is it so bad to use a leash for your child?

Stacey - posted on 07/29/2009 ( 93 moms have responded )

157

14

11

i have recently bought a leash for my son because i have a young daughter in a stroller and he likes to let go and try to get on the road so i decided to by one of those backpack leashes for him but people have been looking down on me for it. is it so bad to want to make sure my child is safe?..is the leash idea so bad? also if u cant be polite about your disagreeance then dont make a comment at all ...thanks

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jackie - posted on 08/04/2009

1

8

0

People that look down on you are probably people that either dont have children, or have the types of children that do what they are told , when they are told. Not all kids are like that.. I know, i have 2 of them. As a mother only you know what is right for your own children. So dont worry about anybody else. If you feel your child is safer on a strap, then you know what you should do.

Delia - posted on 08/02/2009

11

21

0

Tell me something What is the difference in using a"leash" and giving your child some freedom to move and ensuring that he is safe and within your sight vs having him in a stroller, sitting strapped down. There is none. The leash is just a device used to keep your child safe. Again all children are different and some will stay with you and others have the natural desire to explore. i have been in a situation in which my daughter took off in a blink of an eye. We were at a festival and it took me 1 hour to find her.I was so scared. I never want to experience that again. i used the leash on my 2 sons and never had to experience that fear. Again I believe the knowledge of knowing my child is safe makes all the difference. Also i did get the 'looks' and i always told them that it beats loosing the child. THey also burn more energy than they would sitting in a stroller. I say go for it you are being a good mom by keeping your child safe.

Teresa - posted on 08/03/2009

1

20

0

I have a son who is a runner and we definitely have to use the "buddy" (it's a monkey backpack leash, and my son named it that) when we are in crowded places (airport, zoo). We start with it on and if he wants to take it off we remind him that if he runs away we will have to put it back on to keep him safe. I have always cringed at the idea of a leash, but if you have to do it, you have to do it, right? I agree with another post that you should teach you child from day one not to leave your side, and I do that, but sometimes I need reinforcements!

Leisa - posted on 08/02/2009

35

23

0

A leash is better than a dead child because of being hit by a car. If anyone looks down on you for protecting your child them they're idiots.

You are doing the right thing and are clearly a good parent.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

93 Comments

View replies by

Michelle - posted on 11/08/2011

321

14

49

I think a harness is a good idea. Sorry, I don't call it a leash as in the UK a leash is something you put on a dog. I used the harness for my 2 eldest daughters and will use one for my baby when she is walking. I think it gives the child more freedom, good exercise instead of being stuck in a buggy all the time, and safety as you have always got hold of them.

Lindsey - posted on 11/01/2011

7

68

1

I have one and it has been a life saver for me! I am a military wife so I am all the time traveling on airplanes and fighting busy airports alone with my 2 year old. Spending hours standing in lines is hard on an adult and even worse on a child and I can't walk around with her and keep my place in line so I always use mine while traveling for our safety and sanity! She can walk around in a 2 foot circle and I can move along in line. Also very handy while waiting in the terminals since I'm usually exhausted from carrying a stroler, car seat, 2 year old, diaper bag, carry on and toys for the ride I want and need to just sit down and with this she can still walk and jump and play without me having to be up with her :D anyway so for those reasons I love mine!

My daughters safety is more important to me then anyone looking down or disapproving. In a matter of seconds your child can be in a road or lost at an airport or where ever I would rather be safe then sorry!

Danielle - posted on 10/29/2011

36

19

0

My husband and I have two children, son 19 and daughter 11. Obviously quite far apart in age and polar opposites as toddlers. Before I had children and saw folks with a child on a leash I was mortified! But, when our son was twoish, wanted to explore, and was willing to walk off with any stranger, I couldn't get a leash fast enough for him. He was strong willed, stubborn, and most of all independent. I did not want to take that independence and curiosity from him and force him into the stroller or have him throwing himself on the floor because he didn't want to hold mine or my husband's hand. The leash was the perfect solution. He could explore as if he were on his own and I was at peace that I would not lose him or even worse be taken by some freak. The leash was not necessary for any lengthy period of time and it wasn't as if I took him out walking every day on a leash. It was used in places like malls and busy stores where lots of people were around and he could get lost easily. If I were going for a walk in our neighborhood and could make sure my undivided attention was on him the leash was not at all necessary.

All you folks can say all you want that discipline, or lack there of, is the reason for needing a leash or that the parent is lazy or inattentive, but our daughter never once needed to be leashed as she was a completely different human being. She was absolutely content with holding my hand and being attached to my leg. Even though she happened to be the climber and did everything sooner than our son, she was not the explorer and was much more leery of strangers.

So, before you judge people with children on a leash, remember that you know absolutely NOTHING about the dynamic or personality of that child and that family! Mind your own business and let others live there lives and raise their children as they see fit...besides, why do you care? Are you PERFECT or are you trying to feel more perfect because you see someone doing something you don't agree with???

Stacy - posted on 05/24/2010

224

38

15

I think it it is a good thing according to age.. Who wants to see a child in the street? I freak our when I see them close to the streets.. I think that it takes alot to buy something like that, and if you are worried about your childs safety, who cares what everyone else thinks? At the end of the day, he is your child, and after your walk to the park or where ever you may be going, you get to take your child home safely and tuck him into bed.. There are other parents who may be thinking they should've, but didn't.. Good for you to put your childs needs before others opinions!

Michelle - posted on 05/24/2010

2,191

23

1087

I had one of those for my son he was so impulsive that it was the only way to keep from losing him at malls and to keep him from running out into traffic. I fully intend to get one for my daughter as well now that she is mobile,

Jahna - posted on 05/22/2010

23

18

0

I always use one, I would much rather use this than to have her run away and some sick pedophile take her. She almost always walks beside me but occasionaly she will see something and run off, and other than screaming at her to stop (which people once again frown upon) this is the only way I know she is safe at all times. And another thing is she loves her teddy backpack. But at the end of the day who cares what all the do gooders say you just do what is right for you and your child.

Kelsey - posted on 05/19/2010

14

0

1

I was always four square against the leashes, and I still am, when they're being used as a substitute for supervision. But after a few times trying to set up a stroller on the side of a busy downtown street with one hand while I'm trying to keep my 18 mo old from running off, even I'm considering getting one!

Kimberly - posted on 05/19/2010

56

34

2

Every child is different. Some will listen and stay close, some will hold hands and others (like my 17 month old) likes to explore the world around them & figure out things themselves. I am one for the leash but I don't use it everyday all the time. Kids need to have some freedom and at the same time being safe. Saying it's the same as a "dog leash" is like saying a playpen is a "dog crate" and a crib is a "dog house" . I bet many of those mommies with dogs own leashes & crates to keep their dog safe & to teach them. Just like people use cribs playpens and child harnesses; to keep the child safe & teach them. So far, I've only had to use it in a busy grocery store because he wouldnt stay in the cart, & the zoo because he didn't want to sit for that long in his stroller. I only have 1 child but I'm sure if I had 2 I'd use it more. My mom had one for me when I was a child when we would walk to the store on a busy road and I remember it. I also understand why she used it & I'm glad she did or I probably (no, definitely) would have gotten hurt. Having a peace of mind is better than a hurt child. It's just sad that theres always gonna be someone (especially someone without kids) thats not gonna understand. Think of whats best for you & your children =)

Zowie - posted on 08/08/2009

3

18

0

no i think they are one of the best invensions made and i know how hard it is trying to run after two while you are pushing a pram you have to do everything that is essential to keep your babie safe and my vies is tha children shouldwear these untill they fully understand the dangers of the road and running off.

[deleted account]

We have one of those for our daughter. We only use it in the airport when "hold my hand or we carry you" doesn't work but if you need one, you need one and quite frankly, it's no one's business.

I can tell you that, as a child, I had a harness that my mom used when she had to fly cross-country with my infant brother and me without my dad. I'm not scarred. I don't even remember it, although I did find it when I was in high school while I was digging through the attic. It was kind of cute, with a little red heart on it. My brother and I also had car seats before they were common.

I think Brandy has it right. Knowing your son is safe and by your side is much more valuable than the guilt and horror you would feel for the rest of your life if something happened. People are always judging moms, moms included. I've been judged because I don't allow my 2 yr old juice and half a dozen things out there that others think are ok for their kids. I didn't BF. And on and on. You need to do what's right for you. And if someone says something, reply, "Everyone providing input on how I raise my child (barring imminent danger and legal issues) is required to make a substantial deposit to his college fund. Would you like to write a check or do you prefer direct deposit?"

Stacey - posted on 08/06/2009

157

14

11

yes same here lol i have the puppy one..its the one he choose lol he loves it to death lol

Mariela - posted on 08/06/2009

21

14

0

I just got the monkey one, my husband thought it was kind of harsh, but of course he dosnt take him to the mall or the super market. As soon as you put my child down he runs for his life, of course he thinks is funny. I would definitely use mine when going on public specially when he scares the hell out of me when hiding inside the clothes racks. Leashes are not bad, I actually think it just became my best friend.

Stephanie - posted on 08/05/2009

39

16

2

it depends on the child. saftey 1st. i have a friend & her daughter will take off as soon as she can so it's all up to you. it doesn't matter what ppl think. do what's best for you & your lil one. :)

[deleted account]

I don't think it's bad if you're keeping your kid safe..but I also think once they're three or so they need to mind the first time everytime..obedience is the best safety precaution there is...hard to instill though..I have a two year old who is a loose cannon..

Elsie - posted on 08/05/2009

5

9

0

Hi, I have 2 kids one is 2 and one is 3 and we have one for each of them. My husband doesn't like to use them but I don't care. Andy and Lily both like to run off. We put them on it any time that We are in a public crowed area. I would rather have them close than have them run off or some pervert grab them. I don't care what other poeople think because most of the time I get looks for using them also. But the people looking don't have kids and konw what it is to take care of them. I say use it and know that your kids are safe and don't worry about anybody else.. I hope that helps.

Lakisha - posted on 08/05/2009

5

9

1

Personally, I think that it does look like something from the animal planet but I don't know I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. but my kids know better than to try me like that. I think it's about how you raise your kids. but all kids are different so I don't want to sound judgemental considering I don't even know you from adam! I don't like the idea and I'd stay in the house before I'd put my babies in leashes as if I were walkinga pit bull. but I did meet this lady with triplets and she said it was easier to get leashes than to yell at one while the other one is running across the street! but if you do it please get one of the bookbag one's they don't look so bad! Safety first I suppose.

Shannon - posted on 08/05/2009

2

3

0

Those leashes are wonderful!! My daughter is 2 and she hates to be in a stroller and she refuses to hold my hand, the only way I can make sure she does not get lost or hurt is to put her back pack on her, especially in busy places. I always get people looking at me a little funny to, but I care more about my daughters saftey then I do what others think. One last note - she gets so excited when she sees the back pack because she knows she has more freedom then in the stroller.

Stacy - posted on 08/05/2009

9

25

0

i totally agree with the leash. i travel a lot with my kids and that was the only way i could stay sane in an airport. my kids actually like it. for some reason they think it's fun. i've used it on my oldest with my second child was a baby. now i use it on my youngest. who cares if people look at you like you're crazy. i personally see the safely of my child being higher on the totum pole.

Julie - posted on 08/05/2009

17

1

0

i don't like it . BUT what matter for you: what other think of you or Your kid? if for you it is up to that to be safe go for it.

Billie Jo - posted on 08/05/2009

12

5

0

Everyone wants something to complain about-first realize that. My husband hates that thing and I don't care what people think. I usually just put it on him and hook it around so that I am not holding it, but if we are on a sidewalk I use it. I tend to get less stares when I have it on my wrist like a braclet than when I am holding it. As long as my kids are safe, that's all that matters to me.

Mallory - posted on 08/05/2009

11

17

1

My husband and I don't see eye to eye on the leash subject. I don't want to lose my little boy in a crowd and have him hurt or killed. I am glad I read some of these posts they gave me some good ideas about how to approach talking to him about them and how to use them. After reading here I think I will treat the backpack/leash as "training wheels". Kids don't know how to stay with their mom and dad without learning it. There is much more interesting things to do! So, if I use that as a safety net in case he does try to run but teach him how to walk with me, I think it will be fine. And if I get some dirty looks,... that is their problem. I am doing what I feel is right for my child.

Ashley - posted on 08/05/2009

1

2

0

My 2 year old daughter wears a harness when we are in large crowds such as airports and Dsiney. I think it would be much worse pleading for the safe return of my child on tv then getting a couple of dirty looks from strangers.

Sharleen - posted on 08/05/2009

1

6

0

Honestly, I wasn't really crazy about them and thought that they looked like leashes... but recently my toddler went to run in the street and I decided that I don't care what they look like, Im going to buy him one. Im buying him the little monkey because it's cute, its a back back and doesn't look like a leash, although I really don't care what anybody thinks as long as my lil guy is safe. If anyone doesn't like it, they can keep it moving.

[deleted account]

I have one for my 2 1/2 year old. I know people that don't like them say that you should "teach your child not to run off, then you won't need one." Yeah, well, when you figure out how to get a 2 year old to listen to you, let me know how you did it...please! I don't see why people object so strongly to them. A) It keeps your kid safe, B) It gives your child a sense of independence (not having to hold mommy's hand) which is good for their self-esteem. It's not like it's a leash around the child's neck. Most of them are cute little backpacks (my son's is a monkey with a pocket on it he puts his toy cars in), or at worst a harness. I say, if it's working for you, stick with it and just ignore the snide comments people may be giving you.

Jaclyn - posted on 08/05/2009

1

8

0

A friend of mine works in child development and told me while shopping in the kid safty department at babies r us if I use one those she would smack me. So I guess people in child development do not think they should be used; but if you are concerened for your sons saftey (kinda hard to push a stroller and keep tabs a young child that wants to explore) I would use it. Better to get dirty looks than have something happen to your son.

Fiona - posted on 08/05/2009

2

40

0

no its not so bad about wanting to keep ur child safe . as a mother of 5 i think that they are a really good idea

Helen - posted on 08/05/2009

44

12

7

We call them reins here in the UK and I am a big fan. Have just bought two sets to send to a friend in Germany where they are virtually unknown. (She has twins). I know for a fact that they have saved my son's life on at least one occassion and have no problem with you using them. I'd have a problem with you risking your child running into traffic. A choke chain is possibly going a little too far, however. Next time someone objects, just thank them for their concern but state clearly that you are comfortable with your decision. If that doesn't work, tell them that you have to use it as the sedatives the vet prescribed didn't work!

Jessica - posted on 08/04/2009

177

18

0

Shannon that's pretty much how we use ours. Also if I am walking alone with my daughter and my son I will attach it to the stroller and we practice him walking beside me. It really has helped. That last few weeks we have been able to go on short walks with out it and with out holding my hand. But he likes it. We have the bear one. And the kids are always trying to wear it. Even my 19 month old. I usually get complements on it. A lot of older people say Gee I wish they had those when my kids were little. Things like that. Sometimes I get stares but I think it's cause they think my son is older then he is. He is 3 and is taller then most 5 year olds and talks as well as a 5 year old. Then my daughter is 19 months and looks like she is under a year and people will say wow she is already walking? At 19 months I hope she is walking is usually what I say. lol

Rebecca - posted on 08/04/2009

16

13

2

As long as you use it in a area of concern. What i mean is I saw a women in the pediatric dentist office with like a 3 year old who had siblings. The siblings went to the playroom and she never took the leash of the 3 year old. It was not a big office or a big playroom. She should have taken it off in there. And she didn't let him go play either. He looked old enough. But I have thought about it for us. If you have two small ones it is a great idea. Thats why they make them.

Ellie - posted on 08/04/2009

1

7

0

I bought one for my daughter, we were in Walmart and some guy behind us made a comment. "Oh, look she has her daughter on a leash." I was so offended I returned it that same day. I guess really I shouldn't be, and it is a safe way to keep your child in sight. If our children are runnign the store people look at us, and if we try to control them people look at us. Go figure. I'm at a loss.

Shannon - posted on 08/04/2009

190

4

7

My son is almost 3. We use it in crowded places, but he is a RUNNER and he loves vehicles. He will run across the street without looking if there is a truck or bulldozer or mailtruck on the other side. So if we are walking on the street he is in a stroller or has the monkey on his back. We are constantly talking about safety and with the monkey on his back we still make him hold our hand and teach him how to walk with us safely but the leash is a second level of safety. We don't pay any attention to the leash with him we make him believe holding our hand is what we are holding him with. If he gets out of our hands and runs we have the leash to protect him. Using this method he is slowly getting better at staying with us.

Marquita - posted on 08/04/2009

49

51

4

My best friend has a safety harness for her daughter as well, and one day she went to the fair with her husbands family. Her sister-in-law kept making snide comments about the "leash" and how she didn't approve of it, and how she was treating her child like a dog. A couple hours later, my friends sister-in-law was asking "have you seen my daughter" (not the kid in the harness) "do you know where my daughter is?" There standing on the bank of the Ohio river, was her three year old daughter.....Still think the harness is a bad idea? She's lucky that her child was ok...

Marquita - posted on 08/04/2009

49

51

4

I have a 2 1/2 year old, she is pretty well-mannered, but, she has her days. I have a safety harness for her and it looks like a monkey. I love it! I have talks with her about staying close to me when we are out but sometimes she gets into the 2yr old mindset and will just take off without warning and chase after a butterfly or a stray animal, or something of the nature. I keep the harness in the car with us just in case we go into a over-crowded store or something. It comes in handy too when she doesnt want to ride in the shopping cart or isn't quite making good choices that day. I never feel like she's a dog and anyone that gives me a dirty look, I just give them a gentle scowl and say "I LOVE MY DAUGHTER...and I CARE ABOUT HER SAFETY" and walk away.....lol I think it's funny :)

Leanne - posted on 08/04/2009

10

13

1

I have a little boy who's nearly 2 and i use reins (leash) on him because i want to be sure he's safe. I only use them when we go shopping or when needed, just to keep him close by and make sure he isn't in any danger. But generally i can take him for a walk up the road and not use them. I think it's all about personal choice and what you feel is comfortable for you. personally i uses them, but others obviously have stronger dislike toward them.

Stacey - posted on 08/04/2009

157

14

11

ya and nothing was done about it either it happened in leamington because thats where he lives but apparently he was caught in time which is good...i just hope he hasnt tried this again to anyone else and succeeded.atleast with the leash if they went to take it off it wud give me enough time to realize it was happening and it will also detour most of them because its more chance of them getting caught. but that person who tried to steal my nephew better be in jail and soon....

Jenne - posted on 08/04/2009

13

17

1

My son has no sense of reality and he's 4. He has issues that make us on occasion use our doggy holder. it kept him safe. especially when you go hiking or climbing. he has ran away from us and my husband runs alot so he's used to it. we have a 1 yr old and a 4mth old too. the one year will walk with us without issue. I think it all depends on your child. I know those looks I used to give them b4 kids. Now I know with certain kids it can be a lifesaver. We dont use it anymore cause we need him to be more independent. but just the other day he ran away from my husband and in front of a steam traction engine. thank god my huband got him out of the way but even now I worry. dont let anyone judge you, your know your child and whats best for him/her.

Angie - posted on 08/04/2009

318

43

13

Holy cow, I do understand the whole leash thing now Stacey...I think I would be on the worried side if that had happened in my family. I'm sorry to hear that. I think it is crazy how life experiences(negative or postive) has an effect on to what you believe is right to parenting styles.

Stacey - posted on 08/04/2009

157

14

11

its very true peoples opions are different..i personally dont agree with spanking a child but its just like you dont agree with the leash everyone has different ways of discplining a child as well as keeping them safe and teaching them..this personally is my way so that while im teaching him he can be safe instead of him learning the hardway...i just use it because i dont have a car and we cross alot of busy streets and also because im worried because i had recently found out my nephew was almost kidnapped so it worries me for that reason.

Angie - posted on 08/04/2009

318

43

13

I guess what I was trying to say...deal with it and take it as a grain of salt.

Angie - posted on 08/04/2009

318

43

13

Jessica,

I guess I just have to laugh at this...you saying I beat my child because I spank!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...THANKS! :) I guess I'm one abusive mother, everyone's opinions are different...like both of ours are different. But please don't say I abuse my child...In fact I love me child enough to teach them boundaries(not all of it leads to spanking). That was just an example, but anyways this isn't about spanking this is about leashes!

I am not judging the mothers on here and I am not saying that any of you are horrible parents because you choose something that I don't agree with. Thats life and you are going to run into people who disagree with things...but life will go on...and thank you also for putting God into this conversation...God is on my side and I take it very personal with my relationship with him.

Also Stacey asked for opinions, and maybe I put my own opinion too harshly for others...

Stacey - posted on 08/04/2009

157

14

11

and its not like i drag him around either i mean i walk his speed and if i see he has trouble keeping up ill ask him if he wants me to slow down which also works for us too

Stacey - posted on 08/04/2009

157

14

11

yes but in my opinion when you have nobody to babysit your children and its a necessity to go out i need it and also im only using it until he knows to stay with me and how to cross a road which i am currently teaching him so far it is working and we talk about all the dangers of being out wuthout a parent all the time...i even teach him if he loses me in the store to look for a person in a uniform and tell them he cant find me as well as he knows my name so its all coming together.

Eva - posted on 08/04/2009

4

5

0

I wasn't being mean i just think there r other ways of doing it. You have to have control and limit the things they r allowed to do. Myself my first time taking a toddler to the mall and grocery store. I came to the conclusion i will never do it again until they were old enough to understand how they must act

Kristy - posted on 08/04/2009

34

22

5

i have 2 1/2 yr old twin girls and i use leashes on them at the beach under their life jackets and in the mall. i could not imagine trying to fly after 2 little girls going in opposite directions! lol and no i am not overweight or lazy! people need to step inot other people's shoes before beaking off about other's parenting skills. i say if it works for you then use it!!

Angie - posted on 08/04/2009

318

43

13

Let me clarify somethine...When I say "usually" It doesn't mean I am pointing my finger at parents on here! Usually means what I see in person and the people I am around...So please don't get butt hurt of what I am saying, this is my opinion and I respect other mother's opinions...the majority of people I see in person do match what I say...But this doesn't mean you woman are like this...and there is nothing wrong with trying to protect your child!!!! This is for all of the mothers on here and not just for you Stacey.

Jessica - posted on 08/04/2009

177

18

0

Angie you have a hard time seeing a child on a "Leash" but beating your kids butt is ok? Sorry but spankings don't work for my curious, high strung child. I hope that god gives you a child that doesn't follow all the rules and it will make you learn to not judge others so harshly or rudely.

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