First lets begin by stating that this post is being written not by Dena Campbell, but by her husband, Bruce.  This new addition to Dena’s blog came about over the subject of this post, which I will get into in just a second.  We were speaking about the fact that I really do not have a way to get my thoughts down in a similar manner that she does via her blog.  Instead of putting in the effort of setting one up on my own, she suggested that I use hers as a platform to write.  So here we are.

The subject of my first post, interestingly enough, was something Dena and I did not agree on.  I suggested that she write about it, but her feelings toward the trend of attaching a leash to your child’s back was not nearly as strong as mine, so I decided that this would be a great first post.

Let me start by saying that I genuinely try not to judge other people and their parenting skills.  We are not perfect parents, and in fact there is no such thing as a perfect parent.  But we all make decisions based on what we think is right and acceptable, and that is where things can get interesting.  We all have different definition of acceptable behavior.  I, personally, do not think that attaching a leash to your child is acceptable.  Why would anyone want to literally treat their child like a dog?

The first counter argument that is always made is “What if you have a runner?”.  A kid that takes off and no matter how much or how loud you call after them, they keep running refusing to stop.  My response is simply, that if you have a child that takes off and ignores your orders and your pleas to stop running, the underlying issue is a discipline issue.  By attaching a leash to your child, you are not solving the problem, you are simply masking it.  The real issue is that the child is not listening to you.  Discipline, no matter how hard it is on the parent to enact, is necessary.  If your kid takes off, you catch them, discipline them right then and there.  Swift and appropriate responses to a child doing something they should not do.

After a few times, and generally speaking it doesn’t take too many, the child learns not to run off.  Once our kids were a little older, after having taught them to not run off, we turned it into a game.  We would yell “Go” and they would run ahead of my wife and I, and when we yelled “Stop” they would stop in their tracks.  There are so many ways that you could employ to teach your child not to run off that a leash is unnecessary.

Parenting is hard.  There are not shortcuts.  Take the leash off, discipline your child, and you will both be better off in the long run!