We live in a small apartment in a big city. No yard, not a whole lot of grass, and much of the grass that exists has large signs saying to KEEP OFF. If Colin needs exercise, I have to walk him around on the sidewalks. This creates a couple issues.
- Safety: At any time while we are walking ,Colin is less than 6 feet from traffic and he obviously is below the sight line of most drivers. So far he isn't much of a 'darter' but people tell me this is probably because he isn't 2 yet.
- Comfort: Colin holds our hands very nicely but Sean and I are both tall and thus his little arm is straight up in the air. I know from holding the subway rails, this is tiring. He often asks to be picked up but will happily walk around more when we get inside the gated courtyard. So I don't think his legs are tired I think his arm is!
- Walking alignment: While holding hands, he can't balance as well and he trips often. Yes he is a new walker so he trips, but he trips much more when holding hands.
- Dislocation Risk(?): When Colin trips, the instinct is to yank quickly on his arm to keep him standing. I often feel like I'm going pop his shoulder out of socket. I have no idea if this is a real risk or not, but I certainly think about the possibility of it happening.
So maybe walking Colin around the sidewalks with a leash is a worthy solution to consider. However I still worry this might cause more problems for us later. Some people say this is humiliating for children, I'm not sure Colin has that level of self awareness yet but an older child might, I don't know. Others say it will teach them that they don't have to hold hands. Still others say maybe it does teach them how to stay close by providing a physical limit for the distance they can go from mom or dad (like an invisible fence boundary does for dogs.) In some cases I think harnesses are a useful safety tool, particularly with multiples or when parents are handicapped and not able to chase their children. I obviously don't fall into either of those cases, but maybe their are other situations when they are useful as well.
I invite comment, in fact I encourage it!! Kids or no kids please weigh in. I have not purchased one, but am seriously considering doing so. What is your opinion? Have you used one? What do you think of them?
At first sight I was horrified by them, then I had a child and my view of many things changed. I have certainly became less judgmental of other parents.