Yes, I Put My Daughter on a Leash
I feel like there are quite a bit of mixed feelings about the “toddler leash” or toddler harness. Some people use them and others don’t. And onlookers have their own opinions, as well.
This article isn’t to bash anyone or say anyone’s opinion is wrong. Everyone knows what is best for their child and situation. This is just my opinion on the matter.
I put my daughter in her toddler leash/harness every time we go somewhere with large crowds, or when we go hiking. I will continue to do so, regardless of the looks I receive and the muttered comments in passing.
Her safety will ALWAYS come first. For us, that means having her attached to me at all times in these situations. She is very social and would run up to every child, dog, or new thing she sees if given the chance.
My job is to make sure those chances cannot be taken (without proper supervision/permission, of course).
She has also been known to excitedly run off through a crowded and busy parking lot.
While hiking, I use it to keep her on the path and away from ledges. She is very curious and loves to run off when she sees something. This cannot always happen safety in these areas.
And the biggest reason: I don’t trust strangers. Plain and simple. I have read too many horror stories about children being snatched in open daylight, right in front of people.
My goal is to make sure this does not have the capacity to happen. I will keep her safe and close, regardless of anyone else’s opinion.
Having her in a harness gives all of us a peace of mind. The harness we use can’t be cut or easily unclipped; it locks and can only be opened with the key attached to my wrist.
Here is the one we use and love.
Bayleigh knows that I have her and she is free to explore as far as the length of her harness. She’s usually pretty good at not trying to go too far when attached to me.
She loves her harness and even asks me to please put it on her when we’re going out.
The other day we were out and about in a new town, and I heard it. The under-their-breath comments coming from behind us.
I continued walking confidently forward with Bayleigh, not even bothering to look back. She was skipping happily beside me, totally unaware of the remarks coming from behind.
But she was beside me. Not too far in front of me, not lagging behind me, not trying to run into the busy street to the left of us. She was BESIDE me.
I know there are going to be people who say things like, “just hold her hand” or “if you never teach her she’ll never learn.”
I am teaching her. Right now, this is our learning process. This is what works for US. It doesn’t have to work for everybody, and that’s okay.
I don’t really owe anyone an explanation as to why I have my child in her harness. I know that. But, I will offer this one anyways, in the hopes that it can help some people understand.
The world we live in is not always kind. Unfortunately, that’s just the truth nowadays.
I just ask that before you are so quick to judge another parent’s choice, think about why they may be doing it.
Maybe it’s an unsafe area and they are terrified of their child being taken away.
Maybe they want their child close so they don’t have to constantly worry about where they are.
Maybe their child is quick to take off and they are in a busy area.
Maybe their child has gotten lost before and they want to avoid a repeat situation.
Maybe they are using the harness simply because they want to.
The harness works best for some for many reasons, none of which really need to be explained to anyone else.
We all just need a little more understanding.
Remember to throw kindness around like confetti.