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Houdini may have been the master of feats of escape, but as any parent knows, kids are pretty nifty at it too. They can scale child safety gates, wriggle between the bars of cots and zoom off the moment your back is turned. Meaning frazzled mums and dads everywhere have their work cut out for them keeping their little ones out of harm's way.
One dad's method of ensuring his toddler daughter doesn't run off, however, has sparked controversy.The dad in question is blogger Clint Edwards - and he keeps three year-old Aspen on a leash.
The dad-of-three from Oregon revealed on Facebook he got "dirty looks from strangers" over his tactic and launched an impassioned defence slamming the stigma around reins.
Clint had taken Aspen to a local farmer's market when he attracted the negative attention.
"The real difficulty with having a wild child is that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't," he wrote.
"Because the fact is, if I didn't put Aspen on a leash while at amusement parks, the zoo, a crowded mall, or the farmers market, she'd be the lost child announced over the intercom."
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Like many a toddler, Aspen has a huge curiosity about the world and "can't stop moving." Clint pointed out that, without the reins, she would be the kid climbing into an animal enclosure.
Importantly, Aspen doesn't mind wearing the reins and Clint looks forward to a time when she is calmer and no longer needs them. "But until that day comes," he adds "I'm going to do whatever I can to keep her out of danger, even if it means a leash."
Responses ranged from critical to encouraging:
"Putting your child on a leash says a lot about your knowledge of parenting, discipline and unrealistic value of safety parameters and you should be judged," argued one person.
"I used to be pretty judgy about those things. Then I had kids. Keep on keepin' on, man," a fellow dad added.
Question is, here in the Kenyan motherland, would you put your child on a leash while out in the busy streets of Nairobi? Perhaps it's perfectly safe, or dehumanizing. Anyway, it's your child and your discipline.
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