Should You Put a Leash On Your Toddler?
Posted by Debate Mom
If you own a dog, chances are you own a leash. If you’re a parent, there is also a good chance you own a leash - for your child. Everywhere I turn these days, I’m seeing more and more moms and dads with a tight grip on their kids. Before I became a parent, I really thought it was the worst thing ever. Who would put a leash on their kid? Come on, were their kids really that bad that they couldn’t control them? Were they really that bad of a parent?
Fast forward a few years. Now I totally get why some parents use them. As a momma to a wandering almost 3-year-old, at times I need to have eyeballs behind my head, on my arms, legs and just about everywhere else. You'd think keeping her from wandering would be as easy as just putting her in the cart. But when she contorts her body as if she were performing with Cirque du Soleil, it’s not so easy to get her to sit down. And yet, although there have been many times when a leash would have come in handy, I still can't do it. I still feel like I’m walking a dog instead of trying to manage my child. But, I know many parents do it in the name of safety, and I get it.
“Good Morning America” recently did a story about the whole thing and some people they talked to said there’s never a good reason to leash your kid. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think for some parents in some situations it may be the answer, but it’s just not for me.
Do you put a leash on your child? Do you think there are times when it’s ok and others when it’s not?
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My first reaction is: times have changed! Crowds are BIGGER, and strangers are SCARIER. Simple as that. My second, more personal thought is this: I have a curious, fearless, and very TINY toddler. We were at the airport meeting her grandmother and it was incredible how quickly she could slip my grasp. Keeping a grip on her delicate, lower-than-knee-level arm/hand/wrist was like....well, ya know those handheld squishy tubes of water that turn inside of themselves? THAT!!! After such an unsettling experience I WILL be getting a toddler leash! Not for the everyday outing, but definitely for places like airports, theme parks, public transportation, etc. I love my daughter too much not to.
July 14, 2012
Well the leashes come in all kinds of designs. anywhere from a harness to a backpack to a wristband.. And I like the backpack one.. My daughter could put her drinks toys and a .diaper.. I think the leashes are great. You always know where they are at all times. No worrying about whet they.. I love it..
July 12, 2012
I think a leash isnt only for keeping a child close bc they are hard to handle but (when my child starts walking) i think it is good bc even if you keep a close eye on the child you could turn and in 1 second the child be gone and someone kidnapped her! I definitely plan on doing it. probably not in a store but who know, but i will definitely be doing it when there is a parade or something with BIG crowds. I would rather people look at me in disbelief than for me looking for my child in disbelief shes gone.
July 12, 2012
My honest opinion here, & no I'm not sitting on any high horse, nor is my head in the clouds, no cold under any circumstance should need a house. I'm not saying you shouldn't have kids but your mother & father didn't put you on a leash. they're way of parenting was so much better then todays. back then anything went, kids were disciplined. if your kid runs off out of site, pull them close by their hand or clothes, smack their butt & teach them the meaning of no. dont take the easy way out & put a leash on them.
July 12, 2012
Ok to those of you who are saying (maybe not in so many words) that using a leash is unacceptable and makes you a bad parent, and therefore you shouldn't have had kids to begin with. Get off your high horse and pull your head out the clouds. Those leashes or safety harnesses are designed as a back up in case you lose your grip on your child's hand, I remember one time when my daughter ( who is very well behaved by the way) let go of my hand and disappeared from sight for a minute, I almost had a heart attack I was so scared. Leashes are perfectly acceptable as a safety backup, there is no reason for anyone to judge anyone else, I am very glad that those of you who don't use these tools have never lost your children, and I sincerely hope it stays that way for everyone. There are sickos out there who will grab kids and use or do horrible things to them or sell them for human trafficking...a good movie for anyone who doubts this to watch is Human Trafficking, it is based on actual events and it is very sad but very informative, it definitely gives a reason as to why some parents would use a leash.
July 12, 2012
I raised my first son in a city with more than 10 million people--definitely a busy and crowded place. I never felt a need to put a leash on my son and I still don't think leashes are an item to be used in children. I plan to keep my now 4 month-old free of them too.
July 12, 2012
I have three children, and have never used a leash. They would either hold my hand or be in the stroller or cart. That was it. Once they would start giving me a hard time about holding hands, I would put them right in the stroller. They learned early on what was expected. They need to be taught from the start that there is no compromise on certain things when it comes to safety. Just like the car seat, there is no compromise, even if they whine and complain. Their hand is always in mine and if they are in the stroller, it is right next to me, I never walk away from them. My children were active too, but being out in public is not the place for them to run free or be allowed to take the lead, even if they are independent. My mother had 4 of us and did the same thing.
July 12, 2012
I'm a proud mommy of a almost two year old son. We live in the city, there is alot of traffic. When we go for walks I strap his leash harness to him, but I put the loop around my wrist and hold his hand. I use the leash as a precaution. I also use it at the mall, or huge public events where there are alot of people. There are too many crazies in this world, and kids are quick to run off. Why risk it? His leash is adorable, it looks like a little monkey back pack, it even has a pocket for him to carry whatever he wants! He's safe, he's happy with the monkey, and I don't feel as worried. its win win :)
July 11, 2012
i use a leash and i am not ahamed weather u call it a leash or safety harness who cares dogs have harnesses as well my daughter runs everywhere and likes everyone. do u know how many kids a year are stole out of shopping carts every mom thinks i watch my kid couldnt happen to me it can u turn your head to read a nutrition label and turn back and your child is gone i watch my child but she is quick!! i would rather teach her appropriate behavior ...stay close to mom and having the extra security of the leash that she wont get in dangers way before i can get to her. just strapping a child in to the cart honestly makes them more curious about exploring outside i want her to have independence and freedom in the safest way possible she loves her back pack she wears it with or without the leash attached!
July 11, 2012
I always hate to hear about those judgemental people who judge others because they "think" something is rediculous. I see no problem putting my kid on a "leash". Obviously it's not an apparatus that goes around their neck like a dog...they sell many kinds. Some are in the form of a backpack, or those parents who would rather disguise the "leash" aspect from their kids. Others attach to the wrist. Even if you have the most well behaved child who never ever leaves your side and holds onto you at every second (which we all know doesn't exist), you don't know just who is watching you in that crowded place waiting for your kid to be in the perfect situation to snatch them. The child leash is used for safety...period. Doesn't matter whether it is to keep a wanderer close, or to prevent someone else from luring them away. My child's safety is number one and no judgemental moron is going to stop me from doing what I can to keep him safe.
July 11, 2012
When visiting a crowded place, my son will most definitely have some kind of apparatus connecting us. You could be the best parent in the world who has the best kid in the world, but that kid could disappear without a trace in seconds! I'm not taking that chance!
July 10, 2012
I never was sure about them before, but now that I have a busy toddler who can get away from me faster than I can get up or run, I would absolutely use one in a crowded place (like the zoo, large crowds, etc.). She will sit in the stroller for about a half hour, but then is ready to be up and on the go. She is getting stronger and squirmier, so it's harder to hold her too. She can break the grip of my hand holding her fairly quickly. I don't need her running into a crowd where someone can grab her. Yes, you teach your child about safety, but toddlers can't control impulse. Just recently on our local news, a 2 year old got away from her family in an instant in a parking lot and was run over by an oncoming car and killed. I don't own one yet, but I foresee shopping for one soon. Using one to keep a child safe and near is fine. Using it all the time (like around the house) or as a form of punishment is not acceptable.
July 10, 2012
I have three children ages 9, 8, and 1.In my opinion there is no reason to put your child on a leash. It is just silly. If you can't keep up with your kid due to a disability I MIGHT see that as a justifiable reason. If your child is so ill behaved you feel you must put a leash on them, maybe you shouldn't have had kids. My husband and I love to people watch and we have noticed that the parents with kids on leashes are usually not paying any attention to the poor tot they are dragging around. FOR SHAME! but makes for a good laugh.
July 10, 2012
As a veteran leash kid, my mom explained to me in full detail the necessities of having a leash for your kid. The number one reason- safety. Unless you're physically/emotionally treating your child like a dog, there should be no judgement made towards a mom wanting to be more safety efficient. I have a daughter a little over a year old who wants to walk everywhere. She screams the entire time she's in a cart and shopping solo would be impossible without the "leash". Btw- I hate that word. I prefer to call them safety harnesses. If we called them that, maybe they wouldn't have such a bad rap? Anyway, I've only used it a couple of times and too be honest, no matter how much more safe my kid is, it's still very awkward to use. But with kids and the wackos out there nowadays, why not be better safe than sorry?
July 09, 2012
I have a 4 1/2 year old girl with the one I tried using a leash, it was a cute backpack with a dry erase board in it that she could also use while she wasn't leashed, well she loved the dry erase board but hated to have the back on and being attached to me, I now have a 16 month boy and I'm not bothering on buying one so I can keep him attached to me, I think me being with them is enough to keep them close
July 09, 2012
I have a very independent 1 1/2 year old. She is constantly on the go and is never still. For that very reason I have a "leash". I only use it if we are going places like the zoo or fair were we will be all day and a stroller just wont work for my active little girl. It gives her that sense of independence and it gives me a sense of comfort knowing she is safe and wont get lost in the crowd if for some reason she were to get separated from me.
July 08, 2012
Even before I was a mother to a very active 22 mo old, I understood the need to keep a child close and safe. My son wears a little monkey backpack that he absolutely loves! It has a tail that we hold onto together and its a fun little game. I know he is safe and won't be snatched or wander off and he thinks he is playing a game. When we are in stores or crossing streets he has to hold my hand or grab the cart and we will stop and wait for him to do so. He still has boundaries and limitations that a child without the safety backpack has, but I have the comfort in knowing that in a split second he won't be gone or taken. If anyone ever asks why I use the safety backpack I simply tell them, I would rather have him wearing it then smushed in the street or running free in the store. Because lets face it as moms, sometimes you need 2 hands for things and children take any chance they can to explore and I'm not willing to let something happen to the most precious thing in my life. I don't "LEASH" my child, he wears a safety backpack.
July 07, 2012
I believe leashing is not bad as people think, in the sense that you can never be too careful with your kids nowadays especially with all these bad people around.
July 07, 2012
When we moved to Mexico, my son was 6 years old. We knew little about anything there, and on one holiday we decided to take our son to the zoo. Good grief. It was a national holiday in Mexico City and there must have been around 2 million people walking around the zoo that day - literally, not as a figure of speech! As we walked in, I saw a bunch of kids in leashes and I said to my husband "we NEED one of those!" - mind you I had never seen a kid leash before - I hadn't even ever thought about it! But then and there I thought it was GENIUS. I stopped at the first quiosk that sold one, and strapped it on my son. Without a second thought! In a strange country, among 2 million strangers, it was very comforting to know for sure I wouldn't lose him (but who loses a child, right? Well it happens, we hear stories all the time!). I have to admit I didn't use the leash again (maybe once, if so), but I don't regret having used it, and I'd totally do it again in that situation. In fact, I just bought my 2 year old the cutest little backpack, and it has a strap that you can attach to, if you want to. My daughter loves to walk on her own and I want to give her some space and let her be a "big girl", but that strap sure comes handy when you're in certain places!
July 07, 2012
Before I became a mom, I thought leashs for kids was horrible, but with a curious 2 1/2 yr old I can see why some parents use them, and if I had twins, I would probably leash them. I don't use a leash because I can strap my son in the cart when we go shopping or in the stroller when we go out. Even if he squirms he's pretty safe strapped down.
July 06, 2012
I dont have a leash and was also one to point and laugh when I seen children on leashes before I had my daughter. Now I do understand why alot of parents do, but I am one of 5 4 of us are less than 4 years apart and my Mom never had to use one the snap of her fingers did just as good we new better than to run off even at young ages. Now if your in a very populated area or what not then yes I understand using a leash but it should not be used so the child can run wild just for a safety percaution you should still make your child stand with you and be respectful. But for the everyday trip to the grocery store you make that child sit there but down in the buggy or hold onto it or your hand and stay right with you. Thats whats wrong with the world today parents dont discipline there children and dont pay enough attention. Im not saying putting your child on a leash is wrong I may do it one day if in an overly populated area but ive seen parents do it so they dont have to deal with there child and the child can still be "safe".
momma of 7
July 06, 2012
a kid leash gives a child freedom to walk without being able to run off or get taken by the sickos in this world. I never had one untill I had twin toddlers. I think its a great invention and now they look like backpacks or stuffed animals . I would bet that when safty gate frist came along people had alot to say about them too
July 06, 2012
I have one wild and particularly fast 2 1/2 year old who rarely sits, runs at the speed of light, and is not scared.of strangers (and never has been). For these reasons we do have a leash. However, it is used basically as a precaution. We do not allow.him just to.walk free with only the leash, he must hold our hand(s) & the leash is only used just in case his skinny little hands get out of ours as he dashes.for the nearest animal/tractor/car exhibit or to strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger(which he does everywhere we go).
July 05, 2012
Before I had children, I was one of those who would say oh my Gosh I can't believe parents actually put those on their kids, and as an outside party it does look bad. However, I think it works for most parents, theres nothing wrong with it. Children get curious and run off, i think it will prevent things from happening and your child getting lost and out of site. As parents we have our busy minds and have our hands full. I think its useful, when you have things in your hand, etc you can get around more easily than pushing a stroller its hard enough to manuver around stores and shops with a stroller anyway.
July 05, 2012
My 2 year old does have a leash... No I don't use it every time we leave the house but like when we go to the zoo or are walking down the street where he has more fun exploring on his own than being strapped into a stroller we use it. It keeps him safe yet he can still explore like a big kid. I don't think it's like walking a dog... I think of it as a learning tool. Yes I feel strange sometimes when people stare but if it keeps him safe stare all you want.
July 03, 2012
The fact that your calling it a leash instantly makes it sound like your treating your child like a dog. A safety harness is perhaps more appropriate. And if you are walking down a busy road better to be safe than sorry. Also it gives your toddler s bit of freedom and independence while still giving them boundaries without putting them in danger or causing you to run all over the place after them.
June 29, 2012
*two. Angela, I just saw your post and I can understand why. I guess it's the same as me having my little one keep her had on the cart or she would hold on to my clothing in some way.
June 29, 2012
I can understand why some parents would consider a leash, however considering and doing are too different things. You just have to be vigilant, wandering child or not.
June 29, 2012
I have one for my daughter. I have a personal reason though. As a child, I was almost kidnapped 3 different times. Each time my mom was within arms reach of me. To know that she was that close to me and people still tried to take me is reason enough for me.