Five benefits to keeping your child on a leash.

Posted on January 11, 2012


Billy wants a walk

Welcome to another edition of WTF Wednesday where we give really good Bad advice.

This week’s question comes from Matthew Peregoy, a.k.a, @realmattdaddy,  proud owner of  The Real Matt Daddy blog, who writes:

Dear IBMP,

Do you think that it’s okay to use a toddler backpack leash thingy?

Matt, like all useless information, the answer to your question begins with, “Well, that depends…”

I have a friend who used one because her autistic child wouldn’t hold her hand and, when combined with a lack of awareness of surroundings, it was a safety thing.  Fair enough, but what about the rest of us?

Let’s explore this in a bit more detail.

There are some clear benefits of using leashes on toddlers. One of the more obvious is that keeping a boy on a short leash from an early age is great preparation for eventual married life.

A leash can ensure that your child can have hours of “outside” time while tied to the tree in the front yard without fear that they’ll run off chasing other children or pooping on neighbors’ lawns. Just be sure to leave a bowl of water for them. It would be cruel and demeaning to leave them out there on a leash without water.

It also allows you to spend more quality time with your child. This is possible because you can tie them up in front of the restaurant while you enjoy your meal. As you know, leaving a child in a hot car can completely ruin their hair. Our solution, of course, is usually to leave them at home with a 2-litre bottle of Coke and the TV remote while we go bar hopping or visit relatives for the weekend. The leash gives you the freedom to take them along.

A leash can even be good for your health; it makes it much easier for your toddler to keep up when you’re out jogging. That means you don’t have to keep doubling back to tell her to hurry up.

So, you can see there are some pretty good reasons to use a leash.  If you do choose to use one, consider training your toddler to do a consistent sit/stay before taking your child out on the leash for the first time.  And bring a lot of treats—that will help your toddler work on heeling. With time and patience, you’ll be walking a well-trained child that all your friends will envy.

As for whether it’s okay, you’re in shape, enjoying some good family time, and your child’s getting lots of fresh air. What could be wrong with that?

Problem solved. You’re welcome!


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Posted in: Advice (bad)