CINCINNATI - Most parents will do anything to keep their children safe, but what tactics are a little too farfetched for practical parenting?
That’s the question at the center of the debate about child restraints, which somewhat resemble a leash that owners may use to control their pets in public spaces. A child restraint can keep a curious youngster from wandering off — and possibly into danger — but it also might lead to relaxed parenting.
“Parents can use it as a false security, thinking that, ‘Okay, my child is attached to me, maybe I don’t have to watch them as much as I do,’ ” said Lauren Jimeson, a mother of two whose parents used a child restraint on her.
But others see stressful situations as a good time for a little extra security and connection between parent and child. A busy street corner or airport, some argue, is not the best place for a child to explore.
The measure also can bring into question the nature of the parent-child relationship. A child restraint might convey a vastly different message than holding hands with a curious kid to keep him or her nearby. And then there’s the question of whether using a restraint compromises the verbal communication skills through which the child learns to obey a parent.
Regardless of the method, keeping a child safe is the goal, and having a ‘leash’ — or at least a plan — might be helpful for when a child is just a bit too curious.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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