by Mary Fischer
Sigh. When I came across an article this morning over on Today debating whether or not putting a child on a "leash" is acceptable, I tried my best to keep an open mind since I've always had such a strong opinion on the subject. To put it quite simply -- I can't stand them.
And yes, I said a "leash," as in one of those little backpacks toddlers wear with a harness attached to them that parents hold onto so their little ones don't wander off in public.
I won't lie -- as I read through some of the points made by Katy Maher, a "pro-harness" mom, I nodded my head a little because she sort of makes sense. She likes using the leash because it allows her child to be able to safely "explore" while they navigate the streets of Chicago.
And I get that. I really do. As a mom who has lived in the suburbs since my son was born, which means I never had to deal with keeping tabs on a kid amid the hustle and bustle of a big city -- maybe my perspective on leashes is a bit biased. There's a decent chance I'd be all for them if I'd been living in an urban area when my son was little.
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But every time I see some poor kid attached to one, the thought that immediately goes through my mind is that it's pretty much a lazy parent's way of getting out of having to keeping a constant eye on their kid. It's like, "Hmm. I don't feel like hanging onto junior today, so I'll just tie him up and that way he won't get too far out in front of me."
And I'm sorry, but I have to go there -- seeing a kid on a leash instantly reminds me of a dog. Even when it's for their own safety and is not intended to humiliate the child in any way, shape, or form -- it still just has this demeaning quality. I feel terrible every time I see a kiddo attached to one. And I simply cannot imagine ever, EVER using one.
But for moms who do use them, maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt. Yeah -- a leash may seem unnecessary, but I guess it's a better alternative than losing your child in a humongous crowd of people.
Do you use a leash? Why or why not?