Do You Use Child Leashes? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 03:59 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.


I hope not, for your sanity!!!!

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#182 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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I have one that's a puppy backpack/leash. I got it when I was frustrated with my daughter because she was refusing to hold my hand, go in an ergo, and ride in the stroller... She had just learned to run and was using it to her advantage.... Soo on one of those very frustrating days I just bought one. My daughter was about 15 months at the time. I used it maybe 3-4 times since.

I don't have any judgement on parents who use them and don't think one way is better than the other. I personally didn't really like it and it honestly was more of a hassle for me than helpful. My daughter now holds my hand very well and on days that she refuses to hold my hand the option is being picked up and taken home or going in the stroller. I don't make her hold my hand all the time. If we are in a safe area away from cars I don't mind her walking beside me or just a little bit ahead. I'm working on getting her to stop and come back to me if I tell her too. She was really bad about it at first but is just now starting to show some improvement. I'm currently trying to give her a little bit of independence but also letting her know that she needs to stay close to me and come back if I call her. Obviously though this is usually done in a park type setting away from cars.

Anyways so back to the leash thing. I think I prefer the wrist straps to the leashes. I would still hold her hand when I did use the leash and maybe that's why she's good about holding my hand now. I have a super friendly toddler who loves talking to new people and running up to dogs (the dog thing totally freaks me out so we are working on approaching with mommy and asking if she can pet the doggie.) I was the same way as a kid so my mom used a wrist strap with me, but mostly only in very public places like disneyland or something like that.

So bottom line... I think it depends on the kid. My daugther currently is fine with holding my hand so I don't feel the need to use one.

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#183 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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We haven't ever used one.

I'll be honest, I have a fairly low opinion of them. Or maybe of some of the parents who use them. I don't think I've ever seen one used in a respectful manner. I've seen them used a lot as we go lots and lots of places. I read how some on here have explained how they use them, and I've never seen parents use the care you describe.

For example, over the weekend, we went to the zoo. It was packed. DH was with me. We have a 9.5 month old and an almost 33 month old. I saw a family with twin boys who looked to be about 2 and the mother was practically dragging them up the hill. We saw another family with a little girl with the mother yanking on the cord and the father was pulling on her arm to get her to move faster. That was just this weekend...but we've seen countless other children enduring the same treatment.

Other times, we see people with them on their child, but the child is in the stroller anyways.

Maybe if I saw one used with care, I wouldn't feel so bad for the child wearing it. Because, really, like some have said...it is a case by case judgment. Do all parents who put a harness on their child treat their child like I described? Most likely not.

One of my worries is that I'd develop a sense of false security with it. I see moms at the store with their child on one and they aren't paying attention to the child. They're browsing the racks or talking to a friend. I think even with a harness on a child, you still need to pay attention...but I think, personally, I could fall into the trap of not paying attention because well, he's secure at the end of the harness, right?...but they can break or come undone and the child could get away.

Since having DS2, I've thought on a few occasions "you know, maybe it would be easier with a leash?" but somehow we've adapted. We're fairly "free range" with letting DS1 roam about. I usually have someone with me (a friend who has kids, DH, my mom, etc) if we're somewhere super busy. We live on a pretty busy street and the bus drives past our house about 4 times an hour. We've drilled it in his head he is NOT to go past the sidewalk. But I can't say I'd put him on it at home if I was using one. We take walks and I let him run on the sidewalk. We've learned one way to slow him down is to let him pull his baby brother in the wagon...both boys LOVE that.

The one place I seem to consistently say "I know why parents use these" is at the post office. It's just a disaster waiting to happen. You have all sort of things for them to pull off the counter. You have people in cranky moods because they're waiting in line. At least at our post office there are older people who seem to think very highly of spanking children. I've seen even the most well behaved kid (not mine) get dirty looks from people.

(and not to cause any competition, but as a reference...my DS1 is insanely active. I regularly get comments on how my "hands are full" because he just goes and goes and goes and goes. He's very curious. And my MIL is very pushy about wanting us to use a leash. She admits to being like the parents I mentioned at the beginning of the post. She had 3 boys within 33 months (all singletons) and had the ones that tie around the wrist and would pull the boys because "I was in charge and if they wouldn't listen volunarily, then I would make them go where I wanted them to!"...so maybe that's part of where my dislike comes from.)
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#184 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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In a natural environment you wouldn't put a baby on a 4 foot changing table. That would be consitant with the examples I gave of common sense parenting coupled with allowing a child the freedom to learn safety limits.

They do know that fire is hot. Fire gives off heat whether you touch it or not and it doesn't take much of that heat to pull back or know to stay away. Most fire accidents come from carelessness, not confusion about the fact that the fire is hot.
A leading cause of death in Africa for infants is falling into the fire, from mom's backs and from them running in, or running too fast and not being able to stop.

Death is natural.

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#185 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappyBuckeye View Post
We saw another family with a little girl with the mother yanking on the cord and the father was pulling on her arm to get her to move faster.
Based on this, you could just as easily be against touching a child as using a leash. Why does the leash get the bad rep, when it's quite obviously the parent's behaviour that's the issue?

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#186 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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the mother was practically dragging them up the hill.
My kids love to be dragged. I hate it. I beg them to walk (even hand holding with no leash in sight). I tell them I'm walking, if they don't walk, too bad. They will just stay there.

They use the opportunity to run in the opposite direction, to the street.

Or, if I tell them, we're going now, and hold on, they let themselves be dragged.

You'd be amazed what is going through other people's kids heads. Really.

I try not to drag my daughter when she's on the leash. It's hard when she starts giggling and pulling away (like she does with my hand, but I feel a five-point harness is better to drag her with than letting all that weight hang on her wrist and shoulder).

Every time we start out holding hands. And she knows if she lets go and runs, she will get the leash. Sometimes she asks for it right away. Sometimes she ends up in it (she never objects, she puts it on like clothes). Amazingly, though, she still ends up wanting to be dragged from time to time. (ETA- it sounds like "wanting to be dragged" means "not coming". But even my older child will ask, "drag me!" I don't know what is wrong with my family. They just think it's funny. I'd like to refuse, but I suppose that as with many things, we end up with these problems because we face a lot of external constraints. When the baby "wants to be dragged," what she does is, put on the leash and walk away then lean against the weight. If I walk with her, she will try to outrun me and then lean against it. She likes the pull. As soon as she hits that pull, she starts smiling. Yes, my kids are insane.)

And frankly, whatever floats her little boat is fine with me!

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#187 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappyBuckeye View Post
One of my worries is that I'd develop a sense of false security with it. I see moms at the store with their child on one and they aren't paying attention to the child. They're browsing the racks or talking to a friend. I think even with a harness on a child, you still need to pay attention...but I think, personally, I could fall into the trap of not paying attention because well, he's secure at the end of the harness, right?...but they can break or come undone and the child could get away.
How do you know if they're paying attention? I can be paying attention without actually looking directly at my child. More than once, I was alerted to dd1 getting bored, or wanting to move on, by a slight tug at the harness. I hadn't been ignoring her - just watching the ducks with her or focusing on the baby (the "baby" - he's FIVE now!!) for a second. This is the kind of thing about leashes that gets to me. If a mother were standing holding her child's hand, or had the child in a wrap/Ergo/whatever, and was talking to a friend, nobody would just assume the child was being ignored, but if the child is on a leash/harness, then that's the default.

I really don't get the leash hate.

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#188 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Based on this, you could just as easily be against touching a child as using a leash. Why does the leash get the bad rep, when it's quite obviously the parent's behaviour that's the issue?
In the beginning of my post I said that perhaps it's the parents... (the parents who misuse them, not all parents who use them).

And from what we saw, the kids were NOT laughing while dragged...both were whining. Granted, when I ask DS1 to follow me and he's not ready to move on he whines too...
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#189 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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A leading cause of death in Africa for infants is falling into the fire, from mom's backs and from them running in, or running too fast and not being able to stop.

Death is natural.

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#190 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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How do you know if they're paying attention? I can be paying attention without actually looking directly at my child. More than once, I was alerted to dd1 getting bored, or wanting to move on, by a slight tug at the harness. I hadn't been ignoring her - just watching the ducks with her or focusing on the baby (the "baby" - he's FIVE now!!) for a second. This is the kind of thing about leashes that gets to me. If a mother were standing holding her child's hand, or had the child in a wrap/Ergo/whatever, and was talking to a friend, nobody would just assume the child was being ignored, but if the child is on a leash/harness, then that's the default.

I really don't get the leash hate.
I don't know. And I said you do still need to pay attention, I'm not saying by default parents ARE NOT paying attention...just that I could easily see how one could develop a sense of false security. It's like those arm floaties when swimming. They aren't a lifesaving device. You still need to watch your child. But not everyone knows that...some parents MAY just blank out or be really into conversation. It can happen when not on a leash too. I took my boys to play in a fountain last week. I let DS1 go play while I set up a place for DS2....in that second I turned my back, DS1 disappeared. I was terrified. But...he wouldn't have been on a leash then if I used them anyways, so our one big scary event wouldn't have been helped by one anyways.

And I don't have a totally negative opinion of them...I just have not seen one used in a caring loving manner. If I saw the moms on here using them the way they're describing, then perhaps I wouldn't cringe (like I was cringing as the twins were being dragged up the hill at the zoo...but I would've been cringing if they didn't have the leash and were being dragged by the arm. Although...there are times DS1 has a tantrum and maybe he looks like I'm torturing him to someone watching)
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#191 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Since having DS2, I've thought on a few occasions "you know, maybe it would be easier with a leash?" but somehow we've adapted. We're fairly "free range" with letting DS1 roam about. I usually have someone with me (a friend who has kids, DH, my mom, etc) if we're somewhere super busy. We live on a pretty busy street and the bus drives past our house about 4 times an hour. We've drilled it in his head he is NOT to go past the sidewalk. But I can't say I'd put him on it at home if I was using one. We take walks and I let him run on the sidewalk. We've learned one way to slow him down is to let him pull his baby brother in the wagon...both boys LOVE that.
It's great that you have that support but I know I didn't with my son and I still wanted to go places with him.

I do find it a bit funny you're talking about parents perhaps forgetting about safety on the one hand and depending on drills and pulling a wagon with a baby brother as a slow-down measure on a sidewalk near a bus route on the other... not that I object but I would personally find a leash a safer way of slowing the older child down. Also, we used the leash mostly between 18 months and about 2 1/4 - not a time my son could be drilled in staying on the sidewalk.

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#192 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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In the beginning of my post I said that perhaps it's the parents... (the parents who misuse them, not all parents who use them).
I guess I'm not getting where "perhaps" even comes into play. The father was dragging his child by the arm, using his hand. So...what does a leash have to do with it at all?

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#193 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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I do find it a bit funny you're talking about parents perhaps forgetting about safety on the one hand and depending on drills and pulling a wagon with a baby brother as a slow-down measure on a sidewalk near a bus route on the other... not that I object but I would personally find a leash a safer way of slowing the older child down. Also, we used the leash mostly between 18 months and about 2 1/4 - not a time my son could be drilled in staying on the sidewalk.
I wouldn't even consider letting ds2, for instance, pull dd2 in a wagon. He adores her...but he's also not getting the idea that he has to be gentle. He'd probably think she'd love it if he pushed it as hard and fast as he could, then let her go. It gives me a minor chill to even think about it! I tend to keep ds2 away from anything that both contains a smaller child and has wheels. Deadly combo.

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#194 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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And from what we saw, the kids were NOT laughing while dragged...both were whining. Granted, when I ask DS1 to follow me and he's not ready to move on he whines too...
Mine whine no matter what (I mean, when they're ready to whine, not all the time), though they hate hand-holding most of all. I let them choose, and their choices, whining or not, are:

DD1: Stroller, carrier, leash, hand.
DD2: Leash, carrier, stroller, hand.

I think their arms get tired holding my hand.

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#195 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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For someone who is arguing that we shouldn't be judging, your comment about a deadly combo is about as judgmental as it comes. You claim I don't know every single leash user's situation...well you don't know mine.

I said I don't like them. I'm not in the parents' faces telling them that. I feel I've seen them used improperly. Sure, it's not the leash's fault...but the leashes do lend themselves to things like dragging to occur. Some parents (like my MIL) do see them as a way to control their child rather than a method to allow a child to explore.
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#196 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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She's saying that for HER SON it would be a deadly combo (it would be with mine too.) She's not judging you, just stating that your tactic wouldn't work FOR HER.

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#197 of 205 Old 08-16-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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For someone who is arguing that we shouldn't be judging, your comment about a deadly combo is about as judgmental as it comes. You claim I don't know every single leash user's situation...well you don't know mine.

I said I don't like them. I'm not in the parents' faces telling them that. I feel I've seen them used improperly. Sure, it's not the leash's fault...but the leashes do lend themselves to things like dragging to occur. Some parents (like my MIL) do see them as a way to control their child rather than a method to allow a child to explore.
I've also seen kids being dragged by their upper arms, wrists, hands, shirts....some parents just suck.

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#198 of 205 Old 08-17-2010, 04:06 AM
 
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And I repeat... some kids really love playing limp noodle.

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#199 of 205 Old 08-17-2010, 04:35 AM
 
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I've also seen kids being dragged by their upper arms, wrists, hands, shirts....some parents just suck.


And my guess is, parents who drag with a leash will probably still drag without the leash.

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#200 of 205 Old 08-17-2010, 07:59 AM
 
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We bought one recently for our 3 year old because we were visiting waterfalls and I wanted a bit of extra security that he wouldn't run off and fall to his death...not because I had intention of dragging him around anywhere. We also used it at the super crowded zoo. My kid isn't a bolter. He still did his thing and I just followed him around....while attached. I just felt safer that way. I don't parent from some AP checklist. I did it because it felt right in our situation at the time.

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#201 of 205 Old 08-17-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for this very thought-provoking thread. I always thought leashes were degrading as well and that "obviously" the parents who used one were just being lazy. It never crossed my mind that leashes give independent toddlers much more freedom than strollers, and are more comfortable than holding hands. Reading what some of you have to put up with makes me want to go up and high-five the next person I see using one (in a responsible manner, of course).

Consider me a convert, and I apologize if any of you have gotten a judge-y look from me in the past!

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#202 of 205 Old 08-18-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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I never really needed them for my older 3... DS1 and DD were fairly cautious children and were not inclined to run off. DS2 was the sort of kid that would wander off in a store if we let him walk, but he was quite happy in the cart or stroller so it wasn't a big deal.

OTOH, DS3 is fearless. This is a child that has bolted across streets and parking lots if you let go of his hand for more than 5 seconds. He will take off in a store. After the first time he disappeared in a store, I bought him a harness and haven't looked back. He's almost 5, and still needs the harness frequently. I'm told I was very much the same at the same age.
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#203 of 205 Old 08-18-2010, 04:17 AM
 
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I used one as well, a little frog from goldenb*g I think. I ordered it in the u.s. for an horrendous amount of shipping costs. But it was so worth it! DD hated holding hands when she was around two years, and she had eczema around her wrists, so I guess it might even have been painful for her. When I was pregnant or shortly after birth of ds I was not really very well walking, because of a hip disease.
I was totally happy with the harness. My kids still love the frog, even though we did not use it for more than a year, Dd loves to wear it and hold the leash herself

Before kids I thought this harnesses are ugly and uncomfortable and nearly child abuse, but now I know better We needed it, otherwise dd would have had to sit in the stroller 24/7

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#204 of 205 Old 08-18-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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We don't use a leash but DS LOVES to walk holding onto straps (i.e. drawstrings from my coat, the straps from the backpack, etc.) so I was thinking of always carrying around a ribbon or something for him to hold onto. It's funny because without holding it he'll walk about 10 feet and say 'up please' but when he's holding onto a strap he will happily walk forever. I think he needs to feel 'connected' to me (but doesn't necessarily want to hold hands for too long) and the straps give him that sense of security. So I can see how some kids might love leashes. It's not for me (DS is generally pretty cautious, and I tried a makeshift leash once & we both hated it, didn't feel right to us) but our alternative is very similar, just not actually attached to him.

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#205 of 205 Old 08-18-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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I'm looking for one but this is an example that made me think they were bad @ first. http://www.babble.com.au/2009/08/06/...round/?print=1

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