Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Great Debate...Or At Least One of Them

This morning I was following the stalker feed on Facebook when I saw a comment regarding children and leashes.  The comment said something to the affect of, "That disturbs me almost as much as parents who leash their children."  So, of course, I mentioned something to Hans.

Having been a leashed child myself, and feeling as though I have not suffered any long-term side affects, I am all for a leash...especially in crowded, public situations.  I don't feel that a leash is a way to drag your child around or force him to stay directly by you side.  It is not meant to treat him like a dog (although that's not such a bad thing in my world) where he should always walk on you left side and sit when you stop.  Rather, a leash is a way to keep him tethered to you.  Should you have your arms laden with groceries, or should be in a crowded area such as a mall or fair, the leash guarantees that your child will not dart into traffic or wander off to find something more fun.

Hans, however, has a very different opinion on the matter.  While he sees the positive side of leashing a child, especially in a situation like the farm building at the state fair, he thinks it odd and possibly detrimental to the well-being of a child.  He says in situations like the mall or walking down the street one could simply hold their child's hand.

I, obviously, disagree.  I don't feel that I've heard enough arguments (sound arguments, not just opinions) that would lead me to believe that leashing is bad.  Just like with Cody, a leash in certain situations gives me a certain peace of mind.  When Cody reached the point that I could trust him off-leash, I let him off-leash.  Why would I not do the same with my own flesh and blood?

So, now I must ask, what are your opinions on the matter?  Were you leashed?  Did you leash your children?  Do you wish you had?  Do you wish you hadn't?  Are you utterly opposed and why?  Are you simply indifferent?  Please share!


  1. I wasn't a leashed-kid, and I find it weird. I don't think it's got long-term impacts, necessarily, but there's an essential difference between leashing and hand holding: one is a passive restraint, whilst the other is an active "I am holding on to you because I care for you, and you are more important than holding many things in my hands." Dogs, on the other hand, don't have a free limb to actively hang onto during walks (unless you're a tail-grabber and they tend to not appreciate that), so leashes become necessary.

    Again, that's just my take.

  2. I was "leashed" only at the mall and it was a simple a Velcro tie to my wrist. Apparently I had one bc when I learned how to walk I wanted to run into every store and this "leash" allowed my parents to let me have the freedom of walking, wandering and exploring as I pleased to the extent that the "leash" would allow. This worked out great bc it kept me happy cuz I was 1) out of the stroller like I wanted to be and 2) my parents didn't have to constantly run and stumble over people just to keep up with me. So we could all enjoy the mall. I was not affected by this bc it was a simple Velcro wrist thing that was used for a very short period of time which was until I could listen to direction and not run off. Can't say I'll use one on my daughter but we'll just have to wait and see!

  3. I don't know how I feel about it. We haven't leashed E at all and don't have one. I know people who do and those who are strongly opposed. I think in the right hands it is just another parenting tool but it has great potential for misuse.

  4. After my little brother wrestled free from my mom and ran out into the middle of the street into traffic, the "leash" entered our lives. I think it saved my brother from certain death and my mother from certain insanity.

  5. I LOVED using the leash on you...and you very much loved it too! It gave you much more freedom to explore than if you just held onto my hand, and at the same time, it kept you safe and made you feel safe too because you knew that Mom was there no matter where you wandered.

    We used the Velcro kind where one end attached to your wrist and the other end attached to mine. I didn't see then nor do I see now the problem with using one. Trust me, a parent NEVER wants to know the feeling of panic of not knowing where their toddler has wandered while in a busy place. The leash gives total peace of mind. We only used it when we were in crowded public places such as the state fair or malls, so we held hands a lot too. In other words, you and I had the best of both worlds. :)

  6. I am late to the conversation but. . .yes leashing a child did look strange the first time I saw it. And I admit I felt a rush of negative feelings but that was a emotional knee jerk reaction. After some rational thought I think a leash is perfect in some situations and for some children. It makes sense to use one, it is safe to use and increases the security of your child.