To leash or not to leash this is the question

I’m sure I’m about to talk about a very touchy subject here. I’ll try my best to be fair in my opinion on using a leash to walk kids around. But to make things clear from the get go I need to tell you all that long before Lucas was born I have told my wife that no matter how active he turned out to be I would never have him on a kiddy leash. So there you have my personal position on the theme.

However I’m not here to say that my parental decision is the best one for you. As a dad you’re free to make the choices you feel will suit your children and your family.

These kiddy leashes are normally advertised as “child safety harness”, “stay-close harness”, “safety strap”, “mommy’s helper kid keeper” and I have to say that they do work. They serve their purpose of keeping the child close to you by limiting how far the little one can go. If they try to run to the streets and get to close to any other dangerous spot you can just give the strap a little tug and the problem is solved.

If you’re a parent with a mobility limitation, something that prevents you from being able to outrun your super active 4-year old I can understand why and how the kiddy leash could provide you with some peace of mind. If it’s because you have 5 kids and this way you can maintain a better control of the situation at an amusement park then although understanding your point I have to say that I completely disagree.

I have worked as a summer camp counselor for many years and had as many as 15 kids under my supervision (with ages varying from 5 to 10) overly excited at Six Flags field trips. So believe me, with a little bit of patience, time dedication and support your kids can be trained (without any leash) to walk around freely and stay under control.

What bothers me the most about the harnesses on kids is the psychological effect that this could have later on the child’s life. This leash thing is something relatively new so we still don’t know how these 3, 4, 5-year olds will deal with this later in their lives.

The pictures on this post bother me a lot. But I had to put them here not only to illustrate the post but also to show that using a leash is more common than not. It was very easy to find tons of pictures. And even the image taken from “The Simpsons” implies that a large number of people condemn the use of the leashes. However during my research I landed on a website that had a poll asking the readers if they thought that the kiddy leashes were “OK” or “NOT OK” and to my surprise, out of the 472 votes 54% voted “OK”.  (see pic bellow)

What do you think? What’s your opinion on this controversial topic? Let me know in the comments bellow or send me an e-mail




Posted on July 13, 2011, in Parenting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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