Aleteia

It’s okay to put your kid on a leash

Leashed Child
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Trust me, there are worse options.

The internet is blowing up over a Facebook post by popular daddy blogger Clint Edwards, who took a picture of his toddler daughter on a leash at the farmer’s market and wrote an unabashed explanation:

The reactions to his post range from sympathetic and supportive:

to outraged and critical:

(my favorite was this confused guy, though):

I actually understand all of these reactions. Before I had kids, I knew everything about how to raise them. I knew about the importance of instilling discipline and respect, and how relying on leashes or TV to parent for me was lazy and would turn my children into communist monsters.

Then I had children, and realized that I knew nothing about how to raise them. All my knowledge was theoretical, totally divorced from the reality of life. I had to adjust to this reality, with this child, at this time and in this place.

Still, my theories persisted. I couldn’t stand leashes because they were so dehumanizing, but at one point I considered it. I was flying from Vegas to Texas alone with two toddlers and a baby. I was afraid I would be distracted by the baby and lose the toddlers in the crowded airport, but I still couldn’t bring myself to buy a leash.

Instead, I bought squeaky shoes.

If you’ve never seen them before, they are shoes that have an insert in the heel that makes a “squeak” noise, much like a rocking chair in need of WD-40.

This is an adorable phenomenon inside a store.

Inside an airport, multiplied by 4 feet, this was an act of terrorism. I did not lose my toddlers, because my fellow travelers parted like the Red Sea around us in order to glare balefully at me for as long as humanly possible.

Really, I should have put them on a leash. So kudos, Clint Edwards, for being a better parent than I was.

And the next time you’re tempted to judge a parent for leashing their toddler, just think to yourself, “at least it’s not squeaky shoes.”

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