An Ethical Question

April 10th, 2010

The question of the day is this: Does treating your toddler like a dog somehow constitute improper parental behavior?

My answer: not if she likes it.

Case In Point #1: The Toddler Leash.

My mom recently purchased a toddler harness with leash for Miss Mouse (at my request). It’s basically a backpack with a chest strap (so she can’t get it off) with a nice long leash to hold on to. I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but I just know the first time we take her out in public with it, we’re gonna get some Looks from Concerned Citizens who suspect we are mistreating our daughter.

But here’s the thing. Wearing that sucker really is going to make outings more enjoyable for her (and for me) because it will give her the freedom to walk around without having to hold my hand or be cooped up in the stroller.

Plus, she likes it. Loves it, really. Her backpack is her new favorite toy and she spent much of the afternoon charging proudly around the living room in it, with the leash tossed jauntily over her shoulders.

Case in Point #2: The Dog Crate

Stay tuned…

3 responses to “An Ethical Question”

  1. G'Mom says:

    She looks confident enough to climb Mt. Everest. Go Miss Mouse!

  2. Anonymous says:

    My daughter is now 42 years old. When she was Ellie's age we went to one of the large Madison, Wisconsin malls on the day after Thanksgiving. My father and I were walking with her through the center of the mall and Amy pulled out of my hand. I grabbed for her but she had already disappeared into the crowd. My father went in one direction and I went in the other. My dad found her at the end of the mall. They didn't have the cute harnesses then and it really did look like a pink dog harness. I got lots of comments but having her safe was more important then any nasty comment that I ever got. She was very independent and didn't like to hold hands. Like Ellie, she was happy wearing her dog harness.

    Jamie Gildemeister

  3. emily says:

    I just saw someone with that harness the other day and the child seemed agreeable.

    The problem with Finley would be, she would LOVE wearing it around the house all by herself, if we were in public, I can envision the shreaking now, "NO MOMMY! STOP HOLDING IT! Let Fin-we do it!" Oh boy…

    I hope the scenario is better for you! :)

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