Saturday, March 26, 2011

Put A Leash On "It"

To leash or not to leash that is the question.  I am not talking about my dog though because I don't have a dog and don't plan on getting one anytime soon.  And I would definitely leash a dog at all times when out in public.

I am talking about our 3 year old aka Mr. Beanpole.  I know harsh, right?  Maybe?  I am struggling a little bit with this.

See I used to be one of those moms who "judged" just a little bit when I saw parents with the little monkey or puppy backpack harnesses i.e. leashes on their children.  I would always, maybe not always, but too many times, I would comment to my husband, "They are not dogs".  Of course that was when we only had the 3 kids far apart in age.  I could be totally immersed with the smallest one when we were out and about because the older two where 15 and 9 when we had our 3rd child who is now 3.  Now that we had our 4th (and last) child much closer to our 3rd, it is difficult to get out and about with our 3 yr old and the almost 11 month old especially by myself. 

You see, Mr. Beanpole is a normal average 3 year old, always curious, always getting into something, somewhere, has no fear and likes to run (more like bolt)!  At times he has bolted when we are trying to just get out into the car here at home, at church, etc.  He also gets distracted easily like most 3 year olds when we are out and about so unless we are holding his hand at all times (which he is not very fond of since he is Mr Independent these days) we walk at a snails pace, touching everyone and everything in our path. 

When it comes to bolting when we are getting in/out of the car, we are lucky that the street we live on has very little traffic most of the time and he hasn't bolted into the street but rather up the street on the sidewalk but when you see him in action, he is QUICK!  (He gets that from his older brother)  And it is probably the funniest thing to my neighbors when I am running up the street, with baby in tow, after him, hollering his name....My hair flying in my face, Miss K bouncing on my hip (among other things bouncing that shouldn't) as I am about to make a face plant with each step...Not too funny at the time, but of course always looking back I just have to chuckle (or else I would probably cry). 

So with this all being said, I am no longer that mother!  I am really considering getting one of those little backpacks i.e. leashes to use with him when we are out and about so I have a little bit more "control".

What do you think? 

Are you for or against "leashes" on small children?


  1. I think it can be a good thing. And I don't think that people who see these on kids should judge too harshly.

    I worked in a classroom for autistic children, and the mom told us a story. She had her son who had autism on a leash and overheard some rude comments made about her and how she's just a horrible mom. She marched right up to those talking smack and told them that if they knew her son, they'd put him on a leash too. What would her son do if he wandered off and he can't tell anyone his name or that he's lost? Her viewpoint changed my viewpoint on this item.

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  3. I've seen them & never used one when the girls were younger. But my nephew was one to bolt all the time. I wish my SIL had used one. Gatherings in crowded areas would have been less stressful!! :)
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  4. I'm against it. I've seen parents use them and I really don't believe kids should be put on a leash. That's what we have carriages for and that's why parents should pay attention to their kids. So they don't run around crazy.

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  5. I am not a fan of leashes, but I also respect that there are some children who will be much safer with one than without one.

    You said your 3 year old is a normal boy, (i.e., perhaps not seriously impulsive or autistic or have other developmental concerns). I suspect you can find a positive way to encourage him to walk with you and abide by safety rules.

    I would use a leash as a last resort, if I felt there was *no way* I could, as a parent, keep my child safe without such a device.

  6. The most important matter here, is the safety of the child. I can remember a couple of times when both my Son and Daughter ran off in a parking lot or street.

    Thankfully no cars we around. My daughter had a fear of dogs. She'd take off running no matter where we were. When its all said and done, you're the one that has to sleep at night.

  7. I have five kids and used a harness on one. That was back in about 1983 or so. If you think that people have something to say about it now, you should have heard it then! At the time many women were judged as individuals by how well thy took care of hearth and home. I seemed to be failing at motherhood! Anyway, my daughter was impulsive, intelligent, curious, and she also bolted without warning. I managed until I had my son. Ultimately, it was well worth the comments and stares from others. It enabled me to take my children out more frequently and with much less ado. I was able to enjoy beng with them and they were able to enjoy being out. Especially my daughter who now had the freedom to explore and move about freely and safely. I had another set of kids close together but the tempraments were different and I didn't have near as hard a time keeping up with the two of them together. I agree with Kim; you are the one that has to sleep at night. How much easier is it to do so after a less stressful and more rewarding day with your kids? As for those that feel it means a parent isn't involved enough or paying enough attention if they use a harness; that's the same way other women reacted years ago when playpens were invented. Look it up. But now, playpens are so popular, we have portable ones that pack up and go in a carrying case! What was the reason for a playpen other than giving mom the peace of knowing her little one was safe and enjoying themself playing while she tended to other things or heaven forbid, enjoyed herself! I say go for it!

  8. With my older 2 kids, their 'backpacks' were a must. They're just 18 months apart & when you have two curious toddlers trying to run in opposite directions, any extra safety measure is appreciated.

    Although, I have seen parents that abuse and overuse the leash privilege, which only helps with it's negative image. Children should never be yanked and, like everything else, when the child outgrows the need for a leash, put it away.

  9. Whenever I hear somebody say that parents should "just pay attention to their kids" I just shake my head.

    I DO pay attention to my Son. Keeping him on a leash helps me to do so. I have two boys (4 months and 2.5 years). If I kept the proper amount of attention on each of them (in my mind full control) I'd be not watching the other. I have to do my best to split attention.

    By putting one on a leash and one in a stroller (baby) or a carrier (I babywear) I am better keeping track of BOTH of them.

    Frankly, my Son has more freedom on a leash than he does in a stroller, or never leaving the house.


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