Dad Defends Safety Harness For Toddler

If you're a parent who has ever been on a parenting messaging forum, you know that there are a few hot-button issues that will get everyone and her mother to come espouse an opinion. One of those issues that seem to get everyone riled up is safety harnesses, also known as 'child leashes'.

Some people are outraged by the sight of a child 'on a leash', claiming that the parent is treating the tot like an animal. One daddy blogger says he uses the device, and he doesn't care who objects.

On his blog 'No Idea What I’m Doing', 34-year-old Clint Edwards chronicles his parenting journey. The father of three made a post to bring attention to safety harnesses, and admitted that he uses them with his 3-year-old daughter.

Edwards gets a lot of dirty looks and stares when he's out and about with his 3-year-old daughter, Aspen, in public places. After some of the reactions he got on a recent trip to Disneyland, he felt compelled to defend his parenting choice.

"I'm glad we did because she almost took a dive into the pond at 'It's a Small World,'" Edwards said.

There are a lot of people who see child leashes as inhumane. Parents using them are accused of being lazy, or poor disciplinarians.

The general consensus among a lot of anti-harness parents is that children old enough to walk should be taught to stay with an adult.

Edwards notes that this doesn't work with every child. Aspen is still learning to control her impulses to run and explore.

She also has 'nursemaid's elbow', a condition that means her arm gets pulled out of the socket very easily with a tug, so holding her hand or arm to pull her back isn't a good option.

He knew when he put the harness on her that people were going to give him disapproving looks and get judgmental about his parenting, but he says parents can't win if they are just trying to please others. They have to do what's right for them.

"The real difficulty with having a wild child is that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t," he wrote. "Because the fact is, 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."

Edwards says that parents should make their own choices and ignore the dirty looks and snide comments others might give them. It's more important that every family do what is best for them.

He and his wife discussed the harness together and came to an agreement to use it in crowded and unsafe areas for a while until Aspen learns to focus on staying put a little better.

To parents who would judge, Edwards has a message: "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."

Source: Parenting Isn't Easy, ABC
Photo: Clint Edwards/Facebook

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