Put That Kid On A Leash Before He Acts Like A Normal Three-Year-Old!

“Excuse me sir… no dogs allowed in the airport.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” I barked with the anger rising in my voice, “I know you’re not talking to me because I don’t even have a dog!”

“Well sir… then what do you call that on the end of the leash you’re holding there?” said the airport security guard.

“This?” I said, holding up the leash, “This?  This is my kid asshole!”

“Oh.  I’m sorry sir”, said the embarrassed officer, “I just saw the leash and assumed that there was a dog at the end of it!  My sincere apologies sir!”

I didn’t care about his apologies, “I wanna speak to your manager!” I said.

I hope I got him fired.


If you were thinking that this was actually a story about me… then you must think I’m a real douche.  I would NEVER in a million years put a leash on my kid!  The above story is more of a fictional account of what I believed may have happened to a couple that Bunny and I saw during our layover in the Houston airport on the way back from Boca Raton about a month ago. 

It had actually been several years since I’d seen a kid on a leash and this would mark the first time I could observe one of these “leash children” from a safe distance (airports are great to people watch) without making it too obvious I was scribbling notes, taking pictures and rolling videotape.  It was a small boy in somewhat of a natural habitat who was hooked to the leash, probably about two or three years old.  He had a crazy look in his eye… most little boys do.  The kind of look that says, “I’m gonna embarrass the shit out of you in this highly crowded atmosphere… it’s a good thing you got me on a leash!”  But you  know what… I’ll be damned if once the parents sat down if they didn’t unhook that little guy! 

“Oh no,” I said to Bunny, “All Hell is about to break loose… they just unhooked the leash kid!”

Bunny braced for an apocalyptic scene and I immediately started scanning the airport terminal for higher ground, “Those ‘arrival/departure’ monitors are pretty high up” I thought.

But you know what?  There were no eviscerated airline stewardesses or decapitated pilots as a result of this kid being released!  There was no marking of his territory or unabashed mating rituals!  In fact, the kid was quite the normal two to three-year-old.  He was a little hyper, ran around the terminal a little bit and actually made some of the other people waiting for their flight chuckle at his antics.

This got me thinking, “Why did those parents feel the need to put their kid on a leash?”  Granted, I wasn’t THIS kids parents.  He might have had some hyperactivity, head-exploding disorder or something.  Maybe he had superpowers like “The Flash” or something so they had to keep him pinned down in order to make sure he didn’t run to China.

Or maybe they’re just lazy.

I think that if I ever got to talk to one of these “leash parents” then I’m sure I’d get some sort of dissention on their part.  I believe they truly think that what they’re doing isn’t completely weird.  They would probably say things like:

“You don’t know how crazy my kid gets!”

“Oh, she’s just misbehaves so much when we get out in public… the only way I can keep track of her is this leash!”

“Look here asshole, you take my kid for 24 hours and see if you don’t want to put him on a leash too!”

Quite simply, leashes are for dogs… not kids.  If your kid is a crazy, homicidal maniac that can’t look at himself in the mirror without frothing at the mouth then perhaps you just shouldn’t go anywhere.  Or perhaps you should start looking at yourself in the mirror… because that might be where the real problem is.

There’s something dreadfully wrong with this picture

I may have just started World War III.

Your thoughts?

And a video to help you come up with some thoughts:


37 responses to “Put That Kid On A Leash Before He Acts Like A Normal Three-Year-Old!

  1. I can’t get the video b/c I am too lazy to go on the real computer (I usually read you on my phone). But….I do have an opinion.

    Leashes are for dogs. Period.
    If you feel like you have to leash your kid, something is wrong.

    My kids (ok, mostly just the boys, so far) ARE super-hyper. They run. They yell. They do sometimes get away from me. But that is just how 2-3 year olds are. I deal. I plan things around their schedules and how I think their behavoir will hold up. I have snacks available when we’re out. I have bif kids who can help with (and run after) the little kids. I pay attention to them. I involve them in what I am doing and in my conversations.

    I couldn’t imagine just having them on a leash and ignoring them while I hope that they “stay normal” while I do my thing. How can you be normal whem you’re on a friggin’ leash?

    That second pic you have up there is f***ed up. That’s all I got to say.

  2. I hate seeing kids on leashes. It makes me ill. I was quite terrified at the beginning of this post that I was going to have to fall right out of blog love with you if you were a leasher. Thank God you’re not. Our blog love remains true. Or something.

  3. I think I will try using a leash next time we go to Orange Leaf. I think I have one around here somewhere…

  4. Oh Papa K how you make my blood boil! Maybe I’m just a little sensitive on the issue and while I’m not writing to advocate using a child leash at all times, I do believe there are times when they are useful and possibly needed. I would never scream “I LOVE USING A CHILD LEASH’ but here is my story about why I used one and why I would do it again in the same situation.
    Two months ago, my son who was 18 months at the time and I were flying to Wyoming, just him & I. I debated for weeks about getting a ‘leash’ for him. My thought process was this: we only have the short time in OKC before the flight, an hour layover in Denver in which he will be in the stroller so the only time he really will be put down is during security. Trying to think of any possible scenario that could happen, I pictured in my mind my son running off in the middle of security requiring me to run barefoot through the airport leaving all of our stuff at the security station while I created some kind of a breach due to my items being unattended. So for weeks before this trip, I debated…yes or no? yes or no?…and finally the day before we left for our trip, I decided to buy a ‘backpack leash’ from Target for $12.00. I am ever so grateful for that decision.
    Our trip started off fine and the whole security thing didn’t actually work, because he had to take the backpack off anyway. My son did fine…but later that day when our 1 ½ hour flight became a 3 hour flight due to storms and our 1 hour layover in Denver became 7 hours due to canceled flights, the child leash became a necessity. You have to know as well as I do, you cannot keep a toddler sitting down for 10 hours! The airport was packed and I mean packed due to all of the flight delays and cancelations that had taken place that day. I had to let my son out of the stroller and if I wouldn’t have had this leash this would not have been possible. He is incredibly fast and while you can knock my parenting practices if you want to, I physically could not keep up after him while at the same time keeping track of the stroller and all of our crap that is required to fly with a toddler (books, toys, clothes, diapers, snacks, etc). If he would have ran off, there would have been no way for me to get him. It wasn’t about me not wanting to pay attention to my child or being lazy or trying to be cruel, I did it because I felt it was the best option for our situation at the time. Yes, I got dirty looks from other people. I can only imagine what they thought. And I probably thought the same thing before I had kids about other people. At the same time…I don’t care. I felt I was keeping him safe while allowing him to have some independence as well.
    I think sometimes we need to understand why other people do the things they do. Since becoming a parent, I’ve realized that most people who are parents are honestly just trying to the best they can with what they have—taking into consideration the child, the parent, the environment and the recourses available. I do not know why the mother was dragging her child across the floor in the video you posted but I think that has more to do with the parent’s intentions rather than whether or not a child leash is good or bad thing. I’m not saying I’m an all star parent. I’m not saying that using a child leash because I didn’t know what else to do to keep my son safe was the right decision. It worked and I am content with my decision. Maybe you could tell us how you would handle busy toddler in a crowded airport, by yourself while keeping track of all of your belongings?
    *Also feel free to check out my Facebook pictures of my son during our trip in airport with said child leash on. I don’t think he suffered….unless that smile is repressing his pain that he will uncover in years to come during therapy.

    • Well… looks like WWIII has just begun! I understand your stance on this issue and it’s okay… we can have differing opinions.

      I understand WHY some parents want a leash! The greatest fears of ANY PARENT who cares and loves their kid is losing them in a sea of strangers, having them wander into oncoming traffic or have them dissapear into a coat rack when your back is turned! A leash would prevent all these things from happening.

      The bare bones issue as to why you got a leash is that you didn’t want to lose your little one. There is NOTHING wrong with that and it’s a completely viable fear… I just think there are other ways of preventing your little one from wandering off other than tying them off on you! I think a leash not only looks like a kid is being trained to sit, stand and heel… but inhibits the parents ability to communicate with their child on what’s right and wrong!? Rather than teaching them to mind their parents properly… all you have to do is give them a little tug when they’re stalling or starting to wander off and get them back into shape. Where’s the emotions and deductive reasoning behind that? It may work with animals… but kids aren’t animals.

      Now… with all that being said, I know you weren’t promoting the use of a “leash” on a kid all the time! You used it during this one airport trip and it helped you survive. But you also would have survived (probably with a few less nerves) without it too. I am not anyones parents other than my own kid and I’m certainly not here to tell anyone how to raise their kid but just state my opinion. I’m not an All Star parent by any means either… I’m sure some aspects of my parenting style are likely to be subject to some ridicule but I’ll never put DLG on the end of a leash… no matter the circumstances.

      I also don’t think that your son will suffer any pain or need any future therapy for your use of a leash on him in the future… but he may lovingly roll his eyes when his friends ask him about it. I know you’re doing a fine job raising your son Kristi but I have to give you a little ribbing.

  5. Yep, I think you started WWIII…and it’s probably not over yet. Btw, YOU never needed a leash since you were physically velcroed to my person most of your young years. I never had to worry about YOU running away! Heck no.

    But I certainly understand why parents might consider using one depending on the circumstances. Kristimae’s was one of those.

  6. Annie (aka random from the woodworks)

    You know what makes me sick? Babies in cages. LIONS go in cages! Not babies! If you want to put your baby in a so-called ‘crib’ (pfft!) then why not go all out and declare your house a zoo!
    And straightjackets! Ewwww, ‘swaddling’ your baby to calm it down, what, is your baby a 1950s schizophrenia patient?
    (Short version: Apart from the association with dogs, what is inherently wrong with leashes as opposed to slings, strollers, playpens, cribs, carseats, and every other device that is used to keep a child in one place?)

    • While the associations may outwardly seem the same with all the devices you mentioned… they really couldn’t have MORE differences!!

      I.E. – “The Crib” – you CAN associate it with “a cage” because, hey… it’s got bars… they’re there for a reason!! The bars are there to serve as protection so the kid won’t roll out and hurt him/herself. If there were no bars we would be forced as parents to keep ourselves studiously beside the bed all night making sure the kid wouldn’t roll out of bed. How much sense does that make?

      “Swaddling = straightjackets” – While the assumption can be made from an outsider knowing nothing about babies that it looks like you’re tying him/her up to an immovable state for no reason… in actuality you’re recreating the confort of what it was like for the baby inside her mother’s womb.

      What does a “leash” prevent from happening that, say… I don’t know… your arm or a studious eye can’t?

      What does a leash recreate for a child? Unless he was born in a dog kennel… I believe the answer is “nothing”.

      Every time I’ve ever seen a parent being led around by their kid on a leash or dragging their kid behind them attached to a leash I’ll tell you what I (and probably the wide majority) think whether it is the truth or not: WTF. Seriously… WTF. The image a mother or father with their kid attached to a leash doesn’t lend itself to many positive thoughts about their parenting style.

      But as I said earlier to Kristi… if you (or anyone) truly feels that they are THE BEST, most responsible parent with their kid tied to the end of a leash… then by all means do it. Just don’t use a choker chain.

      • Annie (aka random from the woodworks)

        I can run through my head scenarios in which the use of a leash would be better than just hoping you react quickly enough, and that’s what makes it have possible benefits in my mind. If your kid’s at their “I’m going to dash away and scare the bejeesus out of you and respond to absolutely no discipline” stage, and you have to walk along a busy street or highway that does not have good barriers? I think putting something around your kid’s wrist is a lot more merciful than letting them get splattered by a truck, myself. (If they’re young enough, a lot of people who didn’t normally use strollers WOULD for that situation – but the reasons are exactly the same.)
        I’m not saying all usage would be great – I’ve never seen anyone tugging on a kid lead, just using it as a momentary back-up when they glance away for a moment, but that doesn’t mean some people don’t use it negligently. I just don’t see how SOME people being bad parents with a leash means the things, themselves, are terrible. (Hell, cribs ARE used as ‘cages’ in some orphanages. Doesn’t mean you’re somehow an inhuman monster if you put your kid in one.)

        • Okay. If I’m walking with my kid who I KNOW has no discipline along a BUSY STREET OR HIGHWAY… I’m going to carry them if I’m that worried. You even mentioned a stroller! Why not choose a stroller over a leash?

          I will give you this: if you make a habit of regularly walking along I-35 with your kid or frequent traveling from the US to South Africa alone with your kid… then perhaps a leash for your kid is a good investment. But I don’t think the child leash companies would be in business any more because the percentage of people who live like that are about 1 in 8 Billion making total sales for the entire life of the company about $12. The companies are still in business because ALOT of people buy them.

          Your argument is bogus!

          Annie… you have to get what I’m saying. You have to look at the pictures I post on this particular blog post and think they’re a little ridiculous. Leashes are for dogs for Gods sake! A crib is not a cage. Perhaps orphanages use cribs as cages… but you can use a couch as a paperweight too… it doesn’t make it a paperweight! I’m not one to say that if you’re TRULY worried that your kid has a good chance of getting lost or running into oncoming traffic… then by George get one and EFF everything I have said! But I GUARANTEE… the majority of leash buyers are not using it for the reasons I just mentioned but rather they do not want to deal with the more pressing issues of disciplining their child. I’m sorry… that’s just what I think.

          • Annie (aka random from the woodworks)

            “Why not choose a stroller over a leash?”
            Because they’re four, not two, maybe. Or maybe you’re walking on a muddy or gravelly path (don’t know how often that happens in the U.S.) Or maybe you don’t want the bulkiness. Here’s my question: WHY should you be putting the stroller over the leash? Why aren’t they on equal footing? Because my argument that you find bogus wasn’t that EVERY parent who uses leashes does so when absolutely necessary and with great consideration. My argument was that there is nothing inherently wrong with them, like any other thing that people use in parenting, it’s up to HOW you use it. If people using cribs as cages doesn’t make them cages, then people using leashes like some sort of dragging device doesn’t make them a dragging device.

            I agree with you that there are probably a LOT of people using them negligently.

            When I read your original post, what you’re saying is “Leashes are inherently gross and wrong — absolutely all of them, all the time, no matter the circumstance.” THAT is what I take issue with, THAT is what rubbed me the wrong way. When you say I have to “get what you’re saying” — well, if it’s that some people are idiots, I DO get that. That’s not what I was disagreeing with to begin with. What was rubbing me the wrong way was what you were saying in the original post.

            (And I realise I’m starting to sound really cranky or contrary – I’m not intending to, I just want to be really clear about what I actually mean. I know it’s just what you think, I’m just a random walker-by who disagreed with the topmost post of your blog to wanted to tell you why.)

            • Okay. While I’m not going to award you this argument… I’m not going to deem you to have lost either. While I may have implied they’re all inherently gross and wrong I suppose AT THEIR CORE… they are not. I believe that perhaps 95%-99& of people who buy them and use them are using them because they are lazy. One of my readers already corrected me (KristiMae) regarding the reasons why she had purchased one of these leashes.

              Part of being a subjective writer on this subject is being able to admit some subtle flaws I may have had in my argument… of which I’m doing right now.

              So… with that being said… I will admit that PERHAPS there are times when completely adequate parents need to tether their child to themselves but those times HAVE to be few and far between. I also will never leash up my kid regardless of the situation!

              BTW… how did you find my blog? Regardless of our seemingly heated exchange (which I assure you is not), I do enjoy exchanging with readers and I do hope you come back… even if I do kind of sound like a douchebag sometimes. I assure you, I write some pretty heartfelt stuff sometimes… along with my more common silliness.

              • Annie (aka random from the woodworks)

                Will the world collapse if this comment embedding continues, or will replies merely appear as individual letters stacked on one another? Who knows!
                I set myself some study tasks I HAD to do last night, and so naturally I ended up procrastinating in a myriad of ways – up to and including blog-slogging. So short answer: IDK, long answer: Wow have you seen this blog by the trapeze artist circus performer who talks about Argentinian politics?

                • Hey… You still didn’t answer how you found this blog!

                  Also… I don’t know what “IDK” means!

                  • Annie (aka random from the woodworks)

                    You know this thread is going to collapse space-time. Its continued existence is like dividing by zero. “IDK” = “I don’t know” 🙂 as by ‘blog-slogging’ I mean jumping from one to another to another – I would’ve jumped to the first link I could find on yours if I *hadn’t* got my cranky pants on. (But I see you have a links list so maybe next time I have vital procrastination it can get me started)

  7. I just think it’s funny that you were taking pictures of people at the airport. I do that all the time with my cellphone.

  8. Wow. I missed WWIII here! Fun stuff to come back and read.

    For what it’s worth – I think cribs suck ass too. Strollers I use for carrying my stuff, not my kid.

    And I still don’t get the leash thing, even after reading what everyone wrote. I have done the bust airport thing with my toddler – I packed one bag and no stroller and took along a sling. I walked with said toddler whereever she wanted to go and let her explore, carrying our one bag with us (checked the rest of the stuff). If she got somewhere she shouldn’t be I picked her up. Whoa. I know. Picked her up. (Of course, I didn’t have a 7 hour lay-over either, just 2).

    • Yes… picking up a kid… with what?? Our arms?? Who heard of such a thing! I’m still pretty miffed at the idea of using a leash and most of the instances when I see a kid on a leash I don’t think they’re ANY of the instances listed by some readers. But I’ll have to admit if I was a 110-year old grandma who was suddenly responsible for taking a hyperactive, super-fast three year old through the New York airport at Christmas time and there was a kidnapping convention in town… I might consider tying them to me.

  9. This was fun to read! I just wanted to tell you that mom used a leash on Daisy and Ian, they both turned out fine. They never used one on me, look how I turned out! That leash is sounding pretty good now to ya now ey. Lol! I do see a lot of lazy looking people using one, however I do think its OK for traveling in airports or for grandparents. I don’t think ill run out and buy one when I have a kid, but I would not hesitate to get a leash if I thought it would put my mind at ease. Especially if I was traveling alone. In my mind I fear someone snatching a child more so than not being able keep up. I will say that my blood does boil when I see a clearly out of control child being leashed up by a clearly lazy person. What would you do if you had to travel with Story in a very crouded environment, and you were recovering from a surgery that made it extremely painful to carry her or run after her if necessary and she was getting fussy because she wanted to walk around? Now Story at this age seems like she would listen to you and you wouldn’t have anything to worry about, but what if she was younger? I’m just saying we’re so quick to judge peoples parenting skills.

    • Pay no mind to my writing skills. It is five in the morning and I should be sleeping.

    • Hey Sarah… thanks for commenting. We’ve actually had this conversation with your mom before. She had a pretty fierce opinion on the whole thing too. The instances you listed are indeed possible opportunities when a leash COULD be used. My aim with this post was more directed at those parents who use leashs because they are lazy and don’t want to keep up with their kid.

  10. OK, so that video is very disturbing! It finally loaded on my phone. Its unfortunate that like bad checks and Christianity it only takes a few idiotic people to F it up for everyone else.

  11. But isn’t a leash sorta like holding a hand, only an extension of your hand?

    I CAN see where a leash would come in handy in busy places, not out of laziness, but just not wanting to lose your kid in the madness, while also allowing them to walk and roam a little.

    • If you’ve seen a kid leash… they’re usually attached to a backpack that the kid wears and you strap it to your writst. Unless you walk around holding the nape of your kids neck then “no” I don’t think it’s like holding a hand. There is also a complete lack of emotion with leashing up your kid as opposed to holding his/her hand.

      Like I’ve said… I understand the concept of a leash but the parallels between leashing up your kid and leashing up your dog would render you to explore other options I would think.

  12. You know what I hate, Christopher Koenig? I hate it when parents stick a steering wheel into the back of their kid’s head with a little neepneep horn. Translating the mechanical forces in the steering column into neuro-electrical signals the brain can use requires a wetware computer made of neurons and ganglions that hasn’t even been invented yet! And that’s all I’m saying. You shouldn’t shove a steering wheel into your kids head unless you can ACTUALLY sit on your kid’s shoulders and drive him around like a little clown car. What do you think, Christopher?

    • I think that’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. That’s just what I think.

      • Actually… you know what “Guy”… I hate those parents that juggle premature babies. I mean… it’s one thing to juggle REGULAR babies… but PREMATURE babies at that! While these babies are still continuing to mature these people choose to juggle three, four and sometimes five babies at once! A wide majority of the time… all these kids aren’t even their own! Sometimes, to throw in a little suspense, they’ll juggle a chainsaw or mini-squid to fire up the crowd. The outcome of such a dispicable act really hurts the development of the babies… never mind if the mini-squid accidentally lands on one of the babies faces. STOP BABY JUGGLING!

    • I think this is the funniest thing I have EVER read. What’s even funnier is that I thought “wow, this *guy* person sounds a lot like MATT .oh. wait…”

  13. I think that leashes and cribs can be compared. They both “bind” or “contain” the child for the sake of safety. You said cribs are necessary because without them we would have to guard the child all night to make sure he didn’t fall out. A leash does the same thing. You tie the child to yourself so that you can use your eyes to shop for example or navigate an airport instead of having to watch your child the whole time. Both cribs and leashes can be misused and should not be used instead of thoughtful parenting, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful tools. Some kids are very fast on their feet and some parents have trouble multi-tasking.

    • Hi Amanda… thanks for reading!

      For the elderly, people who have had a hip replacement or any of the vast and varying degrees of why someone would use a leash… then the leash is a tool that can be explored. Otherwise… if you are a young, verile, capable man or woman and I see you using a leash… my stare will bore a hole right through your skull.

      • I haven’t needed one yet, but if I get one (which I might) I’ll watch my back. If I reflect your gaze with a mirror will it turn your laser gaze back on you? 😉

  14. If you have to put a kid on a leash, then you probabaly shouldn’t be procreating. That’s just my thought on the whole ordeal.

  15. Holy Shit! What’s going on in here?! 🙂 Anyway, I’m going to say something that I’ve said before and which has gotten me in trouble before. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Unless the child has some weird disorder (like you mentioned) or the parents are unnaturally slow or crippled, there is no reason for a child to be on a leash. I’m a fast guy, and I’m strong. Those two facts have gotten me rebuked because people think I couldn’t possibly know what it’s like to struggle to catch children. The fact is that I keep myself fit and healthy in part because I want to be able to catch my escaping child. So — here it comes. Pure laziness. It’s laziness that causes most parents to do it, and laziness pisses me off. Ok, there, I said it. 🙂

  16. Mr.Guy made me think “Why does this sound familiar?” That’s been pretty much cleared up. Otherwise, this was an insane reading experience.

  17. wow – you hit a nerve with this post.

  18. Ha, interesting topic. Now could you cover muzzling your child too?

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