Your Reasons for Using a Toddler Leash Are Bullsh*t

People have a lot excuses for leashing their toddlers, but they're all BS.Yep. You read that right. I believe that (almost) every excuse I’ve ever heard for attaching your toddler to a leash is bullshit.

“How dare you judge other moms, Desteny?! Mind your own business!”

I’ll judge whomever I want, whenever I want, thank you very much. If you don’t like my opinion or the fact that I’m sharing it, find another mom blog to read.

| Stop turning your little boy into a girl! |

My Facebook feed has been filled with posts related to this subject lately. Much to my surprise, most people are totally fine with the idea of tethering their child to themselves just as they would a dog. I’ve found it interesting because it seems not so long ago, most everyone I knew was anti-leash.

Good for those who currently use leashes, I guess, but that’s something I’ll never do.

Oddly enough, even though very few people are disagreeing with those who use a leash on their child, comment sections are filled with moms defending their use of such products. It’s as if they subconsciously know it isn’t the right thing to do.

| It’s your fault your kid is being bullied |

Today we’re going to cover a few of the more common reasons people seem to have for using toddler leashes, then I’ll let you know why these reasons are complete bullshit.

My kid is a runner, he takes off every chance he gets!

So, instead of addressing this problem, you’d rather throw a leash on him and call it a day?

Can you say “lazy“?

If it were up to my 2 year old daughter, she’d be a runner, too. She learned as soon as she started walking that if someone tells her to stop, she stops. If someone tells her to return to them, she returns. If she didn’t, she was getting a spanking. And not a spanking on her bottom, as it’s protected by a diaper. My hand made contact with her thigh. She knew I meant business and that there were consequences for not obeying me.

She’s been walking & running for over a year now. Most of the time she doesn’t dare take off when I tell her to stay, but every once in a while she’ll try to run as soon as she thinks I’m not looking.

I immediately tell her to stop and, if she doesn’t, I chase her down and give her a taste of some good old fashioned corporal punishment.


But he hates holding my hand!

And? I don’t understand why that matters.

I’ve never met a kid who wants to hold someone’s hand all the time. My daughter does when she’s in a strange situation or around people she doesn’t know. Otherwise, she’d much rather walk or run on her own.

But she’s only two years old. Her opinion on the subject is of no importance.

It’s a matter of safety. If I decide she needs to hold my hand and she tries to throw a fit about it, her thigh warms up pretty fast.


I just feel better having her on the leash. I know she’s always safe.

I could easily argue that your child isn’t safe against all possible threats when leashed up, but I’m not going to get into all the what ifs and start making up weird scenarios in which your child could still be injured or even killed while on a leash. Instead, I’m going to tackle the mindset of the person who feels this way.

If this is your reason for leashing your toddler, I can’t help but wonder if you live in constant fear of all the things that could happen to you, your child, your friends or your family?

There are so many things that are out of your control in this world. If having a sense of security is your reason for using a toddler leash, just know that sense of security you think you’re feeling is false.


I have fifteen toddlers! Leashing them is so much easier than trying to chase them around!

Okay, I’m guessing I may have exaggerated a bit there. If you have fifteen toddlers running around, there are a lot of other more important things that you should be addressing in your life.

This is a reason I hear all the time, though, with the number ranging from 2 to 4 kids.

My thoughts? Yeah, sure. I can see how leashing all of your kids up, or even just the more difficult one or two, could make your life easier. Does that mean I think you should do it? Nope.

At that point, you’re taking the easy way out. Really just being a lazy parent, in my opinion.

No, I don’t have 4 little kids. No, I don’t know what it’s like to have to chase them all down when they’re running in different directions and not listening to a word I say.

Ya know why? I only have one child and I have absolutely no desire to have any more because I know I don’t want to have to deal with the headaches that come with having more kids. If I had more, I’d probably lose my mind, as well as try to find ways to make my life easier rather than teach all of my kids that there are consequences for not obeying me.


The leash is so much better than using a stroller.

I can’t fully agree with you on this, but I get what you’re saying… sort of.

I don’t use a stroller, either. My daughter has never liked them, she’d much rather walk. On normal trips to a carnival or car show or something, I never use a stroller. I allow her to walk whenever she physically can.

When she can’t physically walk (think hiking on rough, steep terrain or taking a 7 mile walk through town), we throw her in a carrier on our back. Not for safety reasons, not because she never stays near me when we’re walking.

We don’t want to have to give up those hikes in the mountains just because we have a kid, but we also want to have her with us experiencing the environment and surroundings. Sure, we could leave her with a babysitter while we run off and have fun, but we think her time is better spent with us, outside and in nature.

It’s a win-win deal. We get a better workout and she gets to go out and explore the world with us. Then, when we’re in an area where she can walk on her own, we take her out and allow her to walk around and explore… unleashed.


My child is special needs, you have no clue what it’s like.

You’re right. I don’t know what you’re going through.

My daughter is a happy, healthy, relatively normal 2 year old. I have no idea what it is like raising a child with special needs.

That’s why, earlier in the post, I said almost every reason was bullshit. This reason is the one exception.

So, in conclusion, do I find child leashes to be inhumane like many people do? No, I really don’t. I do, however, think almost every excuse people have to use one on their child screams “I’m a lazy parent“.

Why do you leash your kid? If you have a reason other than the ones I listed, please feel free to leave a comment!

I understand there are people with opinions that differ from my own, but aggression, threats and vulgarity will not be tolerated. Keep it clean, keep it civil and don’t waste your time writing a comment that will be deleted.

7 thoughts on “Your Reasons for Using a Toddler Leash Are Bullsh*t

  • October 25 at 5:40 pm

    Omg!!! I couldn’t agree with you more!!! Love this post! Hate those damn leashes 🙄

  • January 16 at 7:41 pm

    Using a leash wrong, hitting a kid or wanting a kid to ‘obey’ is pretty much the same thing as what you would do with a dog. And telling that a 2 year old opinion is not important? Where does that come from? Everything a kid is experiencing is important and big for her. So why would anyone dismiss that?

  • January 17 at 4:27 pm

    I’m very uncomfortable with the idea that a leash is considered wrong but somehow controlling a child with corporal punishment is ok? Children deserve our respect and no one…. ever…. should be hit by another. Perpetuating a violent culture is more troubling than the use of a leash.

  • February 9 at 2:56 pm

    Using a leash is wrong, but hitting your kid is totally cool. Makes sense. 😑

  • February 10 at 9:42 am

    I agree with you 100 percent, even though it can be uncomfortable setting consistant boundaries with you toddler, it creates no need for a leash. Children need to understand the rules to be safe, when my child was a toddler she knew if she can’t be safe outside then she wasn’t going( to park, to store, to friends). I only use the leash as a threat when she was 3 ,telling her , if you don’t listen next time when we have to go out I will put you on a leash like the dog. She understood at that point being on a leash was not okay, so never again did she ignore me when I told her to stop or come here.
    Honestly, children need to learn they must listen to their parents the best time is while doing daily things. In the long haul you will end up doing less work later with how ever many children you have.

  • March 2 at 5:08 am

    Corporate punishment is actually illegal in my state as well it should be. To punish your toddler just for trying to experience something new is wrong. I’d say if your confident in your parenting skills your child will probably not run to far away and will come back to you. I’m okay with using the “leash” as you call it because most kids just want to walk around anyway instead of being cooped up in a cart. Besides a cute little monkey with a long tail handle backpack to carry snacks and toys I suppose really looks like a dog leash. I’d say that if you can’t get your child to listen to you without spanking her then you’ve got the problem and need to look at yourself before you criticize other people

    • March 2 at 7:45 am

      Preach!! 1000% agree with this! Hitting a poor innocent child is NEVER okay!!


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