Friday, December 14, 2007
Kids & Dogs
As a parent (and even more importantly, as a human being), one of the things that really disturbs me is seeing parents put their child on a leash. As a father of two young boys, trust me when I say I know what it's like trying to keep up with active children who only have two gears: fast and turbo.
But, to me, when you put your child on a leash, you are broadcasting one message more loudly than to me anything else: "I'm a lazy parent." I know parents claim that they do this for safety reasons. And, certainly there are some safety benefits to this. But think about the psychological damage this is doing to the poor kid.
I was in an aquarium yesterday afternoon, and I saw a little boy - probably 4 or 5 years of age - whose parents had him on a leash. The kid screamed and whined the entire time he was at the aquarium. I couldn't even stand to look at him because I pitied him. It upset me.
Parents today - and I am speaking in general terms here - take shortcuts. They want to take the quick and easy route. But, what they fail to see is that the easy route in the short run creates an impossibly tenuous route in the long run.
Parenting certainly isn't easy. But, like anything rewarding in life, the journey is often arduous and circuitous.
Don't take the shortcut. You - and your child - will be thankful you didn't.