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The GEM Debate: To Leash Or Not To Leash (VIDEO)

Photo Courtesy: rocketjim54

Oh look what’s rearing it’s ugly head again. Well, did it ever actually go away? Me thinks not.

I saw this piece on the Huffington Post this morning about parents who put leashes on their kids and the uproar it causes. We’re in Orlando right now and I’ve seen this on more than one occasion. I’ve also seen this.



This will be great debate fodder because it plays on the part of parenting that is so difficult; the prevailing thoughts of “Am I doing this right?

Of course, those who think you are not doing it right are circling like sharks in a sea full of chum, quick to pounce, because, well, because they are right and you are wrong.

Let me take you back a minute, to my upbringing in Northern California in the 70’s. My parents had two rambunctious kids. Back in the days before booster seats, our folks had these gray belts that could be affixed to the regular seat belts that enabled us to stand up and move around in the car while still tethered to the belt. Yeah, two toddlers bouncing around (tethered or not) the back seat of a Pontiac Grand Prix doesn’t sound like the safest thing to me either.

The beauty of said gray straps was that they could be taken out and used as a harness around the aforementioned toddlers, like when we went to the zoo. And they were used. These were not the cute little faux and furry backpacks that kids wear now.

My take on it is this: better to be safe and scorned than sorry and politically correct. If you have your hands full with a rambunctious kid and you’re in a place where they might run away, is taking this extra step such a bad thing?

For those of you who worry about long-term, irreparable effects, I can assure you that my sister and I somehow managed to grow into productive members of society. And even if we hadn’t, I’m sure there are many other things from my childhood that could account for the dysfunction. Sorry mom.

Okay what do you guys think? Are the kiddie straps, leashes, whatever you want to call them, a good idea? Did you use them with your brood? Why or why not?

More from GEM:

The B.S. of Balance

Single Mom Slice of Life: Lessons Learned Remotely

Ask the Good Enough Guy: Can You Teach An Old Jackass New Tricks?


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