Children are fast. Crazy, frightening, other-worldly kind of fast. Which seems impossible given their stumpy little legs and diminutive size, but there it is. They are crafty, wily little suckers who know how to take advantage of their parents' momentary distraction and make a break for it, leaving their terrified parents desperately trying to wrangle them and keep them safe. And yet, we parents are never supposed to impede their flight by restraining them in any way, if the critics are to be believed. Well, one dad's viral post about kid leashes is turning that old stereotype on its head.
Clint Edwards, a blogger and father of three children, recently shared a post about putting his daughter on a leash at a farmer's market. Edwards admitted his daughter can be something of a "wild child" and wrote that he felt "no shame" about putting his daughter on a leash. For several reasons, of course: to keep her from running out into the road, getting lost, and to maintain a semblance of his own sanity. Which makes sense, right? To some people, sure, but not to everyone, apparently. Edwards wrote on his website, No Idea What I'm Doing, that he felt judged by strangers no matter what he did:
The backlash over the use of child harnesses has been severe and constant. Back in 2012, when child harnesses seemed to enjoy a surge in popularity, a columnist for Parents magazine wrote an outraged opinion piece on the child harness. Judith Goldberg wrote:
And yet. Parents are supposed to put the highest possible premium on their child's safety. As Edwards pointed out in his Facebook post:
While he might have gotten some odd looks from strangers, Edwards' post has since gone viral. People's comments have been overwhelmingly supportive.
Facebook user Lesley Stockmaster Cheek wrote:
And Facebook user Alexandra Childs agreed:
Dirty looks or no dirty looks, you do you as a parent. If your kid is a runner, then by all means give yourself a break and employ the kid leash. Nobody knows your kid like you do. Period.