KIDcontract    KIDspecs    KIDrates

    Priority Emergency Room

To leash or not to leash… that is the question

Dear Obsessive Mother’s Guide to Parenting,

            My sister thinks I’m being a bad parent by insisting my child wear his backpack / leash when we’re out in public.  I think it’s just good safety sense.  She’s embarrassed to be seen with me when I put this on my child.  I think she’s over-reacting and that most moms are cool with it.  

            Can you settle our fight?


Linda in Spring

Dear Linda,

Let’s cover some ground first before any judgements are passed:

1) Does your child have a tendency to run off without your knowledge?  We parents know by about 18 months if we have THAT kid…the one who will open every cabinet door and draw to build a ladder to the cookie jar.  You could have eyes like a hawk and he’d still sneak past you.

2) Do you only use it in open public spaces where the stranger danger is high?  If you’re enclosed somewhere that you have a 360 visual of his surroundings, it’s not the same as the middle of a crowded mall.

3) Do you “let him off the leash” to run, play and get lots of exercise in a secure location?

If the answer to at least one of those is YES, then KEEP THE LEASH.  A child can vanish in seconds.  TRUST your instincts.  When he’s too old for the leash, look into Child Distance Monitors that can sound off if the child is too far away from you or by the child pressing a button if they feel threatened.  You can carry a Personal Security Keychain Alarm which will let out an ear piercing wail when activated.

Your sister needs to back down from her embarrassment.  We (speaking for the moms of the world) are not judging you.


The Obsessive Mother’s Guide to Parenting

If you have a question you’d like answered, send it to and look for your answer in upcoming columns.