Debate: Is it acceptable to keep your child on a leash?

May 13, 2018
11:34 P.M.
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The parenting debate rages on, with very differing opinions on this one technique many still use. 


There are many people who are in favor of leashing their children, while others argue that it shouldn't be allowed as it gives parents an excuse not to parent. 

In an article by Pure Wow, the argument is looked at from both sides, citing both the comments of parents and the professional opinions of psychologists in the great debate. 

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to parenting. Every family finds their own methods that work, and plenty that don't work for them. 

But there are some things that will always spark a debate, usually those that are related to disciplining children. 


One of these things is the kiddy-leash. Many parents argue in favor of it, particularly those who are parents to more than just one child. 

For these parents, it helps to make sure that their little ones aren't getting lost or up to any mischief. 

As the debate continues, psychologists have weighed in on the matter. Dr. Jennifer Hartstein and Dr. Susan Newman spoke on Today, and explained the pros and cons of the practice. 


Hartstein explained that while it may be comforting for the parents, it can cause future embarassment for their children. 

Newman added: “To me, it’s like treating a child like a dog or an animal when, in fact, as a parent your job is to make the rules. The perception is, this is a parent who can’t control her toddler.”

Peggy Drexler, an assistant professor of psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College, told Fox6 that leashes are only Band-Aid solutions, which allow parents to get away with not teaching their children to listen. 

"Leashing our responsibilities would simply give us more freedom to be less present. Wrap a leash around your wrist and guess what: You’ve still got two thumbs to text," she said. 


Drexler went on to accuse parents that leash of not being bothered to do their job of parenting. 

But on the other side of the debate, there are plenty of parents who explain that they absolutely will not stop leashing their children, for a number of understandable reasons. 

A parent who has to look after more than one child in a busy public place can find it borderline impossible. 


Chicago mom Katy Maher took to her blog, I Got A Dumpster Family, to explain why she makes use of leashes for her children. 

"I have 14-month-old twins and you can bet I will do anything to keep them safe. If there is more than one adult around to help chase kids, that’s one thing, but many times it’s just one adult and two kids and until you’ve been there, reconsider your judgment. Even if you HAVE been there and you have somehow split your body in two to run after two toddlers at the same time, you must be a superhero and good for you, but maybe cut me a break here? We live in the city and I’m not going to keep them inside… I’m also not willing to risk them running into the street or heaven forbid the train tracks if I can help keep them safe, WHY WOULDN’T I?" she wrote.


Another dad and blogger, Clint Edwards, took to Facebook to post similar sentiments. He explained that his daughter had been a wild child, and if he hadn't kept her on a leash in busy public spaces, she would have been lost. 

For some parents with busy children, it is impossible to keep these little ones in sight if they aren't physically attached to them. 

The most apt comment on Edwards' post was an image that read “Parenting was so much easier when I raised my non-existent children hypothetically,” as many of those arguing against leashing admit to never having had children.