Is it wrong to put your child on a leash?

Okay, this was on the news the other night and I’ll be darned if I can find it for you. It was a poll about whether it’s okay to put your child on a leash or not. It was on WCCO and I’ve looked and looked for past polls but they only seem to have a daily one and they don’t show them from the day before. If I’d known that I’d have paused the TV and written the numbers down but I thought they’d be on there like the Good Questions are.

The numbers were very close. It was a little over 50% not in favor of them and in favor of them was something like 47%. Mind you, it’s very unscientific. They could get 12 responses. They don’t tell us how many people make up these numbers. It is on the website all day but a lot of people who might be just like me, only hear it when it comes on the 10:00 news so the window of texting or calling in is only about 20 minutes.

While trying to find that info I came across this good stuff. Apparently this subject pushes a LOT of hot buttons with people. Little did I know!!! Quite the parent war on this one.

Boy, I don’t know. I had two opposite kids when it came to taking off on me. Jason ALWAYS took off in stores. He loved to just wander up and down the toy isles. Sometimes it scared me but you have to remember that this was 33 years ago. We weren’t as paranoid then that someone HARRY MONSTER was going to grab our kids. I just kind followed him around. I let him get a row or two in front of me and I always knew kind of where he was but it wasn’t such a huge panic if he wandered a few isles ahead of me in Target.

Toby on the other hand clung to me. I couldn’t shake him off. I never worried about him taking off on me. I’m not sure if it was the crowd or being in public like that, scared him. He also got really car sick so I think when we’d go somewhere, a big part of him didn’t feel good right away and by the time he got to get his sea legs, we were going home. Who knows.

Now the picture on the top of the post looks okay to me. It’s cute and it looks like they’re crossing the street or something but look at this one. A huge part of me wants to scream “LET THE KID RUN IN THE GRASS.” Why would a leash need to be used there?


What do you think? Do you think it’s okay to put your child on a leash? Have you ever used one? Have you ever thought about it? Do you think it looks really weird to see a child wearing one? Come on. I know you have an opinion!

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9 Responses to Is it wrong to put your child on a leash?

  1. mssc54 says:

    Well since you asked. When I see a kid on a leash it says to me, “I don’t pay attention to my kid so I have to tie him/her to me. I have more important things to do than give my kid ALL of my attention.”

  2. Laura says:

    I’m generally not in favor of them either. Josh isn’t a runner, but he is a wanderer, so I’ve started working with that wanderlust. ‘course, he’s almost 8, so I don’t feel so paranoid letting him wander through the toy aisle. I make sure he wears his watch, and tell him to meet me back by, say, the milk, in fifteen minutes. If he doesn’t return by the deadline, he doesn’t get to wander the next time we go to the store. He’s learning, slowly.

    Apparently, Steve’s mom used a leash on him when he was a little kid. Personally, I had a DOG that I didn’t need to use a leash on, so I fail to see why children need them!!

  3. Sue says:

    I also don’t get the leash thing. Never had one, didn’t use one on my kids, don’t ever plan on using one!

  4. SKL says:

    Honestly, I could see some cases where a parent would want this, for certain short stages for some kids. Like if you had a very active child who walked / ran early (some walk well before age 1). Or if you had a special needs child who could not learn to obey within the typical time frame. Especially if the “runner” is only one of multiple kids.

    But the times I’ve seen kids on leashes (which thankfully isn’t often), it appears to be a normal if indulged child (though, to be fair, you can’t really tell if you don’t know the child). To me, putting a normal child over age 1.5 on a leash means you are too lazy to teach him.

    I may be weird or maybe old-fashioned, but I generally believe that if your kid doesn’t learn something the first time you try, you keep working on it until he gets it. You don’t throw up your hands and say “oh well, I need a leash.” It took my oldest kid a year to learn to tie her shoes, but by golly, once I decided she was going to learn, I never bought another velcro shoe. I believe that the benefits of teaching a child a life skill (such as not running away into a dangerous situation) has benefits beyond just keeping the child at a convenient distance. It helps the child to gradually set his own meaningful boundaries. But maybe I’m crazy.

    A couple of years ago, I was at the zoo with my tots (who were climbing up the monkey cage), and I saw a set of twin boys (at least 3 or 4yo) on leashes. The twins didn’t appear to have anything wrong with them, and this was in one of the buildings, so a pretty safe place. I don’t know if the parents thought someone was going to steal their precious poos, or couldn’t trust these big preschool kids to safely navigate a space designed specifically for kids. It just struck me as really sad.

    I’ve had times when I needed to restrict my kids’ movement when they were younger (e.g., in a store full of breakables), but it never crossed my mind to procure a leash. We used to go for walks up and down the street when they were 1.5, and I didn’t even hold their hands as long as they stayed away from the street (which they did, except for the time or 2 they tested and got swatted). Maybe my kids are weird, I don’t know.

    Ultimately, I don’t care what other parents do – only they really know why they make the choices they make. What bugs me more are the ads for these products and others like them, making it look like tying your kid up or padding every inch of his body is necessary to keep your kid safe.

  5. shanef says:

    I think it’s the lazy way to parent. If you don’t want your kids to run off you teach them not to run off. In some cases though it may be a little harder than others. I remember Eric when he was a youngster. He always ran off and talked to strangers. My dad used to buy him really bright shirts so he was easier to find but never a leash.

  6. Nikki says:

    I have never and would never put my child on a leash. I don’t care what other parents do. As someone outside looking in, when I see it, I think…why can’t you control your child?! BUT on the other hand, some kids are uncontrollable! Would I put a leash on them? Still, no. That just means the parents needs to be more assertive, attentive and a better discipliner.

  7. Jenny says:

    I would never put Hunter on a leash. But there are times where he doesn’t listen and does like to run, therefor I wish I had one…but I don’t think I would use it.

    I can see why parent’s would want to use one though. If they’re going to a really crowded place and want to make sure their child is safe next to them. For those kids who do like to run off. I think the top picture is kinda cute. But no, I would never use one.

  8. Karen Joy says:

    I think it lookes aweful and if I had kids prob wouldnt use one.Now having said that I have a niece who was absolutely horrible about running away.It was a constant battle keeping her where she was suppose to be.If with them all you heard was the parents calling her name to get back and she never listened so off they were running after her.Scariest is running into the streets.She should have been on a leash.You could hardly get anything done when all your doing is chasing this kid around.The “leash” is perfect for those kids say at a fair or in stores,then I dont have a problem with it but if its just cause your a lazy parent..thats just NOT ok.

  9. Phyllis says:

    Well, this little box sure is different! What gives?
    In answer, I haven’t ever really approved of kid leashes. And I definitely wouldn’t suggest one to any of my family. However, that said, if you’re taking kids to a really crowded place nowadays, with everything that goes on, it may be a viable solution if your child is a runner. I guess while I don’t condone the use, I also can’t condemn it in certain situations. Personally I prefer training the kids to stay at your side even if it involves swatting them on the butt when they stray. .

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