Some people’s parents!

July 15, 2012

I would like to preface this with the fact that I by no means consider myself to be “the perfect” parent. Far from it. In fact, at least once a day I have what I like to call a WTF moment, where I have absolutely no idea how to react/discipline/comfort my child. I think I spent the first few weeks of my parenting life phoning my mom with, “what do I do now?” Eventually, I came to the realization that sometimes I just have to figure it out on my own. And so, I respect that every parent does things a little differently. Being a parent is hard work, by all means do what you gotta do.

That said, what is the deal with child leashes? I get the desire to be attached to your child in a large group. I mean, it must bring comfort to know that anyone’s plans to snatch up your child will be foiled when they see the furry little lion backpack and follow the lion’s tail straight to your own black belted hand. I get that. I’ve even thought to myself on occasion, when my daughter’s independent spirit refuses to hold hands crossing a crowded street, and I am forced to grab her wrist while she is screaming bloody murder and apologetically smile at every passerby who must surely think I’m abusing her. . .that maybe, just maybe, one of those leashy things would come in handy. And then the thought quickly dissipates as the more normal side of my brain regroups and says, that’s ridiculous.

The thing is, children need to be taught things. You know, like, crossing the street is dangerous, so until you’re big enough, you should hold my hand while doing so. And, strangers can be dangerous, some even might try to take you from mommy and daddy. So when we’re in a crowd it’s really important that you don’t wander off. Because, let’s be honest here, what are you really teaching your child by putting them on a leash? I can’t think of any good life lessons. Unless you’re perversely training them to become a sex slave. Too far? Probably. But I just DON’T see the benefits here.

My sister told me the other day she went for a walk on the trails behind her house and she saw the kid leash being most absurdly used by a mom walking with her 5 year old and her dog. This is ridiculous for a multitude of reasons. First, the walking trail is very sparsely populated at any given time. In all of the times I have pitter pattered my little feet on this path it would be generous to say that I’ve encountered a handful of people. Is this parent so paranoid of a kidnapper she thinks they will jump out of the bushes? And let’s say that did happen, and she was preparing herself for said situation, what about a little old fashioned mace and a cell phone? Furthermore, it’s not like this is a trail in the middle of timbuktu, it is literally weaving through residential backyards, parks, and businesses. It’s hardly a menacing place for children and their parents. Oh, did I mention she had her dog with her? And that it was a big ol’ German Shepard of a dog?? And that HE was NOT on a leash??? So by her logic, for some reason, the dog listened better to her than her own child and she couldn’t trust that her child wouldn’t bite other small children. Makes sense. I digress.

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