Recently, a practice has become popular that even some animal activists will agree is a bit harsh – child leashing.
Now before we really dive into this issue, let’s be clear. This debate is focused on healthy children without special circumstance. Those using this tool to handle medical conditions or cognitive impairments are why child harnesses exist, but a substitute for correcting minor behavioral issues? Maybe not so appropriate.
The problem is not little Jimmy, who has been subjected to humiliation no healthy child should undergo. The problem lies with a culture that thinks, “If there is a problem, just tie it up and keep it close by… that should do the trick.”
Everyone has a neighbor who ties their dog up out front. Most of the time it’s because the dog wants to enjoy the outdoors. He’s having a blast. (Have you been outside? It’s amazing!)
However, once in a while, it’s because this dog has some behavioral issues. It barks, it chews… ultimately it feels neglected of attention and is seeking it destructively. Solution: tie it up outside.
This generally results in a dog that barks non-stop in an attempt to conjure up the smallest iota of affection, even from a passing pedestrian, or free-roaming squirrel. It’s sad. Dogs and squirrels aren’t meant to be pals…
Not to imply that children are the same as dogs (though some do have similar chewing issues), but this philosophy certainly carries some truth regarding children. The little rascal probably just wants some attention… just not the kind you get when you are tied to a 6 ft. rope in the middle of the amusement park. “Look dad! That’s Jimmy from art class!”
“But my child-walker has a nice back harness, as to not discomfort my little one!”
This will never take away from the fact that little Jimmy can be instantly yanked away from the toy isle. Making the harness into a monkey-faced backpack isn’t good enough either. It just seems like lazy parenting… and kind of wrong.
WCPO local news had a riveting report on the subject.
The truth is, if you can’t catch your kid on foot – maybe parenting isn’t for you. As far as most parents are concerned, you are going to be on full-time chase duty. Kids are programmed to drive parents insane. It’s kind of their thing.
Thousands of years of human culture have been recorded at this point. You’d be hard pressed to find any ancient scribbling of children on leashes… or animals for that matter. Maybe a little room to roam free would do the trick… like a fenced-in yard.
Here are some solutions to eliminate this growing trend:
1) Outlaw Child Leashing for Non-Medical Use
Let’s just go the old fashioned route. If you want to put your kid on a leash – you’re going to need a doctor’s note. In some countries it is illegal to put a goldfish in a small bowl, as it is seen to be cruel. In the good ole’ US of A you can put your fish in a coffee mug if you really want… and your kid on a rope. It’s easy to believe some congressional parents would put their John Hancock on this piece of legislation. (…Or is it Herbie Hancock?)
2) Embarrass Child Leash Parents (Not recommended)
We could come up with a collective plan to actively embarrass the oppressive force in this equation. Maybe saying things like, “What an adorable puppy! What’s his name?”, or, “You should put a muzzle on that mutt as well!” would be enough. If not, we could post signs at local establishments, like this:
3) Free the Leash Kids (Definitely Not recommended!)
If things get too out of hand, we may just have to address this issue head-on. Grab your scissors and let’s start the revolution! Be free little Jimmy! Your parent has already demonstrated their lack of faith in their ability to catch you! Make a break for it!