Child Leashes- HOT TOPIC

It’s HOT Topic time! Be sure to check out the Good Mama’s previous hot topics on Extended Breastfeeding and U.S. Maternity Leave Laws.

W may be crawling his way into Kindergarten.

This boy just does NOT want to walk. He has taken a few steps here or there. He walks along fine holding our hands. He even stands right up without holding onto anything.

Walking? He is just not there yet.

Now, W may not walk, but he does crawl- fast. He would definitely beat me in a “crawl-off” (Although, I don’t really know if that’s saying much).

Child leashes: Safety tool or Lazy parenting?

Every child is different.

Every child learns at their own pace.

W will move on from all fours eventually. 

Though I do worry, given his speedy crawling, that W will skip the walking stage altogether.

I fear he may stand up one day and decide to just start running. 

If/When this happens I know my carefree days of raising a baby will be over. We will be entering toddlerhood.

Fortunately, my niece is three months older than W, so I am able to get a glimpse on what is to come.

The other day W and I went apple picking (Check out our Fall To Do List) with my mother, sister-in-law, and niece. After a long, napless day of apple-picking in the sun, my niece had a moment of frustration when my mother tried to hold her hand through the parking lot.

She did NOT want my mom to hold her hand, and she did NOT want to be carried. My mom eventually got my very unhappy niece to the car, but it made me think about the topic of child leashes.

Child Leashes- HOT TOPIC

Child Leashes: Safety tool or lazy parenting?

Hot Topic Question: Are child leashes a sign of lazy parenting OR a useful, safety tool?

I’ll be honest. Before I had W, I did judge parents/caregivers who used child leashes. I’m not entirely sure why.

Maybe it’s the name. When I think of the word “leash,” my head immediately goes to my dog.

Do we really want to use something for our children that we use for our dogs? I mean, holding a piece of cheese out to my son to get him to walk to me just the other day is NOTHING like training a dog.

I may have also just brushed off those leash-toting parents as unwilling or unable to teach their child how to stay by their side. They are just too lazy to pay attention to their child out in public.

Is it really that difficult to keep an eye on your child in public and make sure they don’t run off?

Child Leashes: Safety tool or Lazy Parenting?

My attitude has definitely changed since becoming a parent myself. Here is my list of reasons I think child leashes are useful, safety tools.

  • Safety: This is the obvious number one reason to use child leashes. We are heading to Disney World this October. There are people everywhere, and there are lots of tempting attractions that may pull children away from parents. When we went when I was little, my youngest brother (Read about Bill in Hiking with Baby) walked off from our group, and my parents endured what was I’m sure one of the scariest few minutes of their lives until they found my brother with a security guard. I’d take others’ judging looks over losing my child any day.
  • Independence: Some people may say that child leashes take away a child’s independence, but I would argue the opposite. When a child is expected to stay by a parent’s side in public, then they are sure to hear a lot of “no’s” throughout the day. When you use a leash, you take the “no” out of the conversation. Instead, you can let your child freely explore at a safe distance.
  • Health: A stroller is an alternative to a leash for parents’ who want to keep their child safe in public. A stroller may be nice for long distances, but many children get antsy if stuck in a stroller too long. I know my son does and he isn’t even walking yet. It may be easier to push the stroller along, but children need the exercise. Bonus: walking will tire them out!
  • Every child is different: Some children have less impulse control than others. There are some parents of children with special needs that may find leashes beneficial.

In the end, I don’t know if I will use a child leash or not.  I have since learned to “never say never” when it comes to parenting. I have also learned, unfortunately, that we parents really judge either a lot. There’s a whole sit devoted to people posting pictures of children on leashes to laugh at them. Seriously, what is wrong with people? I think we may be all better off if we put the focus on finding the best way to parent our own children.

Child Leashes: HOT TOPIC

Now it’s your turn! What do you think? Are child leashes a sign of lazy parenting or are they a useful, safety tool? Let me know in the comment section below!

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