Keeping your child on a leash.

My best friend asked me if I would ever put one of those stuffed animal leashes on my daughter. I jokingly replied, “absolutely!”

“If my daughter Dionne becomes completely out of control and starts acting like the main character from ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ then I will restrain her with a cute ladybug style leashes.”

I never stopped before to think could this be the real reason people put these things on their children?

When I see kids at the mall or the airport with their leashes on, I have to admit, it does raise those exact questions for me.

Is this an issue of control or lack there of? I have seen some pretty rambunctious kids in the airport, mall or where have you, and the parents seem to really struggle with getting their little one to listen to them over the apparent spike in adrenaline.

The lookers-on really don’t make it easier: They give the parents the death stare as the child is jumping, running or crying.  I know the facts are that some children test their parents; most times it is conveniently in public. So are these adorable little devices meant to pacify others that may be bothered by your little tike?

It seems like everywhere you go, movies (understandable), restaurants, malls, airports/airplanes, all are places people seem to express their disdain for (possible) disruptions children may make.  So in an effort to not make other shoppers at the mall uncomfortable, you put a leash on your child.

I get that no one wants to be embarrassed. But a leash, really? I am not one to judge one for their parenting styles, though I think this really doesn’t speak to one’s choice in parenting, but instead wanting others to think that you are a good parent (while in public at least)

Some people liken children on leashes to walking a dog. photo by

Now I am aware that everyone has their own reasons or uses for the leash (if they use them). One big one being safety, you don’t want to look a way for a second and little Sally walks away, or some stranger swipes little Johnny while you’re not looking.

Any parent can understand the potential dangers crowds can pose to an easily sidetracked child. But if lack of control, public opinion, or fear of embarrassment that a public melt down may bring is the reason you would tote your tot around on a leash– although understandable– it is very telling story that opens you up for the judgments that are hurdled your way, either way.


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