The Leash – Required Accessory for the ADHD Parent

When I was growing up, my parents put me on a leash. So, naturally, when my daughter was old enough to escape, I purchased a very nice toddler leash. Turns out, the three feet of lead they give you just isn’t enough so we bought an extension at the nearby pet supply shop. With nine feet of glorious leash, she really was almost free to go anywhere she desired and I didn’t have to worry about losing her, which, when you are distracted often, is easy to do.

My husband never quite liked the leash but every time we went out, without fail, at least one harried parent would ask where I bought the leash from.

Just in case you are horrified, let me share the wonderful world of the kid leash.

  1. There are two ways to hold on to your kid when they’re first learning to walk. You can either hold their hands, extending their little arms upward, uncomfortably and causing them to walk off balance. Or, you can get a leash and harness and they can walk naturally. If they stumble, you simply pull the leash taught and they will remain suspended in mid-fall. Then you can bend down and right them without any scraped hands and knees.
  2. If you put the leash around your wrist, you regain the hand that would have otherwise been occupied with holding your toddler’s hand. An extra hand is a good thing.
  3. Kids can’t wiggle out of the harness. It attaches from the back. Kids can wiggle out of their parent’s hands. In the city, a kid that gets away is about 100% closer to being squished by a taxi or subway.
  4. If you get distracted easily, the leash will give you an extra second or two margin. You can’t lose something you’re attached to. Plus, if your kid also gets easily distracted, it allows you to go in two opposite directions, at least momentarily, without getting separated.
  5. Kids can fit in places adults cannot. For example, at the Zoo there is always space close to the exhibits for the kids because the adults can see over their heads. With the leash, we could let the Pumpkin sit at the front, even if we couldn’t get remotely close.
  6. Finally, as anyone who witnessed our family trip to the New York Auto Show in 2005 could see, it’s not your child that’s on the leash, it’s really you. For our little girl, being attached to mommy (at a distance) allowed her to explore at her own independent pace.

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