10 Reasons to Never Put Your Child on a Leash

Child leashes and harnesses are gaining in popularity and many parents think of them as a useful tool to help restrain their children when they’re in busy public places. On the other hand, people who see kids on leashes tend to get very upset and have strong opinions on the subject. This controversial issue appears to be very polarizing from both points of view. Let’s examine 10 reasons to never put your child on a leash.

  1. Looks bad – First of all, it really looks bad to casual observers to see kids on leashes. The visual effect conjures up comparisons to dogs on leashes which may reflect poorly on the parents. It could be unjustified, but people tend to think these parents are treating their children like pets.
  2. Makes parents look lazy – Since child leashes are a fairly new product, most people were raised and thus raised their own children without anything of the sort. To them kids on tethers just makes their parents look lazy. It has the appearance that these parents just don’t want to make the effort of keeping track of their own children.
  3. Lacks discipline – You have to admit, these people have a point. Parents who use leashes on their children are relying on an external tool and aren’t exercising discipline. It’s much easier to attach your kids to you physically than teach them the importance of not running off.
  4. Degrading – Using the dog metaphor, it seems degrading to the child who is stuck on the end of a leash. It’s not like these kids have any choice in the matter. Children who feel degraded will soon balk at the harness and start throwing tantrums in protest.
  5. Doesn’t always work – Parents can’t rely on child leashes to always work in any situation. Kids can still run out into traffic and kidnappers can quickly detach or cut a leash before you know what happened. Just using a tether isn’t going to always prevent something bad from happening.
  6. Kids won’t learn – Kids who aren’t allowed out in public without a leash will never learn the importance of staying with their parents and obeying them. There’s a viral video of a woman dragging her leashed child through a store because the kid refused to go where she wanted. Not a pretty picture.
  7. Potential for misuse – There’s also the concern that child leashes give bad parents a potential for misuse. Besides the dragging incident, unscrupulous parents could use leashes to tie their kids up and leave them unattended. This could be a very dangerous situation for children and quite horrifying.
  8. More trouble than value – Using a harness for your children may seem like a good idea, but often can turn out to be more trouble than value. Just like dogs on leashes, kids can run around poles and chairs, get tangled up and just be a plain nuisance. Large children with a comparatively small mother or sibling holding the leash can also pull them around against their will.
  9. False security – Parents who use leashes on their kids run the risk of getting a false sense of security and letting their guard down. By not having to keep and eagle eye on their children, parents could be allowing them to get in all sorts of trouble and do disgusting things like eat things off the floor.
  10. Potential hazards – Besides all the other reasons for never putting your child on a leash, there are some real potential hazards. Any type of cord in the vicinity of a child’s neck is a strangulation risk, especially if the child is left unattended for any length of time. There’s also the possibility of the leash getting hooked on a fast moving object and harming the child, parent or both.

I’ve heard of many instances where parents think child leashes are the best things since Velcro, but I remain skeptical. Even though there may be some circumstances where you believe the benefit outweighs the risk, you really need to look at all the potential problems. Kids ultimately need to learn the importance of self-restraint and parents who rely on physical restraints are just inhibiting the process. Be careful to consider the consequences before you decide to put your child on a leash. You don’t want to be the next parent featured in a viral video on You Tube.

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