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July 26, 2005


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Hey Metrodad! I think I mentioned something in one of my previous blogs about getting one of "Those Leashes." It positively PAINED me to do it. I thought that parents who bought leashes were ill-prepared for parenthood and should have reconsidered having kids. My friends who don't have children, even started conversations with my husband and me when I was pregnant with my first one, "Please promise me you will never buy one of those God-awful leashes." We laughed at them and were even offended that they would DARE hint that we could possibly do that. Fast forward 2 years later and watch me as I race across the daycare parking lot (while I am 9 months pregnant with Baby #2) because my older child thought it was a good idea to let go of my hand, laugh maniacally and run into the path of an oncoming car (it was the third time she had done such a thing.) Then watch me a few days later as I am purchasing said leash at Target. Now, granted, it looks like a monkey backpack with a leash attached. But that's the same thing as putting lipstick on a pig. It's still a leash.

I have not used the leash yet. I have a fierce temper and would hate to show it in public in front of my children if someone gave me "THE LOOK." While I am sad that I bought it, I know I did the right thing and will use it in places like airports and crowds, etc. It would sure beat the bruises I am currently leaving on my daughter's wrist because I am holding her with a vulcan death grip while also holding my 5 month old. And to be quite honest, I almost never go anywhere with the two of them by myself.

That's my two cents. I certainly respect both sides of the argument.


I think it's absolutely ridiculous to put a leash on a kid. I've never done it with my kids. I respect the need for safety. But part of being a parent means dealing with all the stuff that comes with it. It's called responsibility. If you're a responsible adult and keep an eye on your kids, I don't think you need a leash. But if you're absent-minded and tend to leave your kid alone while you're shopping at Wal-Mart, maybe you do need one. That's my two cents.


We tried to crate train our little Peanut, and she's become quite accustomed to the leash. Although, we mostly let her run loose in the back yard now that she's housetrained. Oh wait. Your Peanut is a little girl. Sorry, our dog is named Peanut, and I got a little confused there. Although, I suppose the same rules could apply if your Peanut is peeing all over the floor, eating the cat litter and consuming whole rolls of toilet paper. But it's probably best to find alternative solutions.


my husband and i were discussing this the other day. he's six foot four, and i was thinking of how much his back is going to hurt someday bending over to hold onto a chubby toddler's hand. why isn't there a wrist leash that simply makes it easier for tall people to stand upright while holding a kid's hands? my dad is a quadraplegic but he was such a good parent that none of us ever even considered disobeying him and running into traffic. i'll have to ask him how he did it.


I think it depends on the kid. Some kids are better about staying near their parents, some are more than happy about darting into traffic. I think if you have one of the latter, and you are doing everything you can do to teach them not to do it and they just aren't getting the idea, then a leash is a responsible thing to do. I'm not talking about normal toddler running away, I am talking about the kind of child that runs in front of cars the instant you let go of their hand, and refuses to come back. I know more than one of these children, and believe me, it isn't like their parents are "absent-minded". One thing I have learned in the short time that I've been parenting is that my kid is not well-behaved because I am some sort of model parent--it is because she has a mellow personality that is eager to please. Just because you didn't need to do it with your children doesn't mean you are more responsible and disciplined than someone else, and I am tired of hearing that sanctimonious crap. I have yet to meet someone who uses a leash that hasn't tried everything they know to avoid it. It's not like it is child abuse, for crying out loud.

My kid won't be able to get up and run away from me until she's well past the age of two, so for me it's probably a moot point. But I refuse to condemn someone else for making that choice for themselves. I sincerely hope that if you eventually decide that it's the only way you can keep your child safe, Metrodad, that you don't worry about what anybody else thinks about it. That, in my eyes, is responsible parenting.


Funny post, MD. Yes, we use a leash with our child. Mostly my wife uses it because our little one has run off a few times and scared the hell out of her.

And yes...the dog does get confused.


I think first steps are to move the DVDs and crap to a higher shelf, and teach her what "no" means (for stuff like the dog bowl that cant be moved up). I think we've got an easy one on our hands, as he caught on to "no" pretty quickly (we reinforce the idea with a wrist-slap if needed). he'll still go for the dog food more than half the time, but other times a stern "no" will make him turn away. it's always encouraging to see progress.

but this is for the young set. once he's literally running around, I'm sure plans could change.


hey metrodad. thanks for checking out my site. as for the age old "to leash or not to leash", 30 years later, my siblings and i are still giving my mom crap for leashing us to a tree while she played tennis. i'm pretty sure the leashing has nothing to do with why we're all fairly insane now, and probably better than an electric fence, but i'm going to try to avoid leashing any kids i may have, if at all possible.


MD--good question. I have personally never leashed my kids, but there have been times when I have carried them for blocks, kicking and screaming, because they wouldn't hold my hand while crossing the street. I don't like leashes, because I want my kids to feel independent when it is safe for them to do so. I don't want them attached to me when they don't _have_ to be. But I do insist that they listen to me.

ITA with the poster who said it's all about the kids' temperament. Some kids just have a harder time listening--for whatever reason--and need something extra.


I was an adamantly anti-leash person. But let me tell you something: My son has SEVERE ADHD. While I never did the leash thing, I certainly understand now why *some* people do it.

When he was 2 to, oh... 7 years old? I could not take him into a store and let go of his hand (even to pay the cashier) without him taking off. The worst incident was at the airport when I got stopped to remove my shoes. He was 5. He bolted. And hid. This was non-stop. It got to the point where I just didn't take him into stores anymore. As an infant/toddler, if I was carrying him through a store he'd reach out and methodically knock every item off the shelf as we passed by.

It's giving me hives just remembering what it was like. So........ I am much slower to judge parents who leash their kids now. That said, I'm sure there are plenty who do it without good reason.

(oh, and just for the record? kids like my son (pre-medication) absolutely do.not.listen.)


I think using a leash is just plain wrong. Though it may be more difficult to handle a child who constantly runs off, that doesn't mean that using a leash is your only solution. Don't people who leash their kids see why other parents point at them and make disparaging comments? It's because their behavior crosses a line into what society does not deem acceptable. It doesn't matter if you have good intentions or not. The point is that we, as a society, do not use leashes on people. What's there not to understand?


I've always said that I would never leash my child, but honestly, now that I have one, I don't know if it will come to that or not. She's only 13 months old right now, but if she's one of the more rebellious kids that you see out there, I probably will get a leash. I would never use it at home or constantly, just when out in a crowded environment (like a supermarket or mall) where I know she could disappear in a split second. I've always thought it was kind of funny how some people claim it's "child abuse" to leash their kids, but they see nothing wrong with putting them in a stoller or strapping them into a carseat or highchair. To me it's all about containment and everyone does it to a degree - usually for the child's safety, so why is leashing any different? Just my $.02.

Uncle Roger

What you said.

You said what I think far better than I could. Having an independent, adventurous three-year-old as well as a similar (only more so) one-year-old, I can see that a leash would certainly make life so much easier... but being a parent is not about easy.

It's about what's best for the kids, even if that means eating the really burnt pieces of toast, not getting to watch Stargate, and being so continuously vigilant that your eyeballs nearly fall out.


I totally agree with you. Now having said that, and being a mom of two, I can sometimes see the reasoning behind getting one. My girls are 3 and 4 months, and my 3 year old finds it so funny to run off in stores. She doesn't do it most other places, for fear of strangers and being run over - the old day care did this, not me I promise. But anyways, there are times when I have threathened her with a leash, and she instantly comes back to me. I believe for a long time she thought a leash was spanking or something, since we don't have animals, nor do I spank my kids, however last spring we saw a kid on a leash at the zoo, and my daughter was mortified to find out what it was. To each his own though, I try to only worry about raising my kids, not what others do with thiers.

alice, uptown

Having no children neither precludes me from having a position on this subject nor trashing the opinion others. One of your posters appears to be an idiot. Aside from voluntarily shopping in Wally-World, as I heard my former sister-in-law call it, an action that shows he has no taste, he thinks he can control any child of walking age. Even I know this is not realistic. The man must be living on a farm where he locks the kids in the barn when it is time to operate the heavy machinery.

You and I, MD, live in the real world, the one with cross-streets every 200 yards and oncoming traffic that really doesn't give a flying fuck about whether your child is a successful projectile or not. Around here, the private school teachers make sure all of their charges are holding on to a rope handle on a thirty-foot leash before the class crosses the street. They are no fools. They don't try to reason with a child who is below the age when that is suitable. The parents know. The parents pay $18K for kindergarten tuition, and they want their little darlings to come home in one piece.

I'm in favor of harnessing (my mom, never having had a pet, called my little brother's leash in 1965 a "harness") when it's for the kid's safety or to reduce the parents' benzodiazapine consumption. However, I must confess: I was never "leashed" (scared shitless of my mom, probably), and I still live in walking distance of my mother. My brother has decamped to Alabama. Draw your own conclusions.


I didn't need to buy one of those leash things for my kids (almost 5 & 2 1/2 yrs old). If they had different personalities...I might have. Thankfully, the two of them listen to our rules (1) stay on the sidewalk (2) hold an adults hand when you are in a parking lot or crossing the street (3) stay where we can see you. But like I said...they listened.


how come you get all the rational readers? i posted about this yesterday and have been getting bombarded by the pro-leash society. i am so glad i found you metro dad.


You know what? I used to think leashes were horrible but now that my daughter is 3 1/2... I think I would do it, if I had to. As one of the previous posters said, what's the difference between this and strapping them in a shopping cart or stroller? At least on the leash they get some freedom. Maybe a leash could be a tool for teaching them how to handle their independence without giving them the opportunity to run out into traffic?

Let's face it -- little kids aren't exactly big on impulse control. It's not that they deliberately misbehave or can't be "controlled", they just don't think about consequences -- they're not capable of it. You can tell them over and over and over and eventually it will "click" and they'll start reasoning -- but until then?


My mom used a leash on my younger brother for a short period of time. I remember more incidences than I can count of my brother running off without warning. I can't even begin to guess how many times I heard on the loudspeaker of a store, "If anyone sees a blond boy in a red shirt answering to the name of Bobby, please let one of our representatives know." She said she felt utterly humiliated by all of the judgemental glares she would get when she said she lost her kid. She was only able to take my brother out on the leash two or three times before she broke down and couldn't take the way other people responded to her and took it upon themselves to give her lectures. He was about 6 years old at the time. My brother has SEVERE ADHD and some autistic tendencies, so even when you were directly looking at him, talking to him, and calling his name, he didn't even realize he was supposed to respond. My mom raised me just fine. I never remember getting lost, and looking back on what a meticulous mom our mother was, I can say pretty confidently she wasn't being an irresponsible parent. Her options were to never leave the house or risk my brother disappearing. As bad as it looks, I can't blame her for trying some solution to guarantee his safety. After that, it was back to having anxiety attacks every time we had to go shopping for my school supplies.


I was adamantly against leashing until I read the comments here. Ok. So if your kid has ADD/ADHD or truly has problems listening, I could see the rationale for leashing him. But if not, I tend to agree with most people here and state that leashing is wrong! It's absurd to leash one's kid. Most of the time I see parents at the mall with leashes on their kids, they're just pulling the kid around like a dog. The parents don't seem to speak to the kids or spend time with them. They're just lazy and want to get on with their shopping. I see this all the time! So I understand if your kids don't listen and their safety is at risk. But otherwise? Take the leash off your kid! Stop being so damn lazy. Parenting is hard work. It's not about you!


We used a wrist type leash on our son when he was 2 and we were on vacation. He didn't want to hold our hand the whole time but there were too many people to not make him. The one we used had an elastic band so he had some leeway for how far he could go. He loved it, it's a way to give him a little bit of space but still be safe. I don't think that leashes should be used all the time just to go to wal-mart or taking a walk but they do have their purpose.


For the 220 million of us who don't live in NYC and have to shop in places like Wal-Mart (perish the thought)or go to a shopping mall instead of a day of shopping on 5th Avenue, it might seem like we have it easier when it comes to teaching our kids to hold our hands before crossing the street of oncoming traffic because we don't live in the 'big city' or (laugh) 'real world' where evil taxis will mow you down and not look back. You are SO right. People don't get hit by cars anywhere else in the US.

But this crap I'm reading about how parenting isn't about you or how putting your child on a harness is such a vile thing to do? Come on. As a parent, I worry/think/come up with ideas and research all the time on how to be a better parent. And being a parent to my son is *my* job, not anyone else's. How I get through each day as a parent is all about the choices I make. As soon as my 13 month old started to take his first steps, I bought a harness (the same monkey backpack one mentioned above). I don't know if I'll ever use it. But I would be entirely irresponsible as a parent if I had tried everything *else* to keep my boy safe and at my side at a crosswalk, an airport, mall, or parking lot and he still could not control his own urge to just up and run off and then got hit/hurt/worse. Think about the judgemental stares then? Oh my god, she couldn't keep a hold of her child. What a horrible mother. How can she live with herself knowing it's her fault he's hurt? Give me a fucking break.

I will do everything to keep my little boy from getting injured and try to teach him lifelong habits of stopping to look both ways before he crosses the street, or not to let go of my hand when we're out in a mall, etc. But if he is unable to stop himself from bolting I guess that makes all of my hard work and parenting look like I'm lazy. And since I've tried all of the techniques to teach him how to protect himself and he can't, for whatever reason, I'm being lazy for putting him in a harness to keep him from harming himself. Yeah, I guess having piece of mind is all about me after all.

As parents we should be a lot less judgemental of what other parents have to go through with their children. Some of us, apparently, have it a lot easier. Some have panic attacks when they take their kids to the store knowing the screaming and crying will get them the Look From Hell from most other shoppers. For the High and Mighty who are villifiying those who use a harness for their children - it's a long way down once you fall from that mountaintop.


Leashes are not for everyone. We came up with a much more humane solution. We ordered two pairs of custom made shoes. One has velcro soles, for use when we are out at carpeted locations. The other has suction cups attached to the soles, for floors/concrete. They really slow the kid down. Plus it's kind of funny, in a Wile E. Coyote way.

(Metro - you know what's best for you and the Peanut. There seems to be a lot of self-righteousness on both sides of the leash aisle. Just wait 'til you ask about pacifiers.)

Morphing Mama

For me, I am against said leash. The reason is that I think it would be very easy to just start yanking the thing. I see parents in malls do this all the time. They want their kid to hurry up -- they yank the leash. They want the kid to go left but the kid is going right -- they yank the leash. And, like spanking, once you start yanking, you don't stop. To insure my 2-year-old doesn't run from me in parking lots, we have a conversation about it BEFORE we're about to enter one. I explain the rules: hold my hand and no running. Then I explain why. I do a LOT of explaining, but Tod-lar has only run from me once. And for that, I spanked him -- JUST KIDDING.



I'm out in the MidWest and I see leashed and non-leashed kids quite often. Toddlers in my area are so used to running freely through the pasturelands (don't get me started about fences, damn farmers!) that when we come to the city they get all wound up about seeing them buildins' with two floors that they won't mind us a bit and we hafta put them on leads.

No really, I think the debate goes beyond wearing a leash and more into the realm of yanking it or how much slack is in the leash. A previous comment mentioned that they can be a good way to allow the child a sense of independence while keeping him/her safe. The comment right above this one brings up yanking.

Is a leash bad if the kid is "heeling" and there's slack in the line? Is the leash a good thing if the kid is dragging the parent left and right instead of vice versa? I realize that it's my duty to give up what I want so that I can keep my child safe and protected, but let's be realistic - there's no way that I can run errands without restraining my child in some fashion. At her age now, that simply means leaving her in the bucket, putting her in the stroller, or carrying her in a sling. I'd get quite a few more disparaging looks if I juet let her crawl around on the floor as I paid the cashier at the grocery store and picked up my bags.

When Monkey gets to be the age of walking, I think my wife and I will use a leash as necessary. Seeing as we're not big fans of wheeling and parking her around (i.e. keeping her in the stroller), I think that whatever we can use to allow her a little running space would be a good thing. That, or we'll use a backpack to allow her to ride above the crowd.

If that doesn't work, we'll just lock her in the car. D'oh! Kidding!

Linda B

Electronic Collar! I hadn't thought of that one yet...

Anne Glamore

I tried the leashes for about an hour with my twins, but they kept getting tangled up in each other and in me, so I gave that up and resorted to the double stroller (with my 2.5 yo son stuffed underneath in the carryall). I got so good I could even take the whole contraption on the "UP" escalator at the local mall. Soon after, they remodeled the mall and the escalator now is too narrow for a double stroller. Don't think it's my fault, do you??

I am here as a witness to say that eventually they DO learn to walk in the direction you want them to and that is priceless.
Anne www.tinykingdom.typepad.com


Egads, people are pretty judgemental on both sides of the issue seems like. I've still got another month to go before I'm a parent for real, but I've gotta say I'm not looking forward to the days when everyone else will be an expert on every decision we make with our child and will be able to know at a glance whether or not I'm a "good" parent.


I have no opinion on this topic. However, I do want to compliment you on the fact that you are an excellent writer. Though I couldn't care less about leashes on children, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thank you.


Yep, I was a leashed child. My mom made me in charge of a younger sibling and we used the telephonecordesque kind to link up the family. It's hard to sneak off in a store with three feet of blue coil between you and your brother.


It's reminders like your experience that makes me terrified to be running after TWO toddlers. I just know my twins are going to figure out that it's more fun when they run in OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS! Even now, when they're only six weeks old, I KNOW my wife and I are evenly matched but sometimes it seems like we're sooooo outnumbered. I know when they get older and mobile we're gonna have to change our defensive alignment. Instead of playing them one on one, we're gonna have to play zone.


I put my daughter on a leash when we went out because I loved her and didn't want her to be killed. My son didn't need one. He does now, though, but they don't make them for 25-year-olds. Well, they do, but I don't want to be seen going into one of THOSE shops.

It boils down to what will keep your own child safe. Other people's opinions mean nothing; only YOUR situation matters.

Do whatever will keep your child safe.


What Carrie said.

There are kids who listen, no matter how passive a parent is, and kids who don't, no matter how agressive a parent is.

If your child is the kind that will stay safely with you, then don't use a harness. If your child is the kind who doesn't listen and will run off and risk their neck, use a harness.

This is one of those issues, again, where I feel that people scream loudly because everyone feels attacked and sensitive. If you're anti-harness, you're being attacked unfairly as a granola-crunching idiot living in a dream world with the perfect child. If you're pro-harness, you're a lazy parent who wants their child to be a dog.

Neither is true, of course. Anti-leashers are generally folks with kids who will listen, or folks who have found their kid's trigger point; whether it's threats of time outs or whatever. Pro-leashers are generally folks who have small children who don't respond to any normal control efforts and who's children are genuinely at risk for being smacked into by a car or lost in a large crowd.

Both groups are responding appropriately to their child's needs.

And, as a personal aside, this:

"we reinforce the idea with a wrist-slap if needed"

bothers me a heck of a lot more than leashing. I'll leash before I slap.

Good post!


I just have to say, we just pulled our harness/leash out of storage (where it had gone when our older boy could be trusted not to dart in front of cars) to see if was helpful with his younger brother -- and the older boy BEGS to wear it. It's hysterical.

They're a tool, nothing more. You can use them in healthy ways (giving the kid more independence while letting you look away for 5 seconds) or in bad ways (dragging the kid around while you ignore them completely).

I had to laugh at Alicia's comment: "Don't people who leash their kids see why other parents point at them and make disparaging comments?" Gee, if avoiding disparaging comments is the goal of your parenting efforts, you must not go out much. No matter what you do, someone will criticize you. So what?


I am middle-aged, American bred but English born. I remember on trips back to the motherland seeing toddlers on harnesses.

Picture a parent with two sacks of groceries from the market, trying to get on the double decker (or train). What's better? Lifting (and nearly dropping) the 50 lb. stroller in which toddler is strapped? Or a little loop attached to mom or dad's arm. Harness is the clear winner for me. Pick up the babe when necessary, let him or her (safely) loose otherwise. Junior may run in to the occasional pedestrian, but 10 to 1 said pedestrian prefers the todder to being whacked with above-mentioned stroller.


Wow, such controversy over something that is fundamentally a personal choice. Me, I will readily attach my toddling son to myself when in an airport, in a large crowd, or on a busy street. His wrist is leashed to my wrist. He gets to move about five feet away from me but no more.


Thanks, Matthew, for bringing up the panic of the plural-kid family. I have 3 kids, all energetic, all disobedient to one degree or another (well, call it "focus-challenged" instead). And I have a back injury that doesn't let me pick up my toddler, let alone fight my 40-pound kindergartener. I can't even call out all their names before they've scattered to the four winds.

That said, I haven't yet resorted to a harness, although I'd much rather do that than lose any of them in a mall or on a busy street. I fully expected to need at least one. They haven't seemed at all inhumane (we're not talking about putting choke collars around their little necks, after all-- in case anyone was confused) ever since I visited the Shakespeare home in Stratford and saw what the Elizabethans used to keep their toddlers in check. Solid, heavy waist irons attached to a floor-to-ceiling post in which the tots could (and did) wear circles in the kitchen floor all day... but they didn't wander away when their mothers needed to do other things. Brilliant invention, the backpack child harness.


Wonderful thread... very interesting. I get a kick out of the anti-crowd's opinion though. LEASH!! Shocking to use one on your kid! One of those most horrible things you can do as a lazy parent.
Oh Good Grief! It's ridiculous to think of it as the same as a dog leash. After all, it's not a collar with a line from it. It's a body harness. Brits & Euros call them "Reins" which is more appropriate to its design. Our kids are actually horses in them, not dogs :)

I think the outrage is ridiculous. It's not child abuse to safely restrain your child from normal gotta-run impulses. I wore a harness as a child in the early seventies. Didn't warp me at all.

My elder brother had one save his life.... Very hyperactive and deaf.. Obviously, not the type to listen to a mother's rules. He wanted to run ahead on a mountain trail when he was 4-5 years old. Railing & trail was washed away just after a blind corner. Good thing my mother had him tethered. He wouldn't have survived the fall.

When my daughter started walking in public in the dead of winter at 17 months, she needed somewhere to gain her confidence. In fact, both of us had to work on being two footed. I had just went through a second foot surgery.
Putting her on a harness and walking the corridors of the nearest hospital gave her the chance of freedom to learn, but not be injured. I had a One Step Ahead harness that could be slipped over the hand or hooked onto a belt loop.

IT was a truly educational experience for us both.
I could guide her around other injured patients and equipment when they appeared. I could catch her falls on inclines and let her get her feet back under her. I never had to yell or get upset to get her back to me because we were attached.
She learned to determine acceptable distance from me, hold my hand, and not run away when I called her name. All by limiting the amount she could be free (6 feet). There was no earthly way I could have caught her hobbling as slow as I do. I still can't catch her if she decides to run away, but her nature & our shared learning to walk & listen keeps her by me now.

There were other crowded public places she wore her harness at too while she was a young toddler. All I or my husband ever had to do was display her harness and ask if she wanted to walk. Oh boy, her enthusiasm was marvelous. Always a resounding YES & cooperation in sliding it on. Thankfully, I could keep up with her twists and turns when her gnat-like attention span caused her to drop my hand to try to vanish.

Now she rarely ever wears it. Amazing what 4 months does to a child that age. She walks steadily and holds my hand most of the time. At 22 months, she listens well to my instructions. The last time we wore it was at the Ship Museum in Concarneau as a safety procaution when we went onto a dock and an actual moored boat. Daddy carried her most of the time, but it was a quick option to a life jacket to have her tethered to us in case she went into the water.

I guess living in Europe is much more different than the States. No one ever looked disaprovingly at us for her wearing a harness. Good thing, I"d probably glare right back. Everyone has remarked how happy & well behaved she is. I'm pretty certain that I have not warped my child at all in this matter. I'm sure I"ll do worse as a parent in something else ;)


Restraint is restraint, whether it's a stroller, harness, crib, gates on the stairways, whatever. If the kid needs it for their safety, they need it. Do it. Maybe your kid doesn't need restraint in situation X. If so, great. But keep your damned mouth shut about other parents because you don't have any idea what their situation is. If your kid gets mowed down in traffic I'll guarantee you'll wish you'd had a harness or a wrist strap to yank.


I, too felt locks / leashes / even play pens were lazy parents way of avoding child care. I "child-profed my whole home, vowing to make it a safe, fun place where my daughter could grow, learn and explore........
That is untill I woke up one morning "the Mess". At age 22 months she was crawling out of her crib.. Up untill the morning of the mess I was alwasy up before her. My hubby and I thought it was cute...the house was baby proffed so if she did get up first, she couldn't get outside, nor hurt herself......
Don't be fooled there is no such thing as a fully baby proofed house unless it it a padded room w/o a way out.
I found her in the living room, she'd taken out EVERYTHING she could reach froom the refer, the pantry and dumped it all on the living room rug..... milk, flour, sugar, eggs, chese, bottles of condimants, catfood, dog food, bread, bowls, sliverware, pots/ pans... and of course some of her toys and varios other items........

I spent close to $30.00 ( in 1975) to rpelace the destroyed groceries ... she was "making breakfast"

we installed a chain lock on her door that night, I felt like such an utter failure. Thanks goodness we only had to lock her door for a short time

I still hadn't learned my lesson... a few months later we were shopping and I was replacing something she pulled off a shelf .. talking to her, explaing, we can't get this yet.. When I glanced back down she was GONE...She LOVED exploring,, thank goodness she was just around the corner The next item I bought that day was a wrist "leash". We made a game of it, "this is so mommy doesn't get lost"

We took care of my grandson for about 4 months straight and I had forgoten just how hard it is to keep eyes on 24/7. My son insisted he sleep in a bed, we put up a locking baby gate, wired his room for sound and a camera or I'd not been able to get a wnk of sleep worried he'd gt up before lazy grandma did.... but at my age, it was so much more rewarding as i took time to enjoy it... course it helped that my hubby was home at this time so I could go potty w/o dragging a 20 month old in the bathroom with me.
God bless kids, it's God's way of keeping us young


For all the anti-leashers out there... It still hasn't been answered once, that I have seen.


What is the difference to you between strapping a child in a rolling cage (a.k.a. stroller) and putting them on a harness?
Please tell me...

If you have an immensely impulsive child, is it fair to leave them at home all the time? Miss out on the world? At a daycare with strangers? I think people should get off their high horses and look at individual situations, here.


Leash your child???? My God what is the world coming to? Have people in this world gone so totally crazy to think that leashing a child to you is acceptable parenting? I think this goes along with discipline and the lack of that exists in this world we now live in. Start early with letting your child know right and wrong and stick to your word. None of this telling them 85 times to do or not do something. After the first time, use "the force". I watch parent after parent repeating the same empty threat to thier child all too often. They are a joke. Love your children and start parenting them. They will thank you in the long run.


The minute my baby was born, I could tell she was a willful child. She can be very sweet, but she wants what she wants.

She never liked being in the stroller. I can't wear her because my back just cannot take it.

She learned to walk at 10.5 months. She is now 12 months.

I live in NYC, on a very busy road. The microsecond I put her down onto the ground, she's dashing off. I call her name. She doesn't listen.

SURPRISE! She is too young to listen. Any parent in the above comments who thinks so, is expecting an exceptionally developed baby. She's only 12 months old!

So what do I do if I have to go somewhere?

I find myself pushing the stroller with one hand. It doesn't steer very well with one hand, but the baby refuses to sit in it. She'll arch her back and slide off of it 3 or 4 times, and then cry bloody murder if you put her in it.

She won't hold my hand, even when crossing the street. If I try, she yanks her hand out of it. I was the same way as a baby, and I ended up dislocating my wrist because of it! She'll throw her self onto the ground if you try to force her to hold your hand.

But, she has no problem running into the street into traffic, running into dark parking lots, or just going the opposite direction you need to go.

I don't know about some of the other parents on this blog, but sometimes I HAVE to go somewhere. I don't have the luxury to meander for an eternity until she is ready to go the direction I need to go. (Like to daycare so I can go to work.)

So I end up carrying her for blocks and blocks, with stroller gliding into trees (because of one hand pushing), bags practically falling off of me, while I'm carrying her in my arms.

Not fun! Not lazy parenting. Not easy. And almost entirely impractical.

amanda B

I have a 7 year old with Down syndrome and ADHD. I have nightmares about taking her into a situation were she could pull free of my hand. I also think that it is unfair for her that she is not able to walk with her younger sister to look at animals in a zoo, mall, ECT with mom always hanging on to her hand. My daughter is getting older and understands that she should have more independence; however, she can easily forget and take of running to something or someone that she sees. She has only a small understanding of the consequences to walking into a street or parking lot. Only last week I she was able to pull away from me in the dr. office and run into a closing elevator and I spent the next ten minutes (with help) going through 4 floors finding her. It is imposable that I never leave my house or keep my child locked away from the world and I can not put my younger child a risk every time her sister runs off; however, there is a way for my to go through life with out the fear of losing my child and I can also give her the since that she has some of the same freedom that a normal child has. If people look at my in “that way” or condemn my actions then I truly feel sorry for the poor understanding of a mothers love for her child.


So I am actually sitting here looking for a child leash. I need one, no question about it. I have tried everything to get my duaghter to understand that she needs to stay with me, but nothing works. My whole street probably thinks I am a horrible mother because almost daily I am having to chase my duaghter down the street. I have a 5 year old son who is wheelchair bound. Pushing him while holding her hand is tricky and she is often able to slip right out of my grip. Before I can even run after her I have to pull the brake on my sons wheelchair so that he doesnt roll out into the street. The two secounds that takes is enough for my duaghter to get a considerable head start, she is fast! I really am at the point where I done do not care what other people may think. A leash will save my sanity and my duaghter from harm.


I am for the LEASH. It is not a muzzel nor does it cause harm to the child. But what it will do is KEEP your child close to you when you are in crowded places like Disney. I dare anyone to challange me on this topic. Mr. Peanut - please don't pass judgement towards a topic or issue you have NOT experienced personally. I am a very loving mother of 5 children and I find a leash helps out when you are in a crowded place. It will protect your children from other people and /or prevent your child from straying to far. In case you do not realize this, the leash is safely attached to the wrist or along the body and the strap is long enough for the children to walk as they please. Take care and God Bless America.


I always thought putting a child on a leash would be stupid until I became pregnant with my second child and went to the mall with my 19 mth. He is too heavy for me to carry around and I was only planning going into one store. While I payed for something he walked off not too far I could stil see but it was really hard to keep looking at him and trying to pay for something. All it takes is a second anything could have happened.There were alot of people in the store. I don't trust people these days with people cutting babies from their womb and drowned the children and stuffed them in a washer and dryer and there was a someone who killed the mom and stabbed a 2 year old in the head the knife was still in the childs head when he went to the ER. So with all that going on especially with another child on the way and considering I do everything by myself I don't think it would be a bad idea to get a leash for certain situations like being in a crowd.
I think being a mom I have learned you have to set limits on what they can do. Whether its playing with a plastic bag even though the child is having fun with it you have to take it away.


Interesting degree of passion here, so I think I'll add my 2 cents' worth. I used a harness and leash with my very well-behaved walking 1- and 2-year-old for several reasons. We both loved it -- it gave her a lot more freedom, and I didn't develop a curved spine from leaning over to the hand of an extremely tiny person. (Healthy and vigorous, but 17 pounds at age one and definitely not tall!)

I NEVER used it in the house, since she needed to be able to actually live in the house, just as I did. Nor would I have ever "staked her out" anywhere, attached to trees or whatever. But I used it frequently in airports, where managing bags, tickets, and a busy baby were tough.

No jerking was ever required (and that's a whole other issue) -- we both had exactly the same behavioral expectations with or without the leash.

The one I used was European (had several of them, actually -- handy to have an extra in bags, ready to go) which was very light nylon webbing and unobtrusive. It came with clips attached and snapped into grocery carts and strollers wherever we were traveling, too, giving the kid a lot more wiggle room, but much greater safety, than a seat belt.

I don't remember if I got any nasty looks from people, but who cares? I _do_ remember getting a lot of nasty looks, and comments, from people who thought it was cruel to carry my 9-months-and-under- baby in a Snugli, and those people were clearly bats. (The kid's 23 now, and we were often in areas of the world which were Snugli- and Baby Bjorn-free at the time.)


hi i hate to say it but i never in my life thought i would need a leash for my kids i have twin two year olds and as soon as i get anywhere one runs one way and the other the other way i cant go no where by my self i am so scared my daughter will take off on me and when i finally catch up to her shes going to be hit buy a car or someones going to pick her up i am still tryin to figure how are two two year olds faster then a 21 yr old but i am going to buy these leashes i dont care how funny it looks or how bad in my heart i am doing the right thing i rather have them on a leash them have them dead or kidnapped and the harnes i am getting does have a backpack on it so i dont have to carry a sippy cup as well i think they will like it instead of me sqeezing their hands to hard it will give them a little bit more freedom but still close enough to me



Set the children free! Stop the cruelty! Unleash your loved ones!

Nah, I'm kidding! I handcuff my son to me. I'm sure the cold steel digs into his wrist a bit when he tries to struggle but I think its worth it. I feel %100 comfortable knowing he's no more than 3 inches from me at all times. I just picked up the collar that zaps him and makes a high pitched noise if he does by chance break free from my kid 'cuffs. Take no chances!

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