in the past the threads got ugly (some are likely in thread jail now). After the most recent one I was involved in where I stated my opinion (pretty much anti-leash if there is such a thing), I vowed to never debate leashes here again - and yet... here I am, standing up for them in this conversation. While I have yet to use one, I certainly have changed my outlook on them after reading about others experiences, and thinking back to situations with my own children where I know they could have came in handy. And yes, babies are so different. You might have one who sticks close and seems to understand danger and listens well, and the next one will be on top of the refrigerator before he's even walking.

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Old 06-04-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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i don't think i have seen anyone on this thread say flat out that they felt that a leash was non-AP. you keep saying it is some sort of AP contest. what i see is people giving their opinions like the OP asked. use one, don't use one, no one is attaching anyone. people just seem to get offended when someone says they don't need one.

h
In the past people have said that, flat out, and I think that has contributed to the way some of us 'hear' comments about it. Not that this is fair, but it is human.


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Old 06-04-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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as a mother of 5 children with #6 on the way i have had to deal with going out on my own with all of the kids. as of yet i have not had to use or felt the need to use a leash. if the littles don't want to hold my hand they usually hold someone elses. i guess maybe i lucked out, although i have a couple runners, and we have been to malls, airports, fairs, etc. i just give them the space they need and they stay pretty close, maybe my idea of safe and close are not the same as most people on this board, i don't know. i have had kids not want to be in the sling, hold hands or be held, so they walk. i found when i listen to them they actually listen to me. not talking smack to anyone here. it just always seemed to work out. so we go out alot, just me and the kids.

i also had a question: why is mammaB21 opinions less valid then those who use a leash? it seems that no matter how she explains her position she is miss read. if, for your and your child's safety you feel that a leash is important and valuable then use it! if someone else feels that they do not need one, then they have just as much right not to use one, and to voice their reasons not to use it. if it works for your family then do it. having read about 75% of this thread i see that people who are using the leashes feeling attached, yet i have not seen anyone say anything in that way. the OP asked for opinions, so there will be more then one, and people have different ways of dealing with challenging children.

as for mammaB21's info on CC i found that after reading it although i didn't agree with 100% of the stuff in it, i have parented better because of it, and i think my children have benifited from that greatly. anyway those are my thoughts.

h
h

A big reason why I don't need a leash with my second is because I have an 8-year-old too. I think it's probably easier to have a toddler who bolts AND an older child because you have an extra pair of eyes (and hands) on them. If you have six kids, you have at least two easily old enough to help with the little ones.

The reason people respond they way they do to voices against it is because they often (but not always) seem to be examples of why one person didn't need a leash with either a spoken or unspoken undercurrent of "if I didn't need one then I don't believe anyone really needed one." I have not needed one, but I do keep my mind open that other people have other specific circumstances and I can't judge their choices based on my life and circumstances.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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well that is assuming i didn't have 6 kids each a year apart. which is true i do have my kids spaced, and maybe that has helped, BUT i do run the gambit in kids behavior at my house. i have had ones that stay super close and ones that run like their pants are on fire. because i have felt that i wouldn't use a leash (not that i have issues with people who do) i have learned ways to deal with the running. i am in no way bashing anyone. what i have done works for my family, maybe my bolters are not as bolty as the other people bolters. that seems to be the contest here, no matter how wild and crazy someone says their kids are if they choose not to use a leash then their child isn't as wild and crazy as someone else's who do choose to use a leash. if the leash works for your family, then by all means use it, keep your kids safe and yourself sane. but if a family chooses not to, then they are not saying they are better then anyone who does (at least from what i have read. if you are coming from being "flamed" for using one then maybe giving the people the benefit of the doubt who are here talking about not using them.)

h

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Old 06-05-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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My thought is that leashes are used for dogs as a way to show authority. It's a 'training' tool, and I don't train my children. If I see a dog on a leash tugging and pulling in the opposite direction, I chalk it up to bad dog ownership or inexperience in dog training. The leash is there to be slightly tugged at any time the dog wonders a bit from your side. You stop, dog stops. You walk, dog walks. You run, dog runs. The dog isn't even supposed to be allowed to poop on walks because you have control over him just from the use of the leash.
This whole post is so off base I don't even know where to start!

I own 4 dogs and have been working professionally with animals since I was old enough to legally work, so I feel as though I'm qualified to comment on this.

First, why wouldn't a dog be able to poop on a walk?! That's crazy. Isn't that the point of walking your dog, so they eliminate outside, and not on your carpet? Most responsible pet owners carry poop bags so they can clean up after their dogs. I've never met a dog owner who discouraged their dog from pooping while on a walk, unless of course they stopped in the play ground and the dog was trying to pop a squat in the sand at the bottom of the slide or something.

And second, leashes are not an authoritarian tool. LOL. Goodness. They are, first and foremost, designed to keep dogs safe. That is their number 1 use. No matter how experienced a pet owner someone is, or no matter how good they are at training their dog, some breeds HAVE to be on a leash at all times or they will be gone, dead, injured, hit by a car, etc. Scent hounds come to mind.

People train dogs to walk nicely on a leash because it aids in keeping dogs safe. Some breeds are large enough to drag an adult around by the leash, why wouldn't they train them? The purpose of a leash to keep them safe is pointless if the dog will use that leash to drag its walker into traffic. They aid in controlling dogs to keep them safe, but the way you've outlined their use as being some sort of torture tool to make a dogs life miserable is so inaccurate.

Third, the vast majority of dog owners want their dogs to have FUN and be relaxed on a walk. Expecting a dog to perform so tightly in obedience that it may not eliminate is usually reserved for competition rings, not walking in the park.

And lastly, comparing dogs and children NEVER works. My dogs also eat off the floor, lick their buts, roll in bird poop, and get their baths outside with a garden hose. Their is NOTHING remotely similar between them or my preschooler, even if some of the things I use on both might share the same name or look similar or serve similar purposes.

A leash on a dog and a leash on a child do not at all serve the same purpose. Comparing the two to vilainize child leashes is a comparison fail. Apples and oranges.

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Old 06-05-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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i think once again her post is being miss read. what i got from it was that that was a reason that some people would view a leash as degrading to children. someone asked why people would see them that way.
and once again people who choose to use a leash on their child need not feel attacked just because someone else does not choose to use one. am i worse parent because i choose not to use them? do i care less about my children's safety? i could turn all the arguments around. i could feel attacked because i just let my kids walk ahead of me, i let them run... does someone feel i let my children do dangerous things because i don't have a leash on them?

h

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Old 06-05-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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No, those arguments don't hold water.

Some parents in some situations need to use a leash. If you live in a remote place, never travel by air, never are in a busy parking lot and you have a very good child who stays close by, you don't need one. I had a very active child who showed no caution. He wasn't verbal until 2 1/2 and being bilingual, understood the other language better. I fly long haul international flights about twice a year. If someone who barely steps out of their house thinks I'm a bad parent because I occasionally used a leash on my child, too bad.

No one is saying parents have to use them but not to judge those who do. I used one on my first but not on my next two. I care about them just as much!

I never used it to "control" him, just to keep him from getting hurt or lost.

But to say they're degrading is not looking at things realistically. These parents might have very little in common with parents who feel they have to use this to keep their child safe. It doesn't harm the child nor is it degrading. If you over-analyze almost anything with babies, you could make a "degrading" argument about almost anything.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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here it is again... it is like some sort of contest. it shouldn't be. i have said it before i have 5 kids, some stay close others run like the wind, i take them out, we do things, live in the city, walk thru parking lots, walk around busy streets, etc. it seems that people who choose them want to justify why they use them to those who choose not to. it isn't a contest as to who is the better parent. i have said other non-users have said it.. if you need it use it. for goodness sake you don't need to go on and on about how come you needed it. you just did. that is why i posted my comments above, if my kids run crazy, make a b-line for the street and do all those other things and i don't use one, could someone say i am a bad parent? if not they way does everyone who uses them think everyone is thinking they aren't good parents?

h

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Old 06-05-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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if not they way does everyone who uses them think everyone is thinking they aren't good parents?

h
Because we've heard it over and over and over and over and over. Honestly, how many people have told you, flat out, that you're a bad parent or abusive, because you don't use a harness? I've had multiple people say that, both here and elsewhere. Were you saying that? I guess not - your posts did strike me that way, but you've said you weren't, so you weren't. But, when you've heard it over and over again, and the arguments for why it's abusive include the "my situation is just like yours and/or worse than yours and I never needed one", it does tend to make one sensitive to that particular line of thinking.

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Old 06-06-2010, 05:46 AM
 
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You have the kind of lifestyle and the kind of kids who don't need them. That's fine!

You probably just look out for the occasional traffic or whatever. That's good! You're kids might "go crazy" from time to time but they probably don't bolt or have autism or whatever. You probably don't fly alone on international flights with three small kids like I did. You probably don't know what that's like. You don't need to justify not using one or imply that it's not necessary for other parents.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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(note: dd has been in a harness once in her life, otherwise, I haven't needed one.)

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Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
if not they way does everyone who uses them think everyone is thinking they aren't good parents?

h
Because even people who can see their utility use offensive language regarding them.

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sorry but I think they are degrading. I cringe every time I see one. I can see their utility but I hope to avoid it.
And the people who don't think they have any place as a tool are even blunter:
Quote:
I think they're ghastly.
Both comments are from MDC mamas who could be expected to keep the child's feelings in mind, imagine how non-gentle adults who disapprove of harnesses would act?

The more people there are who are critical of child harnesses, the more chances for the experience of this MDCer to be repeated:
Quote:
Mainly because I remember my mom putting a leash on me, I remember the stares and comments from strangers and I remember how embarrassing and humiliating it was.
She would not have been embarrassed and humiliated without the stares and comments from strangers.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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First, why wouldn't a dog be able to poop on a walk?! That's crazy. Isn't that the point of walking your dog, so they eliminate outside, and not on your carpet? Most responsible pet owners carry poop bags so they can clean up after their dogs. I've never met a dog owner who discouraged their dog from pooping while on a walk, unless of course they stopped in the play ground and the dog was trying to pop a squat in the sand at the bottom of the slide or something.
I think the post above was a mis-interpretation of the teaching that a dog shouldn't poop while on heel, but can poop when on free (which is what we teach in the training I have done). It allows you some additional control over where they do poop--we have really anal neighbors who could have a breakdown if a dog pooped on their lawn even if you cleaned it up, so the dogs I've owned/fostered have mainly all pooped in the common area if we could get there in time.

And if your dog seriously needs to poop, umm, get him to an appropriate place and put him on free.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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I have no problems with a Child Lease. This thing that it is for dog, gets me. Who said a dog was made to be on a lease, they on a lease so they don't bother or hurt anyone, what is wrong with wanting the same protection for your child ohhh yea because we know a lease to mean for dogs. I see it as a way to be careful for those people that have children that tend to run away.

I rather a lease than my child running in the street, getting lost at a busy place or screaming to get out of the stroller but can't because the place is too busy and it would be too much to hold their hand and push a stroller.

I was even thinking those leases where you can make it go long and then short again would be great!! That way I can let DD go to the end of the aisle in the store and stop her there. She tends to want to walk to other aisles without looking for me of course (she 14months) and she doesn't stay in a cart once it stop moving she actually will get up and stand in it.

Once again I see it as if you feel your child needs it go ahead, if not then fine but don't critize those you see with it.

For me by a certain age I wouldn't expect to use them. My son is 3 and for his personality I would say he is too old for it. I never had to worry with him. For those worried about other people making children feel bad I guess that would have to be at a certain age
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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You have the kind of lifestyle and the kind of kids who don't need them. That's fine!

You probably just look out for the occasional traffic or whatever. That's good! You're kids might "go crazy" from time to time but they probably don't bolt or have autism or whatever. You probably don't fly alone on international flights with three small kids like I did. You probably don't know what that's like. You don't need to justify not using one or imply that it's not necessary for other parents.
: I can't believe I am on this thread like this and I never owned one but I understand the need some people will have for them. And really rather see that than a frantic mom running in the street for her child.

I travel internationally also mostly it was with 1 child but now it is going to be two (7/8 hour flight with stops). I was thinking of getting one for that and for my parents when they are with my children. I am sure my 1 year old can out run my mom and my 3 1/2 can but he listens.
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