Thursday, August 20, 2009

Leash Laws

Though leashing your child in public is a growing trend these days, it was difficult for me to make the decision to try it. Growing up my mother was never shy about expressing her distaste for moms that pranced their children around in public like a two-legged Basset Hound. Her mentality was that if you instill the right amount of fear into a child they would fall in line like baby ducks and stick closely by their parents side. In our home she took the baby duck theory literally. We were forced, every time we entered a public place, to line up behind her, hands tightly locked behind our backs, and follow quietly.

My father, who was not the primary caregiver, found that this worked well in the presence of my mother, but left alone with him, he took his own precautions to keep us safe. One time during a father-daughter fishing trip, Dad decided not to take any chances and tightly secured a rope around my five-year-old waist while anchoring the loose end to the car door. Having a rambunctious little girl standing quietly on the bank beside him he needed insurance that there would be no water-induced incidents. I'm sure that he never filled my mother in on this, and it was probably for the better.

Because of my upbringing I too harbored a strong aversion to leashing children. It seemed absurd and embarrassing. That was until I had a rambunctious son of my own. As Carter grew and became more curious, he was less inclined to sit quietly in a stroller while I skipped around enjoying my freedom. When the struggle to keep him contained became to much (and my mother was dead and unable to comment), I broke down and bought a child harness.

I was able to purchase a fun, puppy dog, back pack leash at my local Target retailer for $11.99. The first time we used it I knew it was money well spent. Carter got his freedom, and I was able to shop without the fear of losing him in a crowd.

I noticed there were few instinctual things I wanted to do while I was out "walking" my son. I'm sure the feelings came from many years of owning a dog. I knew these urges were completely unacceptable and decided to make a few laws to help govern my behavior while we were out in public. If your new to leashing your child I hope these will help you too.


The Leash Laws
#1) Never, and by never I mean in front of onlookers, tug on the lead to make the child fall in line. At times it may be tempting when Jr's taking off on his own route, but just remember it looks a lot worse from an outsider's point of view. If you didn't have an obnoxious kid what would you think?

#2) It is not OK to tie your child to a park bench, car door, water fountain, lamp post, or chair leg. While it may allow you a short break from Jr, I promise the consequences are not worth it. Five years in prison for child neglect is not worth the five minutes of peace you'll receive.

#3) Do not drag your child unwillingly, legs buckling underneath him, through a department store. It may seem like a time saver (and it probably is) but nothing will make store clerks and patrons dial D.C.F faster.

#4) Don't be cheap! Buy a real child harness. Home-made versions like my father's "safety" rope may be tempting because it will only set you back about 2 bucks, but I promise the barbaric nature of it will call more attention to you than just letting Jr run a muck through JC Penny's. Trust me it's worth the $12.00.

While these laws may help you control your animal instincts while "walking" your little monster, know that by no means, does it reduce the embarrassment you feel with that animal tail leash fashioned tightly around you wrist. People will stare, old ladies will comment, but keep in mind it's whats on the end of the rope that really matters. Your just providing safety.

If you want to check out the harness I purchased clink on this link:
http://target.com/Eddie-Bauer-Harness-Buddy-Monkey/dp/B001OB9LBI

They come in a variety of different animal buddies.

15 comments:

  1. I have just now bought one of these myself (the puppy dog one from target although I considered the monkey with the way my son climbs all over everything). I too had mixed feelings about mothers who used these on their children. It took my third child to realize the need for these. He is NOT happy strapped down in a stroller ( I think the lack of ability to move is much more mean) and needs his freedom to move around. BUT he is the type of child you see mothers running after down the isles as he is laughing and having a good ole time. I love it! I have only used it a few times and can totally relate to wanting to treat him like having a dog on a leash! Your rules are hilarious by the way!

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    1. These leashes were outlawed years ago and I disagreed with that back then. In my mind when they first stopped it, they gave rise to pedophiles. It was easier to grab your child. I am glad to see this becoming fashionable again. Every child should be on one simply because they don't understand that running away from mommy can cause danger. Its up to parents to think. There isn't a minute in a day where a child can take off and you look away for one minute and they're gone. Parents are blamed continuously for not watching their children. Its an impossibility to keep your eyes on them 24/7. Im 65 years old, I have no kids to give an opinion on this other than watching the world change horribly and loving children, I fear for every little child who is kidnapped. Etan Patz has haunted me since I was young. That was the first kidnapping I had heard about. I could not imagine his parents horror. So no I think leashes on children, whether people think they look like dogs or not, should be a mandatory law. Just like leash laws on animals, they DO protect that very special little person in your life.

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  2. Glad the leash is working for you too! Keep the laws in mind while you out! :)

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  3. Those old ladies are just jealous they hadn't thought of the leash, lol! I can't wait to buy one! My daughter would love a little freedom to feel like a big girl. I've come to practice not getting eye contact with people, that way I don't have to see their faces if they disapprove of my parenting. Thanks for the advice!

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  4. I just bought one, actually before he was born, and I'm using it for the first time when we go to the zoo tomorrow. People say, "why don't you just hold their hand?" but it's obvious that they've never held those slimy little fingers that dissapear like nothing. Only to have more attention coming your way when they decide to scream at the top of their lungs and through themselves down on the ground. When my cousin was 3, she was almost abducted by a guy with Alzheimer's. I'm not taking that chance, especially with the animal cages and especially with the crowds.

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  5. Ugh! Slimy hand are awful! The leash is the best way to go. Hope you have fun at the zoo. Try not to be tempted to leave your kiddo with the chimps!

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  6. I am A Huge Fan Of the Leases! My first Born has two Speeds Sleeping and Running, Not to mention she'll climb anything in sight to see what is up there.so We used it everywhere! even in the Parking lot of the Drugstore she would just Dart off without warning!We used it at the Zoo as well there are Loads of exhibits that DON'T ALLOW STROLLERS and so The Leash as in in your picture Works Great! However I am now having my 3rd child in March 11' I am Hearing that The Child Harnesses/Leashes are becoming Illegal in MA,NY,and FL Dose anyone know about these claims? I hope they are False!My Children Loves their Monkey and Dog Harnesses and they get so exited to wear them! even My Daughter who is now 4yrs old Still Loves it!They and Never Embarrassed to wear them either like I have read people are concerned about. (I think My Daughter will be in a booster till she is like seriously 9-10 I think that would be much more embarrassing to her then at4yrs old wearing the Monkey!But Safety is Way More Important TO me then being Embarrassed!) Please Let Me know if you can Find anything about the Legal Issue I have Googled it many times but only get Forums and Polls if you think they should be or not. Jenna jakesmemo96@yahoo.com

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  7. I am doing a psychology paper on learning and behavior, and it so happened that I came across this blog.

    I am raising two boys and I would never think to "walk" them with a leash. They are not animals. I believe that if a child is trained at home, they will not run off and embarrass you while in public. Child raring is not easy, invest the time that is necessary for them to become productive well behave citizens. I personally saw one mother threaten her daughter with it. "If you don't behave, I will put this on you." Are you kidding me? Hold their hands, teach them to not touch, reward them for good behavior by using negative and positive reinforcements.

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    1. Oh you live in a dream world sweetheart. No matter how good you "train" your child, your rules have no chance against a pedophile with a puppy. And your little one can disappear in a flash in a dept. store. "Well behaved citizens", a two or three year old??? I think not. If someone is hellbent on kidnapping your "well behaved citizen", no amount of training can prevent parent error! Look away for a second, your two year old just went under a rack of clothing, now you've lost that "well behaved citizen". Two and three years olds don't really listen to your laws when something catches their little eyes!

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  8. While I applaud your work in psychology, I have to disagree with you to some extent. It's not always easy to reason with a child. This is especially true for children with special needs. I feel if is a personal choice to use a saftey harness and I want to stress that this blog is ment to be informative and funny. I hope you understand that a lot of what was written was ment for a laugh and I in no way meant to insult or offend anyone.

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  9. I doubt phycology paper really has a kid let alone two...if you did you would know that when your out in public with all the extra stimulation that they aren't the perfect little angels you know they are at home.. Also when you hold a child's hand and they want you to let go they pull the same thing a dog does and they just try to sit there. Also not fun to deal with for more then an hour or so... I want a harness and I want to pit a retractable dog leash on it. She can run around and use all her positive energy while mom and I can keep cool and collected.. Double win in my book

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    1. I agree with most of what you said. Just don't use a very long retractable lead because as with dogs, they disappear around someone and another can cut that lead. So keep it 10 feet or less. That way you can still see your child and get to him or her before anything happens. But I applaud you wanting to use one.

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  10. VisionaryPhilosopherNovember 27, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    All children must be on a leash in public.
    It's not an option... It's the law!

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