Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Leashes and Kids?

As Jasmine has learned to walk we are constantly playing a game of tag. I try to keep her with me. When I don't have her in a cart when shopping she rarely goes more than 5 feet ahead of me.
I have been talking to my friends as they give their horror stories about run-away kids and how to keep them in line. Most swear by the leash method.
I don't get it. A leash for your child? Its like your child is a dog that can't be kept in line.
Yes, I understand the practicalities of keeping your child tethered to you. You can always have the child near you. No one will kidnap the child and he or she will not get lost. If you have more than one toddler or pre-K , then its easier to handle when they are leashed to you.

What I don't get is why Moms today can't modify their child's tendency to run away. It would be easier on the child and the mom to have the child behave properly. My mom did it, my grandma did it- they certainly didn't have leashes. Call me old fashioned.
I see leashes two fold. While practical for all right safety reasons, it allows moms to let their guard down too much. Kids want freedom, but need to be taught that freedom is allowed inside their home or outdoors on the playground. I think that if Moms use leashes, they are allowing themselves to partially ignore their children.
I know I will get a lot of crap for this post. The bottom line IMO is that if you teach your child to behave properly and stand beside you when shopping that goes a lot further in life than a leash will. Are you going to hone your behavior modification skills now with a 2 year old, or wait until they are 16 and too big for a leash?


Alicia @ boylerpf said...

You definitely won't get crap from me! Kids like to know their boundries...they thrive on it actually. If a kid has to be put on a leash...what does that say about the discipline that he is getting at home much less learning respect for what his parents say? Believe me...a kid at that age does know what is right from wrong and wants to please. I used to take three kids to the grocery and shopping malls...all within several years of each other and not once did they leave my side. They just KNEW it wasn't allowed. Kudos for you with the no leash!

Kelsey said...

Hmmm. I really don't know how to respond to this entry. I bought Brooke one of the monkey harnesses when Brooke was a year old. I loved it, while it lasted. I used it in the airport when we flew from Louisiana to Minnesota. It was great. My hands were full with carry-ons, diaper bags and other such things, and all I had to do was loop that tail around my wrist and we were good to go.

I discipline my child, so I take offense to the comments about parents who use leashes don't discipline their children. Brooke is very well behaved (as well behaved as a curious toddler is going to get). When we're in a store, she stays near me. She helps me push the cart or rides in it. But you also have to remember that every child is different. They all have different personalities. My child is very curious, very active, and very smart. She is always checking things out and everything is fascinating to her. I want to let her experience those curiousities, so I don't want to teach her to constantly be by my side. Kids learn by experiencing, so who am I to limit that?

I used it when we went to the zoo last summer. It was great. Brooke was able to toddle from one exhibit to another and we followed HER. She was able to choose which animals she wanted to see within a safe distance of us.

So, I see no issue with the harness. Brooke did very well with it, until her independence took over and she would only wear it if she was holding the tail. So for people to say that the only people who use these harnesses are lazy with disciplining it ridiculous. It's also a little insulting.

Shelley said...

I will be leashing Alexis for big adventures like the zoo, museums, etc.

I'd rather get rude comments from people about me leashing her than have someone snatch her up or her get lost and separated from me.

Jazzy Jemz said...

I can see leashing up for trips through the airport where there is a mass amount of people but not to the park.

This is stemming from seeing a woman who had a 3 year old boy leashed at a playground. She was sitting gabbing and not paying any mind to her son who was trying to play. Either the lady was ignoring her child - to socialize, or the leash was misappropriatly being used as time out.

I don't believe it should be used at the playground, or in restaurants - as I sometimes see it being used. If you are a mom and are trying to travel through a crowded area where its easy to get lost- fine, use a leash- I understand that.

Its when it is misused that is the problem. When people use it as a form of disclipline instead of actually disclipline.

This was NOT meant to say ANYONE using a leash is a horrible mom who doesn't discpline. This was me saying that I feel the leash is misused and not appropriate when other forms of disclipline are more applicable to teach your child boundaries and limitations in the day to day outings.

Airport= leash use acceptable

Playground or restaurant= leash use not acceptable in my mind.

Amariah said...

I agree with you. In my case, behavior modification worked well on three out of four of our kids. For some reason Junie just wanted to do what she wanted to do. Junie has always been very determined! Sooo, I occassionally leashed her up. This was only when I was going to be near a really busy street, or a very crowded area. I can't think of any good reason to have a kid tied up at a playground, now would I have ever used it as a punishment. In fact, I didn't even use it for convenience reasons. I just didn't want my kid running into a busy street or getting lost in a crowded store.
I totally see where you're coming from though. In most cases behavior modification works well.