Invisible Leashes

Julian 1Do you remember those leashes people used to use on their toddlers? You know the ones, they came with a backpack with a monkey head and feet to disguise the fact that the parent had their kid on a leash. I remember there was quite the controversy back in the day, but they’re still available so maybe they aren’t so bad…

The reason they came to mind is because I saw a young mother in the park the other day packing a stroller with all of her supplies while her toddler was running around in the grass behind her. I’m sure she was aware of where he was and would have stopped him from running into the road, but I thought a leash would have come in handy just to be safe.

Or maybe not…

The experience called to mind an episode of American Pickers I had seen recently. One of the hosts mentioned his four-year-old daughter and how he was showing her his collection one day and said to her, ‘one day all of this will be yours. You will be responsible for caring for it.’

Pretty heavy stuff to lay on a four-year-old, right? Did he not remember all the overwhelmed sad, grown children from past episodes who called him because their parents had died and now they were responsible for the collection?

But that’s another post…

And what the hell does American Pickers have to do with toddler leashes?

We can’t see all the leashes we use…

All the things that we use to control where our children go and what they do or how far they go in life can certainly be considered leashes of sorts. Whether it’s a collection or a family tradition or a family career. So it made me wonder if we use these controls for their safety or for our selfish need for security when we get older.

I say it’s time to unhook the leashes, seen or otherwise. Everyone of us is born with an innate survival instinct so all we really need – all our children really need – is some guidance. Bumpers, if you will, to soften the hardest falls and allow our children – and us – to get right back up and go.

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