Backpack leashes for your kids

Dana - posted on 09/21/2010 ( 128 moms have responded )

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In another thread people have said that they are against backpack leashes but, haven't said why. Do you have a problem with backpack leashes, do you love your back pack leash or do you not really care?

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Krista - posted on 12/22/2010

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Rebecca, you're operating under a false assumption that people who use child harnesses and baby gates are using them INSTEAD of teaching their children how to be safe.

I can't speak for all parents, but most of the mothers here who use them have agreed that they are a backup device, to be used WHILE teaching the child to be safe.

So to use gates as an example, I am currently in the midst of teaching my son how to go back down the stairs. We'll do this for awhile, and then once he gets bored, the gate goes back up. That way, he can play, and if I need to dash to the powder room or otherwise take my eyes off of him for 30 seconds, I don't have to worry about him heading upstairs on his own and possibly falling.

Using the harness as an example, I'm starting to teach my son to hold my hand while we are out in public. We do this until he gets fed up, and then leave it for another day. But at least having the harness there, with the strap in my other hand, provides a safety backup in case he suddenly yanks his hand out of mine and pulls a runner.

I think what you may be forgetting is that we ALL want to teach our children how to stay safe. However, those lessons are not learned in an hour, in a day, or even in a week. So in the meantime, there is not one blessed thing wrong with using a safety device as a backup method to keep our kids safe.

If you don't feel that they're for you, that is one thing. But to say that those of us who use those things are treating our children like dogs is very hurtful and insulting. Trust me: none of us are intending to degrade our children. We simply, for one reason or another, feel better if we have that backup in place.

[deleted account]

I'm all for any safety device that any parent chooses to use that keeps their kids safe and out of a predator's hands. To me, the backpack harness is no different than cabinet locks or door knob covers. Some people use them, some don't. What I find amazing is the amount of judging that goes on with the backpacks. I started a discussion like this on my FB status about a month ago and even my own sister in law and niece blasted me and anyone who uses them and called it "lazy parenting" and "humiliating". Whatever. I say use 'em if you feel you need to and don't if you don't and most importantly, don't judge another parent for doing what they think is the right thing to do for their child. I mean, it's not like we're leashing them up, tying them to a tree and sticking a bowl of water next to them and walking away. Geez. Whenever I used it with Jacob he always held my hand, but that strap was wrapped around my wrist and if he had slipped away and tried to run off OR (my worst nightmare) some sicko grabbed him, they wouldn't get far.

Charlie - posted on 12/22/2010

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Although I have changed my mind recently due to not really caring all that much and realizing it is a safety tool I once felt the way Rebecca did and personally I think it's because I never had a child who was a runner , he sticks by my side and reminds me to hold his hand , I know now not all kids are like this and that a lot of kids actually like their little monkey or teddy bear back packs .

If a child doesn't like it and expressed either verbally or with body language that it made them uncomfortable then I would feel that it isn't right for them and it may become degrading for that child but for those who actually like it ( and I have heard some like to ask their parents to put it on ) then there is no harm in it .

It was hard for me at first to understand the need for it due to not needing one and although it does make me personally uncomfortable ( hence why I won't use it ) I do think if everyone is happy using it , it can be a great safety device .

Mary - posted on 12/22/2010

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Rebecca, I wish even half the parents in this world treated there kids as well as I treat my boys, and took as much interest in their safety.

I also wish even half the toddlers in this world were as well-behaved as my dogs, both on and off-leash!

Mary - posted on 12/22/2010

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Yeah, I've seen that video before, and that behavior is inexcusable.

The problem is not the safety harness, it's the parent.

ANYthing can be misused and abused. People whip their children with belts. Does that mean that you stop using them and remove them all from your home just because some asshole is beating his kid with one next door?

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Amie - posted on 12/22/2010

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Locked.

Any issues people have, take it up in PM or flag posts. The boards are not a place to air issues.

Amie
~DM mod

Amie - posted on 12/22/2010

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*** MOD Warning ***

Cool it ladies. I'm deleting a few comments.
No more flaming each other. Debate the topic at hand and enough with the snide remarks on both sides. It's how threads deteriorate and end up locked.

Amie
~DM mod

Amie - posted on 12/22/2010

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*** MOD Alert ***

This thread is being locked for review. We will go over it and open it again when we're finished.

Amie
~DM mod

Nikkole - posted on 12/22/2010

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ALL kids are different some kids stay right next to mommy and hold her hand or hold on to the stroller and some kids are free spirited and like to run everywhere and like to be independent! I Dont necessarily think that the way we teach our children has 100% impact on our kids they will choose to listen or no even at a young age kids are very smart !! Some kids are just high strong and dont like to follow rules or listen well like i said before ALL kids are different my son one day will be so well behaved no stroller or harness then the next GET THE HARNESS OUT!!! lol

Jodi - posted on 12/22/2010

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After parenting children who have a variety of personalities, I am just of the "never say never" school of thought when it comes to parenting. The things I believe in now are VERY different from when I was only parenting one child. Which is why, even though I have never needed a leash with my kids, I would never rule it out as a viable option for some people. Circumstances, location, number of kids, it all has everything to do with the decisions you make, including this one. It is very easy to sit back with one child who is *not* a runner and judge someone else for using a leash without knowing anything about the circumstances.



MOST people actually use the leashes properly as a tool for teaching their child. Unfortunately, there are then the morons who use them as a substitute for teaching their child, but from my understanding, they are few and far between.

Stifler's - posted on 12/22/2010

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I used to think it was shit to do that to a kid too, then I had a kid and thought "what if my kid is like so and so's kid and a leash is really going to help me"

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/22/2010

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wowza! That is all I got for you. Translate it any way you want..but I am done with talking to you. Good night.

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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Awesome. I guess were all a bit of that some of the time. I'm pretty sure that's a personal attack but I'm a big girl. I want flag you ;).

Now maybe those who would like to actually debate the topic further can continue before this thing gets locked down. I personally hate when that happens when things get hijacked by just piling on the one person who says something people don't dig the most. I'm sure their might be other people who have things to say that have nothing to do with me or my opinion. Or perhaps this is a sign the topic has tanked out?

I'm for just moving on.

Again, feel free to make a post about me being holier than thou or not....I'll tell my fiance to come on and tell some stories about how "snarky" I can be.

To sort of quote Ryan Seacreast...
"Snarky Becky out!"

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/22/2010

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I am not projecting anything on you, just merely presenting normal circumstances involving toddlers/kids, and why leashes have helped many parents.

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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Marina, yes my daughter walks, runs and has a will of her own. Your projecting a lot of things on me that simply aren't true. Yes, I've travelled with her in airports, in malls and down the busiest street in the big city I live in that is right next to my home. So, I get it....again and again.

Reread your last comment....you are entitled to think I'm holier than thou as far as I'm concerned...still are we debating the topic at all anymore? Or we just debating if I'm a qualified enough parent to answer any question posed? Or just if I'm a snob? I'm cool with that too...let's put it in another post though. Is Rebecca a snob? I'm into that.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/22/2010

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Actually Rebecca, age of a child and how many has EVERYTHING to do with this! Is your toddler walking yet? Has he/she darted away from you in a mall, or parking lot...or airport? Do you have other children with you doing the same exact thing? Unless you have them completely imobile in a stroller, this is going to happen. You can sit there at your computer and think "no not me" only becouse it has NOT happened yet,,,,or happened once and not since....it will happen,,,again, and again, and again. My son STILL occassionlly does this and he is almost 5. It is not that I haven't tought him well, it is just what kids do. Some people find that their kids will be defiant no matter what you do...some people need a leash to save their children from getting hit by a car, or running through a crowded airport. Your attitude is just holier than thou.

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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Well, I disagree Jodi..but I said that already. Am I repeating myself. Yep.

Jodi - posted on 12/22/2010

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I don't have my hackles up :) I just know that comparing it to treating a child like an animal is considered offensive, and I am trying to point out that using that and referring to "your values" in one post comes across as offensive to women who DO use leashes because you are implying that their values include treating their child like a dog, which is simply not the case.

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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OH, I have a daughter who is a toddler...I couldn't possibly understand, I'm sure. I shouldn't have an opinion if I don't have like 8 children under the age of 8 though right?

That's about as relevant as me asking how old all of you are. I could discount a lot of opinions if I thought people under 25 just haven't had enough life experience to understand issues that are complex...but I don't. I know you can't really surmise if someone's opinion on parenting is valid or not wether they are old or have more than one kid.

That's why I didn't answer Dana. I really didn't think it was relevant to my opinion being valid or not. Of course, if you do....have at it.

Although I applaud the language, "The question put before you...". I feel like Jack Nicholson. Rebecca, did you say that if you treat a child like a dog they will act like one, is that the truth? Answer the question put before you Rebecca!

"You can't handle the truth....oh and I only have one toddler so I couldn't possibly know shit!"

Well at least you ladies keep me respectful. Who doesn't enjoy being the centre of attention sometimes.

Back to learning those Christmas songs on guitar for my one child.

Krista - posted on 12/22/2010

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No, I know you weren't deliberately trying to offend. I guess a lot of us just get our hackles up about this, because we keep hearing the same old accusation that we're treating our kids like dogs. Some mothers have even had people come up to them in public and loudly accuse them of this. Like I said way upthread, if the kid harness isn't for you, that's totally cool, but I just don't understand the incredible amount of vitriol and disdain that are leveled at parents who use them, especially considering that in most cases, the kids seem utterly oblivious and happy as little clams.



So yeah, in this particular case you did wind up being the punching bag. I suppose it's like on those circumcision threads, when we spend ages in rebutting the argument that babies don't even feel pain when they're circumcised, and then someone new blithely comes along and says, "Well, it didn't hurt my baby at all -- he didn't even cry!" And we all slap our foreheads and go, "Oh fuck...here we go AGAIN!" :)

Dana - posted on 12/22/2010

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I was hoping for an answer to the question put before you, Rebecca. How many children do you have and what are the ages?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/22/2010

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Jodi, I have also asked age and how many....still no answer.

Krista - posted on 12/22/2010

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Loureen, 4 toddler girls in a busy market is deserving of a vacation and a stiff drink, not just a kid harness!

Jaime - posted on 12/22/2010

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Oh boy, another "stop treating your child like an animal" person. I have a monkey backpack for Gray and I use it almost everyday. I love it because it gives Gray the freedom to walk on his own and it saves my sanity...and I'm okay with that!

Jodi - posted on 12/22/2010

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Exactly my point Loureen.



That's why I think it is a choice dependent on circumstances, and NOT a value at all.

Charlie - posted on 12/22/2010

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I saw a woman walking through busy markets with toddler quads all on teddy bear back pack leashes .

Tell me 4 toddler girls i a busy market isn't deserving of that.

Stifler's - posted on 12/22/2010

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I think they are hilarious. I would use one if I had a kid that wanted to run off constantly.

Jodi - posted on 12/22/2010

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My point, Rebecca, is that we all want to be able to keep our children safe. How we go about that is a choice.



And I am interested, how many children do you have and what age? I have seen someone with a baby and a couple of toddlers NEED to use one because juggling them is sometimes difficult, and if it is a matter of safety, then it is an option that works for her. I could give numerous examples of why it works for some people and why not for others.



Personally I have never used one, but I would never compare it to a dog on a leash.

Krista - posted on 12/22/2010

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Sorry if you feel that I was brow-beating you. I thought I was simply trying to get across that you can disagree vehemently with child harnesses without implying that the scores of mothers who use them are degrading their children and treating them like animals.

Yes, other people have spoken more harshly about it, and I've also been a hell of a lot more harsh with them in return. But you seem pretty reasonable and we've agreed on a lot of things on other posts, so I thought I'd be a lot more calm in my demeanor when addressing your comment about treating kids like dogs.

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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@ Jodi Then we differ in our opinion about if it is about values.



I'm sorry Krista but if you think a parenting technique is not enhancing a child's life you can say so and not have it imply that any individual is a "bad" parent. Many have spoken a lot harsher than I on different subject along the same lines. Again, even though I am repeating myself, my opinion is not meant to hurt or target anyone, if it did that was not my intention. If you'd like to brow beat me some more about it, you can-I'm not much of a bottom but I can take it.

Dana - posted on 12/22/2010

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But putting a dog on a leash is so you protect them too, it's not about controlling anything. I've used mine on my son about 5 times, we've had it for over 6 months. It was great when we went to the zoo or this past weekend when we went to the mall to shop with literally thousands of people walking around.

Jodi - posted on 12/22/2010

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"our values are just different."



I don't think it IS about values, I think it is more about the choice you make to achieve the SAME outcome.

Krista - posted on 12/22/2010

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And if you don't see it as a viable backup, that's totally your prerogative.



Yeah, we have pretty tough skins, but it really does depend on what's being said. Call anybody on here a bitch or an idiot, and they'll just shrug it off and laugh. Imply, even subtly, that they're mistreating their kids? That tends to hit a nerve. :)



Edit: speaking of which, I don't agree with Marina's comment that you want your kids to learn a deadly lesson. Some children really ARE just less "busy" than others and don't require as many safeguards. It doesn't necessarily mean that their parents are willing to let them learn every lesson the hard way. It might just mean that their kids tend to rarely stray from mommy in the first place, and that's perfectly okay as well.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/22/2010

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Rebecca, I suppose you area "fight or flight" kind of girl. Not even baby proofing your house with a gate huh? You either must not have open stairs, or want your kids to learn a deadly lesson. I love how Krista chose her words, but I am not as eloquent. I think I will spend the money on a gate to save my kids life. In comparison, it is chump change. How old are your kids?

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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I don't mean to hurt people. It is just my opinion it seems no different than a dog on a leash. It's about teaching trust and respect for me as well. We have different views on it, that much is clear. I just don't see it as a viable "backup". If I insulted anyone, it was not intended. Besides you ladies have tougher skins than that, what I said was mild salsa to the tabasco that is thrown around on the regular here.

Amanda - posted on 12/22/2010

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I'm sorry, but I think that video is a set up, there's no way people just sat back and watched or that the kid wouldn't be kicking and screaming while the lady dragged him! I have one, I tried it once and it wasn't all that helpful so i haven't used it again. My 2 year old is wild and i wish it worked well for us, but it doesn't....... even though it didn't work for me, i think they are great safety devices!

Dana - posted on 12/22/2010

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It's really no different then tying them down in a stroller and actually it's better, they're able to have freedom to explore without being in danger.

Laura - posted on 12/22/2010

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Actually I have one, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually used it. Once when we were at an ice cream shop the only bench was right beside the road on the busiest street in the state of South Dakota. I was not going to take a chance. I just like knowing it's there if I really do need it. I am 32 weeks prego and have a 4 and 2 year old and the 2 yr old is getting to be a real handful lately. Like I said to each his own. Would never judge some one who used it regularly.

Just curious though, how is it a detriment to the child? Is there some statistics I've never seen? Cuz it would be interesting to know if there is.

Jenn - posted on 12/22/2010

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I've never used one before. I guess if you feel like your child isn't going to listen to you and doesn't know how to stay with you then go for it.

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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Yeah, it's a parenting style I personally think is not my bag and a lot of people use to the detriment of their child.

I think that it is better to teach your kid, if it's a hazard, to navigate the stairs or stay away from them. That's my style. When you teach the kid to either navigate or avoid successfully you'll save yourself the cost of a gate. If you get a gate and it happens to be open one day or just not there...you leave your kid excitingly climb/fall without any knowledge of how to do it. I feel the same about a leash, you may ask, what if a kid tries to run into the street? Well, you have to teach that kid not to do that, the dangers of this behaviour and monitor them like crazy if you know they are "runners" to explain/teach these lessons. What happens if the leash snaps and they take a runner (like most dogs who've never learned to behave off leash either and immediately seem to go head first into the street) without any idea of what happens if you do that or just doesn't care because it's forbidden and kids like to do that stuff.

Not for me. Of course, nothing I say is gonna make you snap those leashes...if you think that's okay, our values are just different.

Krista - posted on 12/22/2010

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I'm not for OR against them. My whole thought on this is to each their own. If you seem to have a child that is a little more wayward (not bad, just more curious) then by all means, use one if that makes you feel better.

My son is VERY good when we're out. He's either holding my hand or holding the stroller and has never let go. I've explained what could happen if he did and he understands.

Laura - posted on 12/22/2010

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Come on that's just abuse and not how most people use them, lets get the most extreme example you can get and use it as the norm.

For some kids they are a great learning tool and teaches them to be independent while still being safe. People by gates for their pets too so people shouldn't use them in their home because kids should learn to stay where they are told and not try to climb stairs. *insert sarcasim (sp?) here*

If you want to use them fine, if not that's fine too. It's just another parenting style.

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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This mom seems to be using her leash like a "safety" device. Come on! You might treat your kid like gold, on or off the leash, as a general idea though...you gotta know people use these things as a way to gain ultimate control by dominating someone vulnerable.

Nikkole - posted on 12/22/2010

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Yep i use one with my son not all time but sometimes and he acted like a puppy before the leash but one say we were at the mall and he had his monkey backpack on and he ot down on all 4's started painting and barking and had his tongue sticking out i got soo many looks but i just laughed!

Rae - posted on 12/22/2010

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@Mary, yep my dogs are more well behaved than my 2yr old they even sit and wait for me to catch up!!!

Charlie - posted on 12/22/2010

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I don't care what others do , my mother bought one for my eldest when they went to the city to pick up their motorbike jackets from a store on a busy free way .

It doesn't bother me however I personally wouldn't use it , I did once and I felt stupid , I hated how we looked and to be honest my child always holds my hand anyway we often take long walks along the highway to the beach and if I let my hand slip he grabs it .

Mrs. - posted on 12/22/2010

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Sorry, IMO, if you treat your kid like a dog, they are likely to act like one. I told my fiance if he ever tried to bring one home I'd cut the reigns.

LaCi - posted on 12/22/2010

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I tried one, it was just more trouble than it was worth. I don't care if others use them. And I'd even try mine again if we were in a REALLY crowded festival, harvest homecoming, derby festivals, etc, and I was afraid of him running off. I especially understand using them in the city or with multiple little ones. It may be something you have to atart using really early, when I put it on mine he just threw himself on the ground and refused to move until I took it off him :)

Rae - posted on 12/22/2010

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I do use a leash when my 2yr old wont sit in the trolley or walk by the stroller holding my hand. He wants to walk like a big boy, but he also loves to run off.

I must look nuts sometimes, as if im in a rush I pile 3 kids in a supermarket trolley, baby in the baby seat, 2yr and 4yr old with the shopping.....the bread is always oddly shaped

[deleted account]

the backpacks are cute loads better than the wrist ones. i don't use a leash because i find the concept funny

[deleted account]

When I was younger, my mom used a real leash on my brother... she just hooked it onto the belt loop of his pants and we were ready to go! That kid could escape his stroller and any harness bag she put on him. The real leash was the only one he never figured out and it kept him safe on numerous occasions (he was a bolter...).

[deleted account]

I have no problem with them. My mother had a "leash" for my brother when he was a toddler, he liked to run off, and I had one for my oldest when he traveled cross country by train (he was only 2). I even had one for my youngest, again she liked to run off. THe way I see it, taking a toddler out in public is stressful enough most of the time, the "leash" takes away the stress of having to worry if your child is going to run off.

Jess - posted on 09/27/2010

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I lived with a lady who had a 2 year old and almost 4 year old. The younger one was so well behaved, and the 4 year old was a nightmare !!! It was impossible to take him shopping without him running off constantly. I suggested a pack back leash and she told me unless her child was a dog they wouldn't be using a leash. I so wanted to tell her that when her son stopped acting like a naughty little dog she wouldn't need to treat him like one. Biting my tongue was probably for the best !

Personally I'm not for or against them. I think it depends on the child !

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