I was in the mall yesterday with some friends and this woman sauntered by with her two sons and daughter on a white dog leash. I about died. It was the first time I had ever seen anything like that and I immediately went over there and asked this frizzy haired, heavyset, forty-something-year-old lady what was the deal?
"I don't want them running around and causing trouble," she said. "This is easier for me."
So you don't care that you treat them like wild dogs?
She laughed. "Nope. They're my kids and if I didn't do this they'd get lost or break things."
I sympathize with her, I really do, but I think there are better ways. Good behavior starts at home--I'm old school like that. If you set boundaries for your kids and discipline them the right way, then they'll understand that mommy is in control and if I do this and that there'll be consequences. You also have to set rules when you enter a public place. Pull the children aside, kneel at eye level and inform them that mommy or daddy wants good behavior; tell them that they could get lost and mommy and daddy might never see them again; make them aware that they are not to touch people's property without consent; and last but not least, reward them with a treat if they follow mommy or daddy's wishes.
I'm no expert but this is how I would do it. Me and my sisters were never rowdy kids because we knew if we dare stepped out of line, our ass would be on fire when we got home.
But I digress. In my humble and everyday-guy experience, kids on leashes is a lazy approach to parenting. Not to mention, visually appalling. There are many who agree and there are some who don't.
Here is an expose on this very issue by ABC.
What are your views on this issue? To leash or not to leash?