Parenting

Putting a leash on your child - is it lazy parenting?

by Martha Scully

A very stressed Winnipeg nanny contacted us the other day, concerned that her employer wanted her to use a child leash on her twin 3-year old boys.

The parent wanted the leash on when they were walking to the park, but it could be taken off when they were at the park. The nanny's concerns came from two thoughts:

  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?

She explains that both boys are incredibly active and understands the safety concerns of the parent.

I myself had a very active 2-year old that would love to run away. She would think it was FUN! and hilarious to run and hide when we were out. She was super fast and I was pregnant with my second child. To top it all off, she completely refused to sit in a stroller! When my second daughter was born, I was concerned for the safety of my older daughter. Often, I would be on constant alert should she would take off in a store or run into traffic. Needless to say, during those times I would come back from the grocery store feeling like I just ran a half marathon. Did I use a leash? No, but maybe our outing would have been more enjoyable if I did.

For this nanny caring for young twins, it would be impossible to run in two different directions if they took off at the same time. In most situations, using a leash isn't being lazy. If it is about safety, then in my opinion, parents and caregivers should do everything they can to protect the little ones and forget about how it looks, and what other people think. Really when you think about it, when you put your child in a stroller are you confining him or restraining him?

There are leashes out that look like a little backpack, which makes it fun for the kids and may help the situation.

What are your thoughts…have you or would you leash your children or the children you are caring for?

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. 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.