I understand why the mods always lock a post that has a debate about them.  It seems that people who don't use them tend to have VERY strong feelings that no one else should, either.  People who do use them are not so adamant that others do so. 

Here's what I don't get:  Everyone in the debate seems to be doing what they think is necessary to keep their children safe.  What is so wrong about that? 

When I was a kid, I was a roamer.  I hated staying with my mom when she was shopping, and so I would run off every chance I got.  As long as I was in her sight, mom didn't seem to care.  Two things about this.  First of all, twenty years ago people were not so worried about child predators.  Secondly, we never shopped in supercrowded places. 

Several times, when I was three or four, I scared my mom to death.  I would run off to another part of the store or hide in the clothes racks.  Once, I got separated from them in an amusement park.  So my mom got a wrist cord.  One end attatched to her wrist, and the other to mine.  She couldn't hold my hand, because I wasn't tall enough to walk with her while holding her hand.  It hurt my arm.  I hated the wrist strap.  My mom is a fast walker, and I had to run to keep up with her.  With the wrist strap, it was awful.  But she always knew where I was.  That was what was important.  It only took a few months with the strap to get me to stay with her.  She said, "You don't have to wear this if you'll stay with me all the time.  But as long as you want to run off, you have to wear this and be connected to mommy."  After that, I never had a problem again.

Personally, child predators scare the crap out of me.  I am so terrified of losing my Toby.  When he starts walking, I imagine I will need to invest in one of those cute little backpack harnesses.  He already hates to be swaddled, clothed, etc.  I don't think I should impede his exploring tendancy just to avoid people looking at us strangely. 

I understand why people don't like the idea of a child harness.  But for me, I would rather have that peace of mind and risk lifelong therapy for him, than to constantly be panicking and wondering where he has run off to, or to keep him confined in a stroller untill he's ten.

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Comments:

starm...
Jan. 10, 2008 at 5:47 PM i wouldn't mind using one. i actually bought one before but haven't used it yet (actually now i have no clue where its at).. but all my friends started talking about them as if they are leashes. They have cute ones now though that look like little bear backpacks with the strap connected. i was thinking about getting that.. but im one of those types that think everyone is looking at me (its an anxiety thing) and that they're talking about me... and i would feel that everyone thinks im treating my daughter like an animal or something but i really do want to get (another) one

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mamas...
Jan. 10, 2008 at 5:48 PM  I don't use one just because it makes me feel like I'm walking my dog.. BUT I understand why people use them!! I say if it makes your life easier and gives you a safer feeling than it is your choice... Hey who am I to judge? People need to back off about these subjects and worry more about the child predators, people that abuse their own children and things of that nature.. Again who am I to judge? I only speak my opinion   :o)

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coyko...
Jan. 10, 2008 at 5:59 PM

I used one with my first, and I plan on using it again with this one.  I think it actually allowed him a little more freedom, SAFE freedom.  He could walk with me and not hold my hand all the time, just like a big boy.  And I didn't have to worry about him stepping into the street when I had my arms full of groceries, or hiding in the clothes racks (I did that too!)

My mom used to buy me a balloon when we went on shopping trips, so she could always see where I was, but that was over 20 years ago when letting your kid out of your sight for a couple minutes was safe...

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3spec...
Mar. 24, 2008 at 1:16 PM I know this is an old post ,but I just found it. I use a harness with my son. He loves it, he asks to wear it.He would prefer to wear it than hold a hand.I see nothing wrong with it. I used to hate the way a harness looked, but now they are cute, it looks like he has a monkey on his back. I always swore I would never use one but with my 3rd child it was a life saver. Now when we go shopping he will say I don't want in the buggy,I wanna wear my monkey.I guess each parent and child are different. He loves his if he gets to the point he doesn't want to wear it we will quit using it and he can just hold my hand.

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lovly...
May. 1, 2008 at 12:51 AM my husband told me the other day that he is getting one for me.... yeah for me!!! he told me that he would leash me because i walk off to much :) and if i wanted i could put one on our daughter... like hiking in the mountains lol

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