Should You Feel Guilty About Putting Your Child on a Leash? This Parent Just Settled the Debate

Even if the mere thought of a child on a leash makes your blood boil, this post might just change your mind.

John-Alex/ShutterstockAfter a long day of dragging your child around by their hand or in a stroller, we don’t blame you if you’ve ever thought about attaching them to a leash. You’re not alone, and it’s not a sign that you’re a toxic parent. In fact, painting child leashes (also called “safety harnesses”) in a negative light ranks among the worst tips that parents could receive—and one dad just proved it.

Daddy blogger Clint Edwards spoke out about the prejudice against child leashes by explaining why he put his young daughter on a leash during a recent trip to the farmer’s market. What he said on Facebook instantly went viral, receiving both praise and criticism from readers.

“She’s a wild child, and this thing has already kept her out of the road and from sticking her hand in an ice cream machine, along with keeping me sane,” Edwards wrote on his blog No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog. “Sure, I get dirty looks from strangers. But…I’m going to do whatever I can to keep her out of danger, even if it means a leash.”

We were at the farmers market. No shame. I put this kid on a leash.She's a wild child, and this thing has already kept…

Posted by No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog on Saturday, May 27, 2017

While there were some naysayers in the comments section, others applauded his choice. To them, Edwards actually revealed a very realistic perspective on parenting.

“Parents of truly spirited children just get it, no explanation needed,” wrote one reader. Another said, “I used to be pretty judgy about those things. Then I had kids. Keep on keepin’ on, man.”

According to the Scary Mommy blog, parents don’t rely on child leashes because of laziness or carelessness. In fact, the real reason behind leashes is one of the things every parent of young children desperately wants you to know.

“It’s easy for people to forget that parents aren’t just moseying around with their kids all day long—sometimes they actually have to get things done,” contributor Maria Guido wrote. “Sometimes groceries have to be bought, a letter has to be mailed, and general life stuff has to happen under a time constraint. Imagine that!”

So the next time you feel a pang of guilt for putting your child on a leash, remember that it’s for their safety…and your peace of mind. (Worry about these shockingly common child safety mistakes, instead!)

Popular Videos

Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.