What's A-Parent

Dad Blogger Defends His Decision To Keep His Daughter On Leash In Viral Post

"We were at the farmers market. No shame. I put this kid on a leash."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

Take one look at the comments on any online parenting post, and you'll see just how quick people are to judge other's parenting styles. It's easy to make assumptions when it's not your own child. In particular, people seem to have strong opinions about the practice of attaching harnesses to kids' backpacks to protect them from wandering off. But one dad blogger might just make you give it a second thought before negatively judging. 

Dad Clint Edwards recently wrote a Facebook post explaining why he chooses to put his 3-year-old daughter Aspen on a leash when they're out together.

"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," he wrote. "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, or the farmers market, she'd be the lost child announced over the intercom." 

"I can't, for the life of me, keep her from moving. Her curiosity is incredible, and for only having a 12 inch stride, she moves faster than any Olympian," he continued. "And sure, I get dirty looks from strangers. In fact, I'll probably get some 'I'm the perfect parent and this is why you suck' comments on this post. And to you I say this, 'I'm keeping this kid safe while maintaining my peace of mind, and that is 100 percent worth it.'" 

People who oppose this practice of using leashes on children sometimes say it's a sign a parent can't control his or her child. But for Edwards, it's clear this is an effective solution, for his and his child's specific needs. 

He isn't worried about his daughter's future because he knows this is just a phase his 3-year-old will grow out of. "The reality is she'll calm down," he wrote. "She'll figure it out, because all kids do. But until that day comes, I'm going to do whatever I can to keep her out of danger, even if it means a leash." 

While some people believe in alternative methods, all Edwards wants to do is what he thinks is best to keep his daughter safe. And isn't that what all parents want for their children?

Cover image via John-Alex / Shutterstock

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