Leashing Your Kids Controversy

I'm never let down when searching Facebook, that's for sure. I've been inspired to write several blog posts thanks to the time sucker that is Facebook.

I stumbled across this photo/post on Facebook and was completely surprised by all the negativity around the idea of leashing kids.

Poor Choice of Words

First things first, I think the fact that it's been decided that this is "leashing" children automatically makes people think of dogs. Therefore, they start comparing putting your child in a harness as wrong and treating them like a dog.

But why do we leash dogs?

I was under the impression that we did it for their own safety and our own peace of mind.

We don't want our pets running off, getting hit by a car, stolen by some less-than-reputable-new-owner, and so on. Is it so terrible that we also don't want those things for our children?

Drawing Conclusions Without the Whole Story

Second, this post should not be considered reflective of all parents who leash their children in children's safety harnesses. My first instinct is to comment that it's bad parenting. However, we don't really know what's going on in this photo.

Maybe the boys are doing what they're doing (lying on the floor, that is) to get attention or as retaliation because they wanted that lollipop at the gas station. Many parenting experts would tell you not to acknowledge such attention seeking behavior because then you're giving them what they want.

Who really knows?

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, leashes or anything that looks like a leash is, more often then not, associated with pets, especially dogs.  I think that parents putting their children on leashes is slowly finding its way toward being at least semi-mainstream and mostly accepted by society.  However, there are still going to be people who stare, gawk, glare, sneer, or simply come out and say something rude.

Putting a child or children on a leash might be the only practical option for some parents and/or that parent may just feel that it is the right choice for their family.  

As fellow human beings and parents, I think we should respect the decision, even if we disagree with it.

At least those children are unlikely to put themselves in harms way or be taken by a stranger.

It happens, even to the best of parents.  So is it fair to judge?
What is your opinion of leashing children?  Have you done it? 

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  1. I agree, not knowing the back story makes it hard to form an opinion based on just the picture. I'm not against "leashing" children. Some of the current harnesses are really cute and look like backpacks. I don't own one, but if I felt my daughter was in danger and a leash would help keep her safe, I'd get one in an instant. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    1. Yeah I've never needed one because my child's personality/temperament keeps him close to momma. I'm not opposed though.

  2. I always said I "WOULD NEVER" be that parent whose child was on a leash.
    Here I am at the zoo with an unruly two and a half year old at the zoo buying a backpack/leash.
    (Which by the way later on was the reason he couldn't run under the sky-lift to be kicked in the head.)
    No I don't need to leash my child in grocery stores/etc. But in an especially (potentially) dangerous situation I am far from above doing whatever I see fit despite however controversial it may be to make my life and his happier and safer. And now he just wears the backpack and loves it!


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