Monday, August 30, 2010

Lazy Parenting or Safe Parenting?

Yesterday I attended the annual Taylor Family Reunion with Jeremy and the boys. It was a great day. At one point it was time to fill our plates. We had brought Asa's play yard and set it up in the shade. He did wonderful in it! Noah was another story. If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting him, I'll just tell you a little about him; he is a sweet,  curious, and out going little guy. However, on occasion he can throw quite the tantrum. Now, yesterday he did not throw a tantrum. The problem was that he is just so active! He wanted to run around and play, typical two year old. While Jeremy got in the food line to fill a plate for Noah and himself, I waited with the boys. Most of my time was spent chasing after Noah trying to get him to sit in his lawn chair. When I was finally able to get him into his chair, he spilled my mega mug of water all over him! Meanwhile, my cousin Ashley had brought her dog to the family reunion. She tied his leash to a nearby post so that she could enjoy her food without worrying about her dog running away. Hmmmm.... No, I didn't want to tie Noah up to a post but would it be bad if I attached a leash to him so that I could keep him near me?

I know we've all seen it or done it; the mom walking her toddler on a leash. I remember the first time I saw it. I was a teenager working in a restaurant. It was just before close. Here comes the most exhausted looking woman in the world with a screaming little toddler on a leash. The child threw himself on the floor kicking and screaming. "What a horrible parent." "I  would never let my child behave like that." "How can someone treat their child like a dog!" At that time I was naive and quick to pass judgment. Now I know better. Maybe someone missed their nap. It was pretty late. I have no idea what that family was going through at that time. I'm sure someone has thought what a horrible child or mother when they noticed Noah having a meltdown at the Wal-mart checkout.

Toddlers are fast. I've seen it many times where I've blinked for a second and Noah has managed to decorate the entire living room with a bottle of sunscreen. Anytime we walk through a parking lot I get a little nervous.  Noah is good about holding my hand but he really likes to be independent. More than once he has pulled his hand out of mine and took off running. The chase is on. Here I am with a half-ton car seat in one hand with a diaper bag, purse, and who knows what else in the other hand.   We are just inches away from other cars. Noah knows he is not suppose to go into the street but he has no idea how dangerous streets and cars really are. How much safer would it be if I had a child leash?. I'm thinking that it is not so much about lazy parenting as it is about safety. I guess I should be more concerned about the safety of my child than what other people think of my parenting.

What are your thoughts on child leashes? (Not that I would base my decision on anyone's opinion)


  1. not lazy, safe :) especially with you having a baby in your other hand. If Noah decides to take off you have to lug the carseat with you or even just Asa and then that slows you down. What if Asa was in a cart at the grocery store & Noah rounded a corner-- do you leave your baby to hurry after the toddler or do you drive your cart like Mario Andretti? There were times this happened to me and sometimes you can't get down the aisle fast because of people. There are days I still wish I could put one on Brynne! That girl is fast at wandering to her own destinations. Besides, think about this- would you rather people laugh at you for being overly cautious or would you rather go on the 6:00 news with your child's picture?

  2. My thought is better safe than sorry. If you find that you, on a regular basis, are unable to control them or keep them safe, then a leash may be an answer. Example, you are a mother of three children under the age of 5. You take them with you to shop. You will have to walk through parking lots and the store with an infant carrier in one hand and two walking next to you. If you happen to be blessed with children that will hold onto you/each other and listen you can generally do this with ease. HOWEVER, if you have children that only want to hold your hand or their siblings hand when they want to hold a hand, it can make life very challenging! Practice with them in calm safe circumstances, this will help when chaos arises! I swore I would never use a leash but, I would rather see a parent with a child on a leash than see the parent’s heartache when something bad happens to their child! Let’s not judge or condemn! You never know what someone else’s life is like until you walk a mile in their shoes! They may be saving the child’s life by having them on a leash. Just my thoughts :) Penny

  3. Love them! We have one we got from Wal-Mart, looks like a puppy... We bought it with Trip, and have used it on every child since. Currently, it's out for Lucas. At these crazy ages, it is about safety. We tend to hold the hand with the leash around our wrist. We took it to the zoo and used it quite a bit. Yes, I think they're wonderful. I would not look down on you for getting one. The only comments I've gotten with it is "I remember when we had those for our kids!"

  4. I would "wear" my child (no matter how heavy he is when it comes to danger) before I get a "leash". JMHO.

    Or in your case, I would probably "wear" the little one, and then have a free hand instead of carrying the carseat.

  5. I honestly don't see anything wrong with it. It's a good way to keep him right by you and it's helping him stay out of danger. You have a little baby with you all the time too so it's not like you can just drop everything and run. I would use the leash. I don't think it's a bad mom thing to do! You're a good mommy :)

  6. i wish you would have said something... i could have let Noah use the leash and let Diesel sit by me. :-) jk...

    honestly, i think the only time a leash is acceptable is with multiple children. i've seen you juggling both the kids and when jeremy isn't around or someone to help you then it can get messy very fast. i think Noah is too big (and heavy!) to be carried when you have to go to the store and his little hands slip out of ours too easily, not to mention w/ Asa you rarely have an extra arm to hold him. i think the leash would be a good way to let Noah be independent and safe. i would still try to coach him to walk right next to you and not pull the leash taunt, just so he understands the point of it and doesn't use it as an excuse to be free and go crazy pulling mom and bubba around...
    just my two cents. call if ya want, love ya!!


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