Parenting

Dad Tells the World Why 'Leashing' His Child Is an Excellent Idea

Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting including Ned Peppers bar, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Several people in Ohio have been killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours, and the suspected shooter is also deceased, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

When it comes to child-rearing, everyone has an opinion. Especially everyone on the Internet. But the fact remains that all parents have to make the best decisions for their families, no matter how many haters have something to say about it. One often heated topic in the parenting world is children on leashes.

Many people, especially those who have never had children, have plenty of (often negative) opinions about the idea of putting a small child on a harness in public. But those same people often change their tune when they have “wild” children of their own.

One dad, Clint Edwards, recently shared a post on his blog No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog. In the picture, his very active toddler is shown at a farmer’s market wearing a backpack with a leash attached to it.

We were at the farmers market. No shame. I put this kid on a leash.She's a wild child, and this thing has already kept…

Posted by No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog on Saturday, May 27, 2017

Here’s what he had to say:

We were at the farmers market. No shame. I put this kid on a leash.

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.

The real difficulty with having a wild child is that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Because the fact is, if I didn’t put Aspen on a leash while at amusement parks, the zoo, a crowded mall, or the farmers market, she’d be the lost child announced over the intercom. She’d be the kid popping up in every Facebook feed for wandering into a shopping center parking lot, unattended. She could be the child climbing into the tiger cage. Because I can’t, for the life of me, keep her from moving. Her curiosity is incredible, and for only having a 12 inch stride, she moves faster than any Olympian.

Every day, some poor child is harmed or causes a scare as a result of running off when his or her parents look away for a second. Yes, that’s exactly how long it takes — a mere second — for a parent’s worse-case scenario to occur. Kudos to parents for knowing that their children might need a little reinforcement when in public to keep something terrible from happening.

Edwards spoke to Scary Mommy about his decision:

[He said] that while the reaction to his story has been mostly positive, of course, some felt the need to chide him for his choice. But overall, even those who previously judged now realize the error of their ways. “Most people have discussed how they used to judge parents with leashes, but then, boom! They had a child and realized that putting their toddler on a leash really helped keep them safe,” he says.

Despite the handful of naysayers, Edwards has no regrets about telling the tale, as it seems many parents totally get it. “Clearly it was a message most can relate too.”