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Old 01-16-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
jam's mum
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Toddlers on a leash

Since we're in the mood for controversy

I think having a toddler on a harness or a leash is completely fine, and my friends - who don't have kids - think it is absolutely disgusting, and were shocked. We went to a busy mall last Saturday, and had forgotten the Beco thingy; we went into a children's shop and asked if they had any of those back-packy harnessy things, and got a MAMMOTH lecture about it.

To my mind, a toddler on a leash has a lot more freedom than a toddler in a stroller or baby carrier, and I have an extra hand to do stuff with. So the concept of "restraint" doesn't make much sense to me.

The only thing I can think of to squick me out is, of course, that we walk dogs on leashes. But then I think - well, our cities and institutions are made to accommodate adult humans, not dogs or children. And while I think that public spaces should accommodate our youngest citizens more fully, right now they don't. The fact that we walk dogs on leashes is a testament to dogs' position in our society as companion animals in a world that isn't made for them - if there's a resemblance in the way that we treat dogs and children, it's a symptom of, an indictment of, the way that our public spaces are constructed. Not an indictment of the way that I think about my child.

And furthermore - as I wish I had said to the lady - a leash is an indicator of external control. If my daughter holds my hand uncomplainingly, that's an indicator of internal control. I find the concept of a toddler subordinating her own natural curiosity to the inscrutable intentions of her mother more worrying, frankly, than a toddler tethered.

Now you! Where do you stand?


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Old 01-16-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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They are useful.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:35 PM   #3
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I can see the use in specific situations, but don't personally feel they're a good everyday thing. Since we're talking about dogs, all dog training I have participated in involves training the dog to be attentive to the person and verbal commands, rather than relying on the pressure of the leash for cues

I think relying on a leash as an only means of "restraint" when in public doesn't always teach the kiddos much, but like I said there are times and places.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:52 PM   #4
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

i think safety is more important than anything. while other adults might see a toddler on a leash and feel FOR him/her that he/she is being treated like a dog, i doubt a toddler would make that comparison. And if he/she did, he/she would probably be delighted or not care at all.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:03 AM   #5
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My son is probably the world's sweetest, most obedient toddler; I wouldn't even think of using one on him. My daughter? Different story. We may need to get her one if we're unable to find a straight jacket in size 18-24 mos. Whatever works.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

Well since you asked .....

I would not use one for my children as they are not dogs and deserve more respect than to be lead/dragged around like one.
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Last edited by AbbieJack; 01-17-2013 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:13 AM   #7
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I have a 15 month old runner. I contemplate it. He isn't into the stroller at all.

I do not plan to place it around his neck so I won't compare it to a dog. But then again I tether my child in a carseat but let my dogs lay in the backseat untethered so I guess my cruelty and tethering nature washes out and is subjected to geographical circumstance.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:14 AM   #8
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

They have a time and place. I used to use one in a busy place like West Edmonton Mall or at the fair, it lets the child walk about and have freedom to explore while still being close....we know how quickly kids can break away and run off.

I also used one when my oldest would be at swim lessons...the kind where the parent has to sit right by the pool. My older son wasn't going to sit right on the bench for 45min, and I couldn't sit him on my lap without him screaming, so the harness allowed him to sit at my feet, and it allowed me to keep my attention focused on my daughter (my kids are just a year apart).

They should not be used however, to allow the parents to just plain be lazy parents.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:21 AM   #9
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

I have a 22 month old runner. Her safety is more important than what other people think of me. She absolutely LOVES her "backpack" and asks to wear it anytime we are out. I am an avid babywearer, but now that she knows how much freedom she has with the harness, she refuses to sit in the stroller or ride on my back. Most of the time, I hold her hand and we walk places, but in big crowds we bring the backpack.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

I can see sometimes but as started I don't think needed for everyday use. I guess yews toy want to shop but then leave kids worth other adult or have friend come help to watch.moms have done with out them for many years. I guess leash to me means you are kinda lazy......but I can see it in like some stayed insurances. We have friendwho used with her kid just Pon walks. My hubby and I agreed we didn't think our was needEd .....
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