Extreme Parenting, Anyone?

When did leashing a child become norm?

When did leashing a child become norm?

It is often said that getting a pet, more so, a dog, is like rearing up a child. I am grateful to the canine dynasty for being this giving. Most times, people do not really differentiate between a pup and their toddler, since both of them are up to the same things, really! Maybe, just maybe, because of the non-discrimination between a pup and a toddler, have baby shopping marketers come up with this new innovation called “Child Leash”.

I will let this idea simmer with you. Imagine yourself going out for a walk with your dog on a leash; fancy leash with motorised chord control and the pup’s name written on it. Now imagine yourself going out for a walk with your toddler – on a leash! A fancy leash, in your toddler’s favourite colour with name inscription and the works! Now if you don’t find the difference between the two scenes, maybe you should be served a meal in a big flat bowl with ‘Tommy’ written on it.

I was amused and turned-off when I saw this product in baby stores with models photographed to show how it looks like. The product is ‘moving’ off the shelves. As a father to a lovely toddler, am trying to reason as to why you need a child-leash:

  • Maybe because you were impressed seeing Justine on a leash in the opening scene of Despicable Me.
  • Maybe because you are too old to totter behind your toddler.
  • Maybe because you like pulling strings.
  • Maybe because you don’t see the difference between a quadruped pet and two-legged toddler.
  • Maybe you want to foster a sense of ‘independence’ in your child by letting them go, as long as the leash allows.
  • Maybe you want your child to grow into a professional para-glider and so strap on the child with the harness.

Unfortunately, I do not find anything convincing enough to put my child on a leash. Using this reasoning, tomorrow there might be some random research that would propose muzzling your child when they refuse to eat or splutter food or mouth.



I spoke to a few parents about it. Shyam, a doting father to a daughter and an advertising professional in India-based advertising agency is strictly against the child leash contraption. He feels that children are meant to run around and not to be restricted. An online journalist in a Dubai-based newspaper Mily Chakraborty feels there are two ways to look at this situation. While it may seem like a utilitarian product for parents, the flip side is it seems parents are undermining the growing intelligence of the child. When a child doodles on the wall with a crayon, one doesn’t put the child on a clamp. So why leash a child when you can hold the child’s hand or wheel around? Interestingly, UAE based nutritionist, entrepreneur and mum of one Mitun feels that it is a handy product to have. With the perils of running a business eating into family time, the leash could be handy for moments spent on the mobile phone, she feels. Using the product necessary doesn’t make her a bad mother, Mitun feels. Dubai-based journalist and a new mum to a 5 week infant Majorie states that the child leash is not something she would be using for her child. It has the potential to be a useful product but then a child is expected to run around and parents are expected to check their movements. In the end, says Majorie, a leash looks good on a pet not a child.

And if the child leash is not enough, I came across another horrific product. It is a restraint for 5 year olds who might be ‘touching’ themselves. If you do not believe me, see the product poster.

Anti-masturbation cross: extreme parenting?

Anti-masturbation cross: extreme parenting?

The website claims “Masturbation is a gateway drug to rape. It also leads to sexual dysfunction, erodes family values, and is a top ten cause of disease.”! It quotes Lonnie Childs (with a surname that could mislead). There is a page on Facebook page asking Lonnie to banned, “Lonnie Childs is a cult leader hellbent on stamping out masturbation and free sexual expression. He is a menace to liberty loving Americans!”

While there is a lot to be said about something like this. I am not sure how many parents would want to ‘crucify’ their children like shown in the picture.

There are other ways of dealing with a child. Parenting is perhaps, one of the toughest jobs ever. There will be mountains to climb and storms to weather but we should do it without scarring the child’s psyche.

As a father and one half of the conscientious parents to my child, I want to make sure that my son blooms like a flower in spring, have a vivid imagination and should learn to appreciate the good bits of life. I refuse to succumb to modern-day parenting pressures.

More from Dev J Haldar:

Dev J Haldar (@TheCalmDev) Profile PicAbout Dev J Haldar

Employee to his 3.5 year old son | Mediaman | Academic | Food Writer on BurpAndBelch.com | #Batman Believer. Follow Dev (@TheCalmDev) on Twitter or read more of his articles on his fatherhood blog Father-o-logy.

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7 Responses to Extreme Parenting, Anyone?

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  4. Shefali says:

    The antimasturbation cross is disturbing at so many levels! Who does that?!! It’s a cruel world.

  5. Dev J Haldar says:

    Completely agree. It so is.

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