To use a leash or not?

Using a leash on a busy child can come in handy. Picture:iStock

Leashes are a highly controversial subject.

The usage of a leash or the ‘kids safety anti-lost strap’ is one subject that riles parents up on mommy groups. 

Parents share split views on whether or not parents should use it, and why it should be used in the first place. 

“She’s a wild child, and this thing has already kept her out of the road and from sticking her hand in an ice cream machine, along with keeping me sane,” This is shared by Clint Edwards, author and daddy blogger. 

Susan Henderson, developmental and child psychologist, explains that she used one on her own children when they were younger, and they are now in their teens and are “well adjusted”. 

Other moms argue that there are other ways to ensure your child’s safety than using a leash. Teaching children about the dangers of certain behaviours like jumping into the road and talking to strangers could also be as effective. 

Also Read: 3 ways to discipline your toddler (without winding up in jail)

Nadine Silverthorne, mom of two and the online editor for parenting websites Today’s Parent, argues that teaching children is more effective.

At 20 feet away, I’d call ‘Freeze!’ I rewarded her when she complied, and eventually, it became a habit. We tried the same thing on the sidewalk. If she started to run, back into the stroller she went. We repeated as needed, until it stuck,” Nadine shares. 

“Children are teachable” is what a lot of moms argue. 

But for many other moms like Handerson, the fear of their child almost getting involved in an accident motivated them to use a leash. Hyperactive toddlers that are bursting with energy can be too much for mom and dad to handle, so they look into an alternative. 

When you know your child’s behaviour well, and the potential risks associated with it, a leash will make sense to you. If you also have safety concerns, then it could also be an option to look into.

It can be a challenge to pay attention to your child’s every move when you are out in public, but other parents argue that one is required to do that when raising a younger child: pay attention. 

The key here is making a decision a parent is confident in, regardless of the criticism they will face regarding whether or not they are treating the child like a dog. Parents should also rid themselves of judging one’s decision to put their child on a leash. 

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