Lazy Parenting?
Martha's Blog

Lazy Parenting?

by Martha Scully

A few years ago, we got an email from a concerned Winnipeg nanny who's employer wanted her to use "leashes" on the twins while they were in her care; you can see the full entry here

There are two main concerns expressed by the nanny:

  1. Is this right? Is this a little to close to taking a pet to the park? Are you really allowed to leash children?
  2. How would that appear to other people when they saw two children on a leash? Wouldn't they think she was being lazy?

Child restraints such as these are very controversial, as the nanny's concerns confirm. It's not at all uncommon to see dogs, sometimes even cats and other small animals, wearing a harness and leash, but the last few years has seen an increase in this type of restraint being used on children as well. 

When my children were quite young, I had a very active 2-year-old who loved to run and hide from me when we were out, which was challenging for me as I was pregnant with my second daughter, making it difficult to keep up with her. She had lots of energy and loved playing this little "game" and hated sitting in her stroller. I didn't use a restraint like a leash, but it may have made outings more enjoyable for me if I had. Going to the grocery store felt like I had just run a half marathon!

Caring for twins poses several of it's own challenges, one of which is what to do if both run away in opposite directions. It's easy to judge someone using a form child restraint like a leash, but it most cases it's purely for safety reasons. The sole objective of anyone with children in their care is to ensure they are safe and protected. Child "leashes" are similar to harnesses in the stroller, with their purpose to keep the child safe from harm when they are active, yet not old enough to know better yet.

There are a lot of discussions online about the use of these. What do you think about using them? Would you use one if it meant keeping the child in your care safe?

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.