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Roping in the Steers: Child Leashes

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child-leashToday’s world is hectic, dangerous, and confusing at times and it is of the utmost importance that your child stays close. Theme parks, airports, streets, malls, even grocery stores have potential danger. So how do you keep you little ones close by? One answer is childe leashes. Just like the name sounds, these are leashes designed for children. They come in several varieties from wrist to harness system with every design imaginable, but do they really do the job, or are they creating a false sense of security? Weigh the pros and cons before you decide.

1.    Assured Security. There simply is not a way after you have fastened in your child that he or she will wander off. The lease provides a 24/7 visual and physical (of sorts) contact with your child. You will know every move and never doubt the presence of your little one.
2.    Bars Any Running.  Running is a fantastic exercise for children, but in public places it’s not only bad decorum, it’s dangerous. In three seconds you can go from happy outing to stomach churning seperation. With a leash your child physically will not have the ability to run away. It’s that simple.
3.    A More Passive 24/7 Lookout. When off-leash, walking from terminal A to terminal B requires an active lookout at all times for your child’s location, the signs for your gate, and the people around you. It can be overwhelming. With a leash your lookout, in your child’s department anyway, becomes much more relaxed. If your child lags, a pressure on your wrist will let you know, if they are pulled away, you will feel it.

This list may sound tempting, but before you pick a leash, you should be aware of the cons.

1.    Dependency. After using a leash for a long amount of time, you can come to be dependent on it. You will not be as attuned to the needs of an unleashed child as a leashed. This will cause stress when coming off the use of the leash (when your children outgrow them) and translates over to watching any other children off-leash.
2.    Oddity. It’s the elephant in the room. It plain looks odd to see a child on a leash. This con is becoming less and less of a problem as more people use leashes, but it is still a factor.
3.    The Switch to Off-Leash. Once your child grows old enough to look and feel silly at the end of a leash, you will have to let them go. Once junior gets a taste of true freedom, it could go to his head. Both of you will be unsure as how to handle yourselves without a leash. Awkward.
4.    Obedience. This is a bit of a sensitive area, but it is a major influencer. Your child will not learn to listen and obey implicitly for their own safety if the role of authority goes to a four foot strip of nylon. Once that strip is removed, you are the authority and your child will have to be ready to accept that. That means training at home. A leash may seem like a simple tether, but it can have behavioral consequences.
Child leashes may seem like an easy, even loving, way to protect your child. However, the dependency created by these leashes, both physical and psychological, should cause you to move forward with strong caution. The choice for a leash or no leash is yours, just weigh the pros and cons.

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