While I wanted to be a judge when I was little, I don’t intend to judge anyone now, especially parents…because everyone’s situation is different. But there’s one thing that always bothered me as a kid and still does and that is child leashes/restraints or whatever the manufacturer is choosing to call them.

On a recent trip to Orlando, I was amazed to see more than a handful of children competent enough to walk safely & independently on two legs but were nonetheless being led about on a leash by their parents. Sorry, but I’m in the camp that believes physical restraint doesn’t teach much…the restrainee is only trained to think “I can’t” rather than “I shouldn’t”. I spoke about this with a friend who (no lie) has a friend whose parents used to harness him when he was a child. To this day he remembers it clearly and still holds somewhat of a grudge with his parents because of their decision to leash him.

Sorry, but in an effort to be “safer”, the tugging of one’s child at the end of a cord because his decisions might not be in sync with yours really does seem like an SNL skit. Yes, some public space is ridiculously crowded and kids are at times off the wall and “often” don’t listen to what is asked of them but really, a leash?! Better alternatives exist. Pardon the comparison but we used to leash my dog all the time when I was growing up and he ran away more than a few times…but our dog now is rarely on a leash, knows not to run in the street and he follows me more than my own shadow. Am I alone here?

Shed some light on this if you will. And if you do use one, use it properly please.

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