Children on leashes.

Cindy - posted on 03/20/2010 ( 46 moms have responded )

30

3

1

I am a mother of very active 18 month old twin girls. I am dealing with the fact that they both are now wanting to get out of the stroller and walk at the same time. I have googled and found harneses that conect to a leash the parents can hold the end of the leash or it can come with a belt so that you can wear it and allow your children to be free and know where they are. One one hand I happen to agree with a friend of mine who said "better on a leash then on a milk carton" However as I live in a very busy part of the country I am a little concerned of the responses i'll get when i'm out in public with my children in such a device. However there is one thing I guess I should point out, I am visually impaired and do find it hard to keep an eye on both girls at the same time, so I am looking for any opinons good or bad so I know what i'll be up against. Thank you.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Krista - posted on 04/07/2010

12,562

16

842

One thing to keep in mind is that not everybody who is pro-harness is saying that they ALWAYS have to be used. All we are saying is that they do have their place.

I'll give you an example: my sister, my nephew and I went to go see the Tall Ships festival in 2000. The waterfront was an absolute zoo -- shoulder-to-shoulder people. My nephew was not yet two years old, and wanted to walk everywhere. He was absolutely miserable in the little umbrella stroller.

She held his hand, but it was hard on her, as she's tall. And it was hard on my nephew to have his arm stuck straight up in the air like that for so long. Needless to say, neither of them had a very good time. The only reason that she didn't use a child harness was because my sister's ex-husband had the same feelings about child harnesses as Sally does -- that they're for dogs, not kids, etc. etc.

In situations like that, where there are large crowds and where you're dealing with a toddler who wants to walk, I just really cannot fathom the mindset of anybody who is opposed to a child harness. My nephew would have been MUCH happier, as both his hands would have been free and he would have had a nice little radius with which to explore. My sister would have been happier, as she wouldn't have been stooping over the entire time or trying desperately to keep Ryan from snatching his hand out of hers and disappearing into the crowd.

In a situation like that, how is it even possible that people don't think that a child harness is a viable option for keeping your kid by your side?

LaCi - posted on 04/06/2010

3,361

3

171

While we're at it lets unlock out cabinets, un-anchor our furniture, expose our electrical outlets and leave household cleaners lying in plain sight. You can use it all as a learning experience.



Safety harnesses are no different than baby proofing products.



I do not judge parents who do or don't use harnesses, but I'm sick of childrens safety harnesses being compared to dog leashes. Hey it could be worse, they could be BEATING their kids into submission, people do that to dogs all the time. I don't use them, as I've said it's chaos. However, to suggest that anyone should use a highway as a lesson plan for a 1 year old is what is truly ridiculous.

LaCi - posted on 04/06/2010

3,361

3

171

Learning opportunities are excellent when there is no life in jeopardy. Maybe if you don't have a rambunctious, incredibly stubborn, and lightning fast toddler that works for you. My son is self sufficient to a fault, he believes he can and should be able to do anything, which is fantastic in certain situations, and a huge obstacle in others. Teaching does not involve placing the child near a cliff and saying *don't fall,* and walking along major roadways is not the prime opportunity for a learning experience, unless that experience involves an ambulance. children can not be expected to understand the repercussions of dangerous actions when they can't even speak yet. Which is why they get the freedom and responsibility slowly, by having to hold a hand or be in a harness when they're in a potentially dangerous location. By the logic that it should be a learning opportunity I should just go ahead and expose him to all sorts of dangerous things and expect it to become a learning experience. Here's a pit bull, don't pull his tail sweetums. OH. well see I told you not to do that.

It only takes one time, one failed lesson=dead baby.

Sally - posted on 04/06/2010

306

0

15

Maybe I should clarify what I mean by affecting them mentally. It is a known fact that 60 % of Brain growth occurs by age 5. We know what occurs in the early years has lasting effects into adulthood. So I wonder if by using Leash like things, are we not teaching the Brain that impulse control is external rather than internal? Shouldn't we be concentrating on teaching a child where and when it is ok to run,ect rather than controling by restraint? I see far more kids without leashes than I see with. I feel it is disrespectful because it is basically telling the child "you have no control so I must do it for you". That to me is the loss of a teachable moment.

Johnny - posted on 04/06/2010

8,686

26

318

As the former wearer of a harness, I can tell you that it had no ill effects on my mental state nor do I feel that my parents were being disrespectful of me, but simply concerned for my safety. But if you'd like me to bark, i can. I'll also pant heavily if you pet my head.

I haven't yet used a leash on my daughter. Although sometimes she does sport a backpack that has a large handle on top that can be grabbed easily if need be. If she suddenly starts to run off uncontrollably, I'll use the leash. I tend to be more of a free-range type of parent, but living in a large city, a free-ranging 20 month old near busy streets is just going to get dead fast.

I've mentioned it before, but the child who lives across the street from us has autism and was a runner. His mother was opposed to leashes until he ran out in front of a moving car and got hit. She was carrying his baby sister at the time and was unable to grab him. He broke both legs, his wrist, and suffered a head injury. Now he sports a snazzy little turtle backpack.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

46 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

As a general rule, I'm not keen on safety harnesses for children, but they certainly have their place, and Cindy, I think that in your case they'd be invaluable, if not essential! We all know how active 18 month olds can be, but 2 of them!! Being visually impaired would double the challenge!

Go for it, Cindy!

Sunshine - posted on 04/07/2010

279

80

21

My house is some what child proofed but thats only b/c the people that lived here before had a lot done to it. The ONLY time Im not around my child id when he is sleeping the after that I play with him allllll day.. So really there is no need for it.. I clean & everything when he is asleep. But he is only 5 months old to so right now he can't get into much:) I wouldn't use the leash.. I really like what Sally had to say made some pretty good points:) We don't live around a busy street either plus I would let my child outside by himself & if you have a back yard & you live on a busy street lock the gates so they can't escape. There are other ways besides the leash to protect your child:) :)

Johnny - posted on 04/06/2010

8,686

26

318

LaCi, you'd be surprised at the number of mothers I've seen state that they "don't believe in child-proofing their house." I guess they've found a way to be directly beside their child at all times. Personally, I occasionally need to prepare food, tidy up, and do some laundry. But perhaps if I had a maid....

Sally - posted on 04/06/2010

306

0

15

Ok, where to start? Yes, my child is 3 and 1/2 but she did not come out that way. She too, was once 18 months old.

Second, I live in a fairly quiet neighborhood. So no, we do not have cars zooming past us when we walk down our street. But we do go places that have traffic. And we do walk around in town.

I do not endanger my child because I don't leash her. That is totally ridiculous.

Also original poster ask for both sides.

And unless you are tying your childs hand down when they pick their nose, then that is not an applicable parallel.

Krista - posted on 04/06/2010

12,562

16

842

I do my best to treat kids the way I want to be treated.




That's a nice sentiment, but I do think it's rather impractical to treat 18-month old twins the way that an adult would want to be treated. Of course none of US would want to be on a harness (or if you do, there are other internet forums for that kind of thing.) But none of us would walk around blithely picking our noses, either. None of us would happily eat stuff we find on the carpet. None of us un-self-consciously grab at our own groins in public when we need to pee. (Well...Carol might, but we love her anyway.)



But little toddlers just do not have the same thought process as adults. That whole "dignity" thing? They're really not all that worried about it.



Once children are old enough to develop that concept of dignity, shame and self-awareness, then yes, I'd say that the time for the harness has passed. But for a baby who wants to walk, hates the stroller, and just is NOT old enough to have developed the impulse control to always stay near Mommy? That's a different story.



As well, you seem to be forgetting the fact that the original poster has also indicated that she is visually impaired, and has a very difficult time keeping an eye on both girls at the same time.



And really, you're wrong about "the leashed" having no voice. Last time I checked, toddlers tend to be pretty clear expressing their dissatisfaction with a particular situation. Believe it or not, there are plenty of parents who have indicated that their child actually LIKES the harness. So if the child likes it, or doesn't mind it, and if it is helping to keep them safe, then how is that cruel to the child? It's not.

LaCi - posted on 04/06/2010

3,361

3

171

"I do have a stubborn, strong willed, assertive little girl. Almost 3&1/2."



Certainly, yours is at an age where she understands what you are saying. And I said "children can not be expected to understand the repercussions of dangerous actions when they can't even speak yet. " 3 and a half is much different than 18 months as the post was based on, and different than the 21 months I'm basing my experience with. I will not let my son walk near the highway at 21 months and expect it to be a learning opportunity, if anything that is reckless.



And I also hope there aren't any moms out there naive enough to be endangering their children because they should be learning a lesson in some reckless way.

Johnny - posted on 04/06/2010

8,686

26

318

To be honest, I have no idea about how my daughter would feel about being attached to the leash, because I have never done it. But she does love her backpack. She is the one who remembers to grab it off the door when we are leaving the house and she is taking great enjoyment in learning to put a couple of her favorite books inside to enjoy while we are out. She even grabs "bckpck" (as she calls it) and drags it downstairs to let us know that she wants to go out. Her attitude might change if I attached the leash to it, but in that case, I probably wouldn't do it and would find another way to manage her in dangerous situations. I respect my daughter and wish to teach her self-reliance, but I would argue that never asserting any control over her would only lead to her being narcissistic. The world is full of rules of conduct, etiquette and various controls, and I believe that children need to learn that sometimes they must do what other people tell them to.

Sally, I am just wondering if you life in a small town? Because it does not sound like you have to worry about fast moving traffic immediately adjacent to where you are walking. Where I live, it would frankly be considered abusive and neglectful not to control a small child in the busy sections of the city. You would probably get the cops called on you if you were allowing a 2 year old to run free on the downtown city streets. I've never seen a parent do it though.

Sally - posted on 04/06/2010

306

0

15

No, I do not want to reconsider my words. I stand by them.

As far as a stroller being the same, I totally disagree. I use a stroller when my daughter is tired or needs a break. I do not use it to control her. It is used for her own comfort. She chooses to walk or ride. That being said, we rarely use it. She has been allowed to walk since her first steps.

It is my opinion that keeping a child safe does not have to invlove leash type restraints. I would never even consider it an option. I am suspect of those that do. The original post asked for all thoughts. These are mine. I feel strongly that chidren should be respected. Very strongly. Some would say too strongly. Children are just small humans trying to learn about and understand their world. I do my best to treat kids the way I want to be treated. And slapping a leash on them just seems wrong. I would hate it, so I would never do it.



The phrase "to each his own" comes to mind. As in you can do what you want and I can do what I want. But the action in question does not just involve one person it involves the leashee and the leashed. The leashed has no voice. So I will continue to disagree with the leashing children. Because they themselves cannot.

Krista - posted on 04/06/2010

12,562

16

842

They are able to learn if we are willing to teach them. But it is far easier to stop them from doing something then it is to teach them why not to or how to. I want to encourage internal control, because someday I won't be there. Someday they will be out there without their leash, they will have to stop themselves.


You may want to reconsider your phrasing, as it sounds suspiciously like you're saying that parents who use a child harness are lazy, or taking the easy way out.

Nobody knows a child better than his or her own parents. Some children can be taught at an early age to stay near mommy. Others just cannot -- not until they're much older. Don't presume to know what each child can learn and when they can learn it.

One thing to keep in mind as well is that it's not always about the kid. I heard from one mother on here who saw a child almost being snatched. The child was RIGHT NEXT to her mother, and her would-be abductor did not realize that the child was attached via a harness.

All it takes is one second. My kids will learn to stay by my side, but that teaching will be in settings where their life is not at stake.

Johnny - posted on 04/06/2010

8,686

26

318

I do think that if possible children should be allowed to learn impulse control at their own pace and be afforded the opportunities to learn how to handle themselves internally. I take my daughter for daily walks in the park, to the store, etc. and never use her harness or backpack. Those are safe places where I am able to teach her lessons like "go, go, stop" and why she needs to hold my hand. And as wonderful as she has been at learning these lessons, I know that when I am in a busy section of town, walking on a sidewalk with buses streaming by the curb at 60 km/h, it is not the best occasion to teach her self control. Internal impulse control is wasted on the dead. Seriously, all it would take would be a split second of her pulling her hand from mine and darting away. Now, in those areas, I generally use a stroller. But really, what is the difference between strapping a child into a stroller and strapping them onto a leash? I am still controlling her.

As I said, my parents used a leash for me. Most people I've discussed it with who grew up in the city said that their parents used one on them at one time or another. Apparently they were big in the 70's. Now, I feel that I have excellent impulse control. I have never been known to run out into traffic or to run red lights in my car or to streak across football fields naked. I would be interested in seeing the research that points to the use of leashes retarding the development of internal self-control in children. I have a hard time believing that the occasional use of a safety harness is going to cause children to be unable to develop self-control.

There are also children out there who are unable to develop self-control, due to autism or other developmental disabilities. Those parents may find devices like safety harnesses invaluable for controlling and keeping their kids safe. Not all kids are capable of learning the same lessons at the same pace.

Sally - posted on 04/06/2010

306

0

15

I do have a stubborn, strong willed, assertive little girl. Almost 3&1/2. I feel I able to teach her and keep her safe without strapping a leash to her. In fact, most parents feel that way. I just think we do not give kids enough credit. They are able to learn if we are willing to teach them. But it is far easier to stop them from doing something then it is to teach them why not to or how to. I want to encourage internal control, because someday I won't be there. Someday they will be out there without their leash, they will have to stop themselves.

LaCi - posted on 04/06/2010

3,361

3

171

I used a leash twice, maybe three times. It was more hassle than it was worth in my opinion. I would rather carry a 35 pound child than fight with him over the leash.

If it works for you then thats great, and I have no negative thoughts about it. As for comparing children to dogs, I can't tell you how many times I've though *this is just like a puppy* so whatever. There is nothing demeaning about safety, my reason for buying the harness is the fact that I live near heavy traffic, so when we walk to the park I'd like him to not dart out into the road. A split second and everything would be turned upside down. It's easier to use the stroller or just carry him. He does NOT want to hold my hand and I do not want to bend over for 20 minutes while we walk to the park. Thats ridiculous. Had he adjusted well to the leash he'd be using it still. I may use it again if we go to any of this years festivals, as I don't want my son to dart into a crowd, be trampled, lost, or kidnapped. There is nothing wrong with making absolutely sure your kid doesn't get hit by a car, kidnapped, fall in a ravine, etc. All it takes is for you to blink, to yawn, to sneeze and BAM dead toddler, you can really never be too safe. When he's older, I'll trust his judgement. As of now he'd chase a car right into traffic if given the opportunity.

Sally - posted on 04/06/2010

306

0

15

I hate the whole concept of a leash on a child. Sorry. I know that is not a popular opinion. I find it very disrespectful to the child and I wonder what is does to them mentally. Cannot imagine putting one on my daughter. These are little people not animals. Just makes me cringe. While I would never "point and stare", I would wonder why? And I would think to myself that there goes either an over protective parent or a control freak. And I do feel pity for the kid to be treated like a dog.

Emma - posted on 04/04/2010

1,590

15

111

@Sunshine
maybe it was not the leash that made the kid miserable have you ever considered her mom might just be a bi**ch ? .........

Sunshine - posted on 04/04/2010

279

80

21

I already posted in this one I think or another one but said I didn't like the thought of them..
I was at the store the other day & this women had her daughter on the leash she looked miserable didn't want to walk & her mom was being so mean to her.. I felt so bad for that lil girl:(

Emma - posted on 04/04/2010

1,590

15

111

I used the harness type one, and it it was a life saver with my 2 they both loved to bolt in different directions at the same time. I used it when walking along the pavement as my son loved dashing towards the road and giving me a hear attack, and when in shopping malls places that i considered to be high risk.
I must say i got a fuw looks but the safety of my kids is far more important to me than what judgemental stranger thinks. i also had some people come and ask where i got them while they where attempting to wrangle there toddlers.
So be prepared for a mixed response.
At the end of the day all it is is a aid to us parents who can not clone themselves or grow more arms or eyes in the back of our heads.
my kids learnt quite quickly how to walk nicely with me so i only think i used them for 3 or 4 months with the oldest and i still pull them out of my hand bag from time to time with my son if he's in a dash in the road mood and im on my own .

Kelli - posted on 04/01/2010

103

17

11

I have the monkey one for my 15 month old, who is still trying to figure out how to walk with it! LOL. I love it. It keeps your kids safe and to HELL with what anyone thinks. Who's raising your precious babies, you or someone else?

KRISTA~ AMEN and LMAO!! So true.

Jane - posted on 04/01/2010

1,041

5

69

Go for it...ignore the nay-sayers. I had commented on this type of topic a while back. My kids are 20 and 16 but when they were little, I used to think leashes were HORRIBLE. BUT, if I had little ones in todays society, I'd be using them in a quick minute. It's all about keeping our kids safe and I now think these are great tools for safety!

Amber - posted on 03/31/2010

101

26

10

i have 2 i have a harness and a backpack leash.. and i LOVE them.. they work so well and they help me keep my sanity i would die if my son ran away or got lost..

Amy - posted on 03/31/2010

4,793

17

369

Tomorrow my daughter will be sporting her leash/backpack on our first trip this year to the zoo. We'll see what crazy looks we get and let you know. :D I'd rather have my lil one safe than snatched. She can run FAST! Daddy has long arms to catch, but mommy's usually the one paying attention. With her and my son....I think we just need it so we know where our kiddos are.

Krista - posted on 03/31/2010

12,562

16

842

Just yesterday I was at a busy mall, and sure enough, a little toddler was running way ahead of his mom, while the mom was chasing after him saying, "You get back here!" Fortunately, that section of the mall wasn't crowded, but if it had been, it would have been way too easy for some lunatic to snatch that kid away. I am all for the child harnesses and agree with your friend regarding the milk carton comment.

And if you DO get snotty responses just smile sweetly and say, "Thank you for your unsolicited opinion." Kill 'em with kindness. And if that doesn't work, rummage through your purse with a perplexed opinion and say, "Oh darn, I appear to have misplaced the memo that tells me that my childrearing practices are any of your business. Perhaps you'd care to send me another copy? My address is 123 Bite Me Avenue."

Jessica - posted on 03/31/2010

626

26

28

I think they are a cute idea, and better safe then sorry when it comes to kids safety! I cringe when I go to the store or mall or something and there are moms who are chatting with another adult while there kids are running around the parking lot or off down an isle where someone could grab them...or in a store and there child is terrorizing the place and they could care less! I used to work in retail, drove me nuts!

Alandria - posted on 03/31/2010

4

7

0

I have a now 4 year old and almost 3 year old...and I had little back packs that were shapped like animals and the tails were the leash. LOVED THEM!!!! They carried their own diaper, and sippy cup, and I could allow them a little freedom. You know people will say something when your children are running around, and you are chaseing them, and then you will have those who have a comment about the leash...you have to do what works best for you and our kids. I say get a cute leash and strap um up! LOL

Melissa - posted on 03/31/2010

663

7

67

Who cares what other people think. Do what you feel is best and more safe for your babies, toddlers, kids, etc.

Karen - posted on 03/30/2010

182

23

11

I totally agree with Alison.
I used to look at those things and be like omg I am never using THAT. I didn't have kids then, let alone 3 babies to keep track of. When my middle child wandered off at a huge amusement park, and I couldn't find her for like a whole 2 minutes (it felt like an hour) I thought I might never see her again. I wished I had one of those things.
In your situation, I would. Honestly who cares what other people think. Keep you kids safe.

Brandy - posted on 03/25/2010

1,353

0

157

I think that in a situation like yours, you'd be crazy not to have one! I have one. I haven't used it yet but if I am going somewhere where I know I'm going to be distracted and unable to keep one eye on her at all times, I'll be pulling that thing out of the closet in a flash! I've seen how quickly she can dissapear into a different room at home and would hate for it to happen somewhere where there's all kinds of people whose intentions may not be kid-friendly. I used to work at Sears and every time I heard "code yellow" over the intercom (that was our code for missing child in the store), my heart would skip a beat. What is somebody picked up that child and walked out? We don't know who came in with a child and who didn't and there were 3 different exits in the store.

[deleted account]

we have the monkey one for my active 13 month old who can run faster than i can... im preggers with num 2 so it works out easier if he wants to walk so i dont have to run him down or chase him and then hold him... we usually use it in walmart or parades and such

Alison - posted on 03/22/2010

2,753

20

466

It sounds like the only thing holding you back is what others think of you, which should never be the major decider when you make parenting decisions. Your priority is to keep your girls safe, not to show the world what an awesome parent you are.



Imagine that you decide against it, then one of your girls actually wanders off... it's worth a few judging glances to have peace of mind.

[deleted account]

I had one for my daughter because she would refuse to hold my hand and i had a baby in a carrier so it was a nightmare in some public settings. You will never be short of people judging you when you have kids. If you try too hard your a helicopter mom and if you let them explore then your a free range parent. You just learn to do what works for you and ignore the busybodies.

Heather - posted on 03/22/2010

92

30

13

We used the monkey one on our son when he was little and now that he is three he has a blue backpack, he can carry his drink and a snack. We use it for going to busy places, and it helps to keep him close. My only problem is that after awhile he still tries to push the boundaries and starts tugging on it. That is when I get the most looks. I have had people tell me they were glad to see him in it. And others look at you funny or even say things. But at least I know that my son is safe and not going to bolt out into the street because he is a little impolsive and does not think first.
We do not call it a leash though. We call it a safety harness. And if he is behaving then I take the strap and put it in his bag for awhile.

Amy - posted on 03/22/2010

4,793

17

369

We have one. My daughter doesn't use it when we walk to the post office or grocery store - small town here. But when we go into the city to the zoo or at the mall, we use it. Her little arm doens't get tired from holding my hand or daddy's and she stays right with us. - she's 3 though, not 18 mos. But the "leash" is always hanging loose. She never tugs on it or tries to test her boundaries. Probably because she knows to stay close when we're at a small town, she just does it in a large one. We just like the peace of mind knowing if someone tries wants to snatch her it'll be a huge deterrent. I don't think people look too funny at those leash/backpacks unless the kid is straining to get away on them. It's just too creepy of a world to take the chance.

Carolee - posted on 03/21/2010

21,950

17

567

I think it would be a good thing for you. I'm definately not against them, I've just never bought one before. My aunt used one with my cousin who has Downs Syndrome when she was little. Don't worry about other people's reactions... you're doing what will keep your kids safe, and that's all that matters!

Heather - posted on 03/20/2010

525

20

18

I agree with Shannon, the people who judge, are most likely the ones with no children. I was one of those people when I was younger, my moms friend had her kiddos on a leash and I used to think that it was just terrible....until I had a baby lol I say safety come first and I was a nanny to very active twin boys and I wished on many occasions that I had a leash for them lol Try out the backpack ones, I am always hearing good things about those...and good luck :)

Sunny - posted on 03/20/2010

662

21

53

i have heaps of friends that use the 'monkey' one and the kids love it. it seems to make life so much easier for those with more than one child.

[deleted account]

Ignore what other people may have to say about it. I have very active twin girls (who are now 8) and if I lived someplace busy and was out and about w/ them w/out my now ex.... 'leashes' would've been a lifesaver when they were toddlers. In my situation they weren't needed, but I can very much relate to how you WOULD need them. :)

[deleted account]

If using one will help to keep the little ones safe then go for it. Don't worry about what other people think. I've known many parents to use them with no negative reactions from the public. I also used one and found it very useful in crowded places.

[deleted account]

I don't use one, it's a personal choice. I don't think badly of anyone who does. If it's going to help you keep an eye on your girls, then I say 'go for it'.

[deleted account]

I had one & it was great. It was a backpack the child wears with a leash.. I used it when we traveled & I had to be in the airport. I say the people who point & stare probably don't have kids.. It's just a safety device.. No harm done ♥

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms