Sunday, August 30, 2009

Unleash Your Child

I understand that parents may get tired of holding their rambunctious child's hand, but do we seriously need to put kids on leashes?

I've seen these leashes on numerous occasions over the last couple years, but only now have the time (not really) to sit down and write about them. The most recent siting was in the subway system here in NYC: a little kid secured with a monkey backpack--aka harness--and the leash tightly gripped in his mother's hand. As the kid tried to wander up to strangers, the mom would shorten the leash a bit and reel the child in. The kid honestly looked like a dog being roped away from another dog it wanted to sniff. Is this really necessary?

Childrens' acute sense of curiosity matched with their desire to eat things they shouldn't, play with things that could kill them, explore places that could do the same, and fight with complete strangers (ok, maybe kids don't do that) already make them pretty animal-like and when you put them on a leash it just makes it worse. And that creeps me out. A lot.

I wonder how many kids have ate sh*t because their "handler" pulled on the leash too hard? What if you have 3 or 4 kids around "leash" age? You're gonna look like a professional dog walker.

Teach your kids how to stay within a reasonable distance of you, or just hold their hand for crying out loud.


  1. We all grow up with a certain amount of danger which is a necessity for learning what not to do and become well rounded adults. Its just silly that we have so many nannies in this world telling us what is or is not safe...but then you run into these people and you realize maybe, just maybe, those nannies are right or once.

    - Jordan

  2. OurTOur first two kids lived leash free until we took our youngest to Disney after repeated attempts to jump on the monorail tracks we broke down and bought the afformentioned monkey leash. Our youngest seems to be more freewheeling than the previous 2 and he has no problem jumping into water deeper than the grand canyon. So, yes we use a leash on him at times but telling him no, restricting his priveledges, or outright spanking (I know they are all but illegal now) do no good. We have done the beat we can and I know many people give up too easily on child control but after 2 before him we have an understanding of how to control our child but the final child really listens like a deaf child and keeping him alive is more important than keeping up appearances as a perfect family! I know control will always be an issue with him but we are doing the best we can. For the record we have 2 older kIds with straight A's and they are both in gifted programs. The youngest has been reading since he was 2 so he is on his way to the same future if we cam teach him some discipline but what has worked for the other two has nothing to do with him. While I too believe there is a better way, when the child doesn't listen no matter what you try you do what you must. I just feel bad for those parents who haven't already tried everything and just resort to theonkey when basic logical talking doesn't work.

  3. No matter which side you come down upon with this kind of issue, I find it curious how misspellings reveal more than what is written; like the "nannies are right or (sic) once" in the first comment, but especially the second comment "We have done the beat (sic) we can" and then after bragging how leashing their kid somehow helped their schooling they end with that new word "theonkey".

  4. Previous post from me posted from my iPhone, with auto-correct turned on, and a busted thumb. The mention of our older two children illustrates that we do indeed know how to raise well adjusted children without having ever used a leash or spanking to raise them. The last word I misspelled was supposed to be "the monkey". My main point was that every child is different, and no matter how perfect you believe your understanding of parenting every child will take a different approach. Also, just as an aside, leashes are not new at all for children, they were being used frequently in Germany in 1975 during Oktoberfest.

  5. Christopher Canole, the comment was not bragging on how leashing the children help with their school work, it clearly states that the unleashed children in question where straight A students and the one leashed child, however not in school seemed to be on the path to straight A's also. Clearly that person is saying that leashing a child does not cause permanent damage. However some children follow the beat of their own heart and need some guidance in order to stay alive and not run out in the middle of the road or jump in a pond!

  6. Hey Leah, cool it alright? If you keep up all this trash talk about Child Leashing, I'm likely to loose my career as a Kid Walker. Currently I have 10 clients and walk their children every other day, with some days as many as 7 kids at once. It gets tricky when they see another child and try to run after them. Seriously, it takes like 10 minutes to get all those leashes untangled.

    Business is going well, but when I see comments like yours saying that it's a ridiculous thing, I'm offended and afraid that my clients will think twice about hiring me. It's bad enough that I already lost a client last week when little Tommy Bacamore bit a passing mailman in the face. The bite was pretty bad and being that it was to an employee of the Federal Government, they had to put him down.

    I sum up by saying that Child Leashing is a good thing! It allows children, whose parent's are too busy talking on the phone and checking their blackberry to actually act like parents, to roam around free, but at a safe and demeaning distance.

  7. Pat you get a gold star for creative commenting :) can't wait to start reading your blog!

  8. I was one of children that was forced to wear a leash. This was 1972. I am told I was fearless. It was believed I had to be reigned in, more for my parents sake than mine? Probably. My point is I remember that, even though I was three when I was first leashed. I remember the binding feeling of that leash, I remember feeling my spirit quell, not being able to express my natural instinctive urges. In short, the leash does more damage than good. You may have a fearless child, but what an amazing gift.

  9. Leah,
    You can teach your child to stand by yourside but it does not mean they are going to do it all the time. I have a child who is very hyper ALL the TIME and trust me she does not sit or stand still. I'm always running after her. I got the leash and LOVE IT. I don't have to run after her now. I don't have to worry about her getting hit by a car or getting kidnap by some Child Molester and doing horrible stuff to her. Then finding her dead in some river, lake or pond. Now, what do you have to say to that!!!!