If there’s one item in a parent’s arsenal of products that is sure to spark controversy and guarantee a bunch of Judgy McJudgersons will immediately feel the need to weigh in on just how lousy a parent you must be, it’s got to be the notorious child leash. No matter how judiciously used by a parent, this lifesaver of an item still gets a bad rap.
But one dad ain’t got time for that. Clint Edwards, who writes the blog No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog, posted to Facebook on Saturday about leashing his “wild child” daughter at the local farmers market — with zero shame.
“She’s a wild child, and this thing has already kept her out of the road and from sticking her hand in an ice cream machine, along with keeping me sane.
“The real difficulty with having a wild child is that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Because the fact is, if I didn’t put Aspen on a leash while at amusement parks, the zoo, a crowded mall… 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… Her curiosity is incredible, and for only having a 12-inch stride, she moves faster than any Olympian.”
The post has been viewed over 11,000 times — and shared more than 3,000 times. But as always, it’s in the 2,500 comments where you can really see the absurdity of humanity on display. You can see the full post here on Facebook, with the whole comment thread:
As you can imagine, the comment thread lit the beep up with a mix of responses. There were many positive replies from other parents who have needed the leash to keep a child safe, as well as replies from the smug collective (some parents, some not) insisting if you’re doing your job right as a parent, you wouldn’t need a leash. *Insert eye roll*
One supportive parent wrote: “Almost 10 years ago, I was the Mother getting all of the looks for having my child on a leash. It was worth every tear and humiliating look because I have all of my kids safe and as sane as they can be.”
Another wrote: “Until those judgmental people have a runner or as you describe a child with a wild streak. They will never understand. Parents of truly spirited children just get it, no explanation needed.”
But here’s a doozy of a negative response from a man who sounds like he’s never cared for an actual not-in-a-book child in his life:
“Putting your child on a leash says a lot about your knowledge of parenting, discipline and unrealistic value of safety parameters and you should be judged. Toddlers as early as two years old, understand easy commands, empathy and cause and effect. A leash is definitely a symbol that the parent missed the boat when it came to administering consistent behavioral ‘teaching strategies’ with your child’s social development. A ‘wild child’ is an ignorant excuse.”
And another snarky reply:
“The words ‘leash’ and ‘kid’ shouldn’t be allowed in the same sentence. But i guess this is for people that don’t know how to parent? How to teach our kids wrong from right? Who pay no attention to what their kid is doing? This right here is why there are so many damn brats out in this world. What’s going to happen with [sic] she starts going to school?? Yeah, i completely admit it….I’m one of ‘those people’ that give these parents a dirty look whenever i see this bullshit.”
Oh, please. You admit to giving struggling parents dirty looks? You’re the damn brat in our book.
We call foul on the haters. Like this dad, we ain’t got time for parent-shaming — especially when it comes to making choices to keep your kid safe.