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I Won't Put My Son on a Leash!

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I Won't Put My Son on a Leash

by Bob Meadows 

Xavier and me walkingMy son is running. He’s no Usain Bolt, but he’s pretty quick. Rumor has it, he will only get faster. So the question is: Will I use a restraint for him, one of those backpacks shaped like an animal that has a really long tail? The answer: No! I will not put a leash on my son.

His safety is my chief concern, so I don’t care that the harness might embarrass him or make him look like an ancient Mike Myer’s sketch on Saturday Night Live. (And I do allow concessions for children with medical issues that may make a restraint a requirement and for parents who have more than one child to keep an eye on). But if you have only one child, like me, you should be able to keep your little one out of harm’s way when walking down the street.

First step: Put down the cell phone. I see this all the time. Parents walking and celling at the same time. If you are walking with your child, there is nothing more important than your child. Texting while walking is a no-no. Talking on the phone while walking is a no-no. Facebooking while walking is a no-no. Wait until you get to the park or the library or Grandma’s house, some place with four walls, and then you can ignore your real family to play with your fake one.

When my son and I walk down the street, I’m looking at him with brief glances to scan our surroundings. If I need to look somewhere other than at him for an extended time, the first thing I do is hold his hand.

When we walk, I am on the street side, and he can amble without any restraint. If he wants to be on the street side, I am holding his hand (or wrist, when he tries to pull away from me). This isn’t negotiable.

So Daddy’s arm will be the restraint, along with stern looks and sterner warnings. But leashes? No way.

Do/did you use a harness? Why or why not?

by on May. 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM
Replies (71-76):
Clairwil
by Silver Member on May. 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Quoting Cafe Steph:

When we walk, I am on the street side, and he can amble without any restraint. If he wants to be on the street side, I am holding his hand (or wrist, when he tries to pull away from me). This isn’t negotiable.

So Daddy’s arm will be the restraint, along with stern looks and sterner warnings. But leashes? No way.

Do/did you use a harness? Why or why not?

I used a leash.

My son was an early walker (we have a video of him running about, kicking a football, aged 7 months).  He didn't learn the meaning of the word "no", let alone a stern look, until much later on.

So, when walking down the narrow pavement on the busy street next to our house, to go to the park, I had 4 options.

(1) carry him
(2) stroller
(3) hold onto his arm or clothing
(4) leash

(1) and (2) didn't give him any exercise.

He hated being held onto, because he felt too limited in his freedom.  The walk would be a battle of wills, not pleasant for either of us.

On the other hand, while the leash would ensure that he couldn't run onto the road (something he could do in under half a second, even from the far edge of the pavement), it gave him a sufficient illusion of being free that he enjoyed the walk.


He is now 4 years old, does understand the meaning of "no", is reasonably behaved and cheerful, and doesn't seem to have come to any psychological harm from being on a leash (we stopped using the leash years ago, once he understood enough language to understand our expectations).

mamalivi1225
by on May. 23, 2013 at 4:33 PM

i will never put a leash on my son, when i see that, i honestly get a little irritated, if you watch your children and pay attention to them, you shouldnt need one. My child is not a dog, he is a human being and putting a leash on your childing in my opinion would be embarrassing and unnatural. I strongly disagree with these child leashes. i think its very disrespectful to the child as well

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on May. 23, 2013 at 5:06 PM
It doesn't teach kids a thing. No boundries because they can run.
MomToDarienne
by on May. 23, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I would never do that, due to a family vaction when I was about 5. Guess who felt like a dog? Me. It was miserable. I understand that they didn't want me to get lost, but I'd put my daughter in a stroller instead.

laurie839
by on Jun. 2, 2013 at 2:45 PM

no i never used a harness on my kids when they were younger. i have a dog and i think they are made for dogs. i dont judge people who do. i think to eac their own. i do agree put down your cell and pay attention to your children. they are only babies for a short while. enjoy it and stop and smell the flowers while on a walk. 

Mommymo08
by on Jun. 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

I haven't, but have been VERY tempted with DS (just turned 3).  When I hold his hand he tried o pull away and on several occasions has ended up getting all tangled up with me and we have literally both fallen down!  I also have DD whi just turned 5..this lady fails in her "how to" to consider what to do if you also have another LO (or a few) to mind!  In just the time it takes to turn to my DD and talk to her, DS can get into trouble!  And I am a pretty strict parent, and do nto allow any shinanigans...he is just a handfull!

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