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Unleashing the Toddlers

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Some say leashes are demeaning to little kids, others think they keep them safe.

While at the park with our husbands, a debate broke out between us. As we watched a Mom use a kiddie leash to prevent her screaming daughter from rolling around on the ground, my friend's husband said, "A child isn't a dog and shouldn't have a leash like one." Do you agree?

next: When Tots Trash the House
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
GHD February 17, 2008, 8:46 PM

I’m curious what suggestions your friend’s hubby has for keep toddlers from run off…

Rose February 18, 2008, 2:51 AM

I used to think there was never a time or place for a toddler leash. Then I found myself in a major airport traveling with my 2 year old, her car seat, diaper bag and entertainment/travel bag. She bolted into a crowd of people and I found myself diving after her dragging luggage and muttering “This is what child leashes are for.”

I still stand by that they shouldn’t be routine. Kids need to learn rules of when not to run away… and also have the freedom to explore and be as much a kid as safety allows. I can take my daughter through a mall and while she sometimes needs look don’t touch reminders she doesn’t need a leash. However I can understand that there are occasional situations where a leash or a stroller are better then a lost child… or having to chase your child through an “authorized people only” hallway in an airport.

holycow February 18, 2008, 10:00 AM

There are plenty of times that a leash is great-the park, the mall, Disneyland to name a few. My 2 yr old son hates to be in the stroller and in a grocery cart. If I let him walk around with by himself he takes off. If I put his backpack on with the attached leash then he stays with me and I don’t spend the whole time chasing him or looking under clothes racks. As for the lady at the park, I don’t think that the leash was mainly to keep her child for rolling around in the dirt, look at it as back-up safety precaution. As a Mom of three active children, it really is a great thing to have as a back-up measure to ensure that your child does not get away from you and run into the street, parking lot, stream, or worse yet a kid-nappers arms before you can reach them, while leaving your other two precious children by themselves. Some may call it cruel, I call it peace of mind.

momofmany February 18, 2008, 3:53 PM

I agree with holycow. I have 4 children under 4 - all single births- and on the rare occasion I do get out, I need to know my children are safe. Using a leash lets me give my 4 year old some responsibility to “hold” his sister as I walk next to them. With a leash I know where they are. It also comes in handy for Halloween. I can adjust it to fit over their costumes for when we go to the mall. They can all walk and then don’t always stay together so this a lifesaver when you have a lot of children to wrangle.

texasishome February 18, 2008, 4:55 PM

Anyone that thinks a leash is demeaning, doesn’t have the overly active child I have. My 19 month old is a wild child. The only way I can keep her undercontrol in a public place is on a leash. It gives her the freedom to walk and it keeps her safe. If I try to carry her or put her in the buggy seat people in the next town can hear the fit she throws.

JediMom February 24, 2008, 12:33 PM

I firmly believe as a mom you need to do whatever it takes to keep your kid safe. If you’re in a situation where you are concerned that your child could slip away or that someone could easily snatch them - why wouldn’t you take whatever steps necessary to protect them?

There are certainly a lot of factors that go into this including the temperament of your child, their maturity and ability to follow directions and certainly the situation you are in.

I’d like to know why moms are always constantly being judged? If a mom is doing her job to protect her kid, why should anyone criticize her? You can bet that if a child did get away from her, it would make the news and would involve flashing lights and child protective services.

mabrau March 9, 2008, 1:23 PM

I bought one for Disneyland for our 2 year old, years ago. We used it a few times, when the crowds got crazy, and I got crazy chasing him. I think they are great when your hands are full, there are crowds, and to keep your mind focused because you know where your child is.

Lynn May 6, 2008, 9:57 AM

I wonder what these mothers who say just teach them to behave would feel if their WELL-BEHAVED toddler got away from them and was hit by a car, or a bicycle or some other bad thing happened to their child because of a stupid idea that if you put a leash on a child you are treating that child like an animal. I have nothing but praise for a mom who does whatever it takes to protect her children. When I see a child with a leash or contained in a stroller, the only thought I have is that there is a mother who cares about her children. I see lots of other children running through malls and getting into trouble—tripping people and dashing into stores. Tripping people can be a hazard in itself as these people could fall on your toddler and hurt them. I totally agree with the leash for anywhere you need to make sure your toddler is safe. No matter how well behaved you never know when a child may decide to take off and that one time could be the time that something really bad happens to your child. Get away from the politically correct garbage and just take care of these precious babies.

Princesspeachfan2008 June 8, 2008, 8:27 AM

Humans are not dogs! Dont treat ur kids like animals, i think the parent on the photo must have caged her child and had a I-think-my-child-is-a-dog-and-my-dog-is-a-human
syndrome(ITMCIADAMDIAH). The parent better cure her diesease because her mind got twisted thinking her child is her dog and her dog is a human. She’s not the only woman with that diesease, i dont have it either, i dont leash my dog anymore, both dogs and humans should be unleashed(except for the big dogs who would instantly run on something and cause bad things to happen, but small dogs should be unleashed). This is the stupid thing ive ever heard of, tell the mother to get a big dog instead. I also saw a child leashed here in the Philippines.

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