What prompted this declaration? Well, I was reading the paper this morning, and someone had written a letter to the advice column lady about how they had seen a mom with a toddler on a leash (or harness, if you prefer), and they thought that it was "disgusting," "abusive," and from the "Stone Age" (direct quotes). Clearly this person is not a parent of a toddler! So I felt the need to express my opinion on the subject (and it's my blog, so I'm allowed to do that!) ;)
I'll admit, before I had kids, I too thought that leashes for children were a bit inhumane. However, now I see them as a god-send. We have one for Annika that looks like a puppy/backpack. She likes wearing it, and it benefits both of us. She gets to run around and have more freedom (as opposed to being stuck in a shopping cart or always having to hold my hand), and I have the peace of mind that she's not going to run away or get hurt. Of course I still keep an eye on her that she's not getting into trouble (and I always take her by the hand when we're around traffic), but it definitely makes things a lot easier, especially now with another kid. The leash has come in handy so many times - I'm glad that I got over my initial discomfort with it.
I think what made me the most upset this morning when reading that letter is the harsh judgement of the writer towards the mom. What business does she have judging someone else, especially someone that she doesn't know at all? It's not like the mom was hurting her child - she was just trying to keep her child safe, and doing what she thought was best. It reminds me of a quote I came across a while ago:
If we weren't so quick to judge, if we actually took the time to find out that "one fact more", who knows what we could learn about those around us. We might even find out things about ourselves we didn't know before. So this is my challenge - to myself and to you - try a little understanding first; don't be so quick to judge. Because next time it might be me, with my kid on a leash, that you're judging.There is always one fact more in every man’s case about which we know nothing.(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest)