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Old 01-16-2013, 10:03 PM   #1
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Toddlers on a leash

Since we're in the mood for controversy

I think having a toddler on a harness or a leash is completely fine, and my friends - who don't have kids - think it is absolutely disgusting, and were shocked. We went to a busy mall last Saturday, and had forgotten the Beco thingy; we went into a children's shop and asked if they had any of those back-packy harnessy things, and got a MAMMOTH lecture about it.

To my mind, a toddler on a leash has a lot more freedom than a toddler in a stroller or baby carrier, and I have an extra hand to do stuff with. So the concept of "restraint" doesn't make much sense to me.

The only thing I can think of to squick me out is, of course, that we walk dogs on leashes. But then I think - well, our cities and institutions are made to accommodate adult humans, not dogs or children. And while I think that public spaces should accommodate our youngest citizens more fully, right now they don't. The fact that we walk dogs on leashes is a testament to dogs' position in our society as companion animals in a world that isn't made for them - if there's a resemblance in the way that we treat dogs and children, it's a symptom of, an indictment of, the way that our public spaces are constructed. Not an indictment of the way that I think about my child.

And furthermore - as I wish I had said to the lady - a leash is an indicator of external control. If my daughter holds my hand uncomplainingly, that's an indicator of internal control. I find the concept of a toddler subordinating her own natural curiosity to the inscrutable intentions of her mother more worrying, frankly, than a toddler tethered.

Now you! Where do you stand?
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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I can see the use in specific situations, but don't personally feel they're a good everyday thing. Since we're talking about dogs, all dog training I have participated in involves training the dog to be attentive to the person and verbal commands, rather than relying on the pressure of the leash for cues

I think relying on a leash as an only means of "restraint" when in public doesn't always teach the kiddos much, but like I said there are times and places.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

i think safety is more important than anything. while other adults might see a toddler on a leash and feel FOR him/her that he/she is being treated like a dog, i doubt a toddler would make that comparison. And if he/she did, he/she would probably be delighted or not care at all.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:03 PM   #5
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My son is probably the world's sweetest, most obedient toddler; I wouldn't even think of using one on him. My daughter? Different story. We may need to get her one if we're unable to find a straight jacket in size 18-24 mos. Whatever works.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

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Originally Posted by MarchMama2010 View Post
My son is probably the world's sweetest, most obedient toddler; I wouldn't even think of using one on him. My daughter? Different story. We may need to get her one if we're unable to find a straight jacket in size 18-24 mos. Whatever works.
Haha, this made me laugh out loud. I think whatever keeps your child the safest is what is important. I saw a mama at the mall the other day and she had 18 month old twins on a back pack leash. They seemed happy and she could actually walk in the mall in peace. I honestly couldn't imagine not having them in that situation.

We will see with my guy. I might be calling you up to see if they have a straight jacket in his size so I can get him in the car seat!!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

Well since you asked .....

I would not use one for my children as they are not dogs and deserve more respect than to be lead/dragged around like one.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:08 AM   #8
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

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Originally Posted by AbbieJack View Post
Well since you asked .....

I would not use one for my children as they are not dogs and deserve more respect than to be lead/dragged around like one.
Just HAD to go straight there didn't you? :eyeroll:

I have used a leash. I don't lead or drag my child with it. He never minded it at all, in fact he PREFERRED it to being worn. Personally I think using the leash showed FAR more respect for my son that forcing him to be worn or strapped into a stroller. It also kept him safe which is the point of a leash.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:21 AM   #9
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

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Originally Posted by Joyful Tie Dyes View Post
Just HAD to go straight there didn't you? :eyeroll:

I have used a leash. I don't lead or drag my child with it. He never minded it at all, in fact he PREFERRED it to being worn. Personally I think using the leash showed FAR more respect for my son that forcing him to be worn or strapped into a stroller. It also kept him safe which is the point of a leash.
Well yes I "went there" because it is what I think about leashes. She asked for opinions so I stated mine.

I believe that children are brighter and more intelligent than a dog so you could teach them to obey and walk along beside you.

Honest question if you don't lead your child with it than what exactly do you do?
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Last edited by AbbieJack; 01-17-2013 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:32 AM   #10
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Re: Toddlers on a leash

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Originally Posted by AbbieJack View Post
I believe that children are brighter and more intelligent than a dog so you could teach them to obey and walk along beside you.

Honest question if you don't lead your child with it than what exactly do you do?
Some children just aren't that teachable unfortunately...and if my DD gets lost she doesn't have the ability to tell someone who she is or who she belongs to. Safety trumps anything else in our case.

For the second part, I think (just going by my own kids) that it usually ends up being the child in front "leading" as it were, not the parent dragging the child by the leash. Semantics really!
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