To Leash or Not to Leash?
- June 29, 2012
- by Melissa Lawrence
I may have missed the episode of Modern Family where one of the characters, Cam, used a leash for his child, but I’ve been hearing people talk all about it over the past few days! I’ve been following the debate over whether it’s okay for parents to put their toddlers on leashes, and I have to say, it’s all been very interesting. Having five kids, you may think that I’d need a few leashes to keep everyone safe; when it comes down to it, however, I say “no” to putting children on a leash for several reasons.
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Should you leash your kids or give them some slack?
First of all, if I were to put leashes on my children, I would look like a crazed dog-walker with five kids running around. I get enough comments as it is because of the sheer number of my brood. “Are they ALL yours?” “How old are they?” “How many twins do you have?” These are just a few of the questions that I’ll hear on the streets. The other reason that I don’t want to use a leash is because I’m trying to get my children to listen to me. I want to encourage this behavior at a young age, and I feel like putting them on a leash and pulling them all over the place defeats the purpose of that.
I’d like for my children to develop a sense of what it’s like to walk around in public, what it’s like to cross the street, and how to protect themselves and their bodies. I don’t think it would be possible for them to learn all of that with me tugging on their leashes, constantly giving them signals for their next moves. To try to keep a little order with five little ones on the loose, I utilize my stroller in every way possible. I keep my baby in the stroller and I make sure that my other children are touching the handlebars of the stroller or holding my hand.
Of course, sometimes my kids try to do their own thing and they don’t want to listen, but you can find out how I deal with that in my video. Parents, what strategies do you use to encourage street safety for your kids? I’m looking for any methods imaginable to make sure that my kids stay by my side, so please share your thoughts!