Wild child’s dad says “No shame. I put this kid on a leash”

3 year old Aspen in her child harness

A dad has explained why he uses a “leash” on his little girl when they’re out and about, inviting the internet to share their views on the practice. It responded with very supportive feelings!

We were at the farmers market. No shame. I put this kid on a leash.She's a wild child, and this thing has already kept…

Posted by No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog on Saturday, 27 May 2017

Wild child

Oregon blogger Clint Edward is over the judgement and officially outing himself as a kid-leasher.

Dad to 3-year-old Aspen, 7-year-old Norah and 10-year-old Tristan, Clint has had it up to the eye-teeth with the disapproving looks and “tut-tuts” he receives when he’s out with Aspen.

The dad-of-three is firm in his decision to use the child harness to keep his daughter safe, and keen to spark a discussion about the challenges of wrangling kids that run away in public places.

Make it rein

In a Facebook post shared a week or so ago, Clint explained that the harness he uses on Aspen is the only way to keep his curious kiddo safe.

“She’s a wild child, and this thing has already kept her out of the road and from sticking her hand in an ice cream machine, along with keeping me sane. The real difficulty with having a wild child is that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t,” Clint wrote.

“If I didn’t put Aspen on a leash while at amusement parks, the zoo, a crowded mall, or the farmers market, she’d be the lost child announced over the intercom. She’d be the kid popping up in every Facebook feed for wandering into a shopping center parking lot, unattended. She could be the child climbing into the tiger cage. Because I can’t, for the life of me, keep her from moving.”

“Her curiosity is incredible, and for only having a 12 inch stride, she moves faster than any Olympian.”

Exhausted parents of little “runners” will know exactly what Clint means.

Safety first

Trying to strike a balance between Aspen’s safety and the importance of having adventures, while keeping a firm grip on his sanity, Clint is resigned to the fact that others will be quick to judge his decision. But Clint’s convinced that his chosen approach is what’s best for his family. He’s tried everything and this is what works.

“Sure, I get dirty looks from strangers. In fact, I’ll probably get some “I’m the perfect parent and this is why you suck” comments on this post. And to you I say this, “I’m keeping this kid safe while maintaining my piece of mind, and that is 100% worth it.” Because the reality is she’ll calm down. She’ll figure it out, because all kids do. But until that day comes, I’m going to do whatever I can to keep her out of danger, even if it means a leash,” Clint explained.

A relatable dilemma

The internet – aka commenters on Clint’s post – were surprisingly and overwhelmingly supportive of using similar safety harnesses on kids. Faced with not EVER going out with a little Houdini or using a leash, most were on Clint’s side.

“I used to be pretty judgy about those things. Then I had kids. Keep on keepin’ on, man,” Facebook user Kristin wrote.

“Until those judgmental people have a runner or as you describe a child with a wild streak. They will never understand. Parents of truly spirited children just get it, no explanation needed,” commenter Alexandra wrote.

There were hundreds – possibly thousands – more comments in support of using these safety harnesses on “runners”, as parents came out of the woodwork to confess they now had no shame in their “leash game” and their priority was keeping their kids safe.

Does this strike a chord with you? Have you got a “runner”?
Would you ever use a safety harness like Clint?

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