Friday Firesmith – Leash Your Children

Friday firesmithAs someone who doesn’t have kids, never wanted kids, and by and large, doesn’t like the critters at all, I have some issues with people who allow their children to run free. I spend a lot of time leash training my dogs so they’ll behave in public. You’d get some truly freaked out people if everyone just allowed their dogs to run around in stores barking and knocking things over, but for some parents it’s easier to let the public deal with their offspring than having to train them or rein them in.

I have an idea.

Leash your children. Not at home or in a water park mind you, because wet leashes would disintegrate over time and be costly, but in public, all children under the age of ten ought to be under the direct control of their owners, uh, parents. Also, despite what I might have said about the subject in the past, I am somewhat opposed to the use of shock collars on children to keep them from screaming in public especially in restaurants where abandoning a meal is the only escape from the screeching sound of child whose parents are either deaf or indifferent to the suffering of their fellow patrons.

Also, I am not talking about the use of choke collars for kids, either. A simple leather or synthetic collar, colorful and loosely fit about the neck would be fine. Vaccination tags ought to be presented and those who are anti-vaccination could wear a collar with their parents’ names on them so we’ll know who to blame for the next plague. Moreover, all leashes could come in color coded tones so strangers and the unwary would know the temperament of the child as in, wipes boogers on everything, drools, still has no control over bodily functions, bites, screams loudly, or asks inappropriate questions in public. Children wearing plaid leashes would be assumed to be socially dysfunctional and to be avoided at all costs. The leashes could act as a means of restraint and control and also a device that would serve as a warning if the child is truly a menace.

As Americans age it’s important that we consider the safety of older folk. Leashing children in public will ensure that uncontrolled and rampaging kids are a thing of the past. We can look to a future without a wild pack of brats knocking down senior citizens or trampling lawns with total disregard. Moreover, child abduction will be a thing of the past as all children will be securely tied to their owners, uh, parents.

Also, now that we are on the subject, I would also like to suggest the Quiet Closet. This would be a small room, about the size of a gym locker, with lots of sound proof padding, where a screaming child could be secured until it, I mean he or she, settles down. They would be installed in stores and restaurants and there would even be a light that would go out when the child had finally exhausted its vocal protests.

I now await the adulation and accolades that will doubtlessly come my way from people with children, as I have offered sound solutions to their problem kids.

In advance, you’re quite welcome.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

49 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Leash Your Children”

  1. Well since you’re comparing dogs & kids and most say that there is no bad dog just bad dog owners then shouldn’t we be leashing/containing the parents and not the children?
    I think that you should probably be prepared for an incoming sh!t storm on this post. 😀

  2. I, without kids, am fascinated and almost agree! If I thought you were serious I would be disappointed in you, but certainly not as outraged as many would.

    With all the recent news stories about little kids and where were the parents, my view is similar. What do we have to do? Leash ’em or put dangers behind glass and barricades that are costly and still have weaknesses.

    I wasn’t there so who am I to judge. Sometimes, what will happen will happen, even to the best of them.

    For the rest, well, you can’t fix stupid.

    • Scoakat,

      I did things when I was a little kid that my parents would have killed me had I be caught. As hard as they tried my two sisters and I had them outnumbered.

      I wonder why they never thought of leashes, and what on earth makes you think I’m not serious, I mean, other than I rarely am?

      • They did think of leashes, I have a nephew that was on one for a while! More of a harness than a neck leash, though. Still, it was awkward. Kids will be kids. We all went through it and most of us are lucky to have survived to adulthood.

        Now, falling off a bike is different from being snatched by an alligator. But being a kid is dangerous with or without the proper guidance, and sometimes shit just happens. It’s easy to look at these news stories and blame the parents for being absent or inattentive. Trying to make sense of it is the hard part.

        And Mike, I never Really know when your serious. I don’t mind and I think you like it that way. 😉

        • I think the gator thing was just plain terrible luck, and I’m willing to go as far as to say that I think someone has allowed that animal to be fed by humans in the past.

          It’s a fairly stupid thing to let people do but far too many people do it.

          Without giving it a lot of thought I can think of at least two deaths that have occurred because people fed Alligators and that led to people being eaten by Alligators.

          That kid and his parents were in the worst place they could have been at the worst time to be there. I think that’s all that needs to be said.

      • Well I, for one, took you seriously. And I agree.
        No I didn’t keep my kids on leashes when they were growing up (but the thought crossed my mind back then more than a few times).
        I may have done a few things in my parenting days that by today’s standards would have at least warranted a visit by Child Protective Services to ask a few questions.
        Then again if you were in a store or restaurant or anywhere else with me and my offspring, you would probably have commented on how well behaved they were.
        And they both grew up to be well respected and respectful useful members of and contributors to society (what more can a parent ask)?
        Respect, for parents or anyone else, seems to be a lost art. I won’t elaborate on why I think that happened as I don’t have three days to sit here and type.
        Yes, I did find and appreciate the humor in this but sadly I think that there’s way to much truth in what you wrote.

        • I think parental control is the thing here, John, and I’m not sure leashes are the answer and certainly not with collars, well, not in all cases.

          But it does seem as if children as as bad as their parents in public these days.

  3. My granddaughter is in her “princess phase.” Would it be okay to Bedazzle her collar and leash?

  4. I was disappointed not to find my Friday Firesmith this morning as well, but finally, here it is!!
    Now, as someone who works with children on a daily basis I wholeheartedly agree with this idea! Let me go one step further. Some of these little monsters could be put in tiny little cages with wheels on them, like the little freak shows they behave like. Maybe if the entire world was able to point and stare it would cause some change in either A. the parents approach to discipline or B. the children’s behavior. I’m not saying people should have children who are afraid of them, but why do these brats not respect their parents any longer?
    I have no problem with parents who have their children in a harness, they know where that child is, I promise you that kid would not be in a gorilla habitat or an alligator’s gut.

  5. Well said Mike, I love it, I am also not a child owner and long past the oops age as well. Any objections to me emailing that around to a few folk I know?

  6. Back in my day parents didn’t need leashes. Instead a belt or a word or even a look sufficed. Back then kids were beaten in stores on sidewalks wherever the need arose. All you would get from passerbys would be “Well the kid probably deserves it”. Now it would get you arrested. I have seen kids on leashes and in my mind it’s a good idea. especially on some kids.

    • When I grew up we had a big old willow tree. I was always sent for my own switch.
      I got lashes instead of leashes. I obeyed and learned, more often than not.

      • Scoakat,

        Yeah, that was the worst thing ever, is having to go get your own switch. You sure as hell didn’t want your mom to go get it, but damn, that was hard.

        • Bill Cosby had an old routine about a child (himself?) having to fetch their own switch, and how the sound of it cutting the air caused him more consternation than the actual whipping.

    • Jburge,

      “You just wait until we get home!” was a threat that really, really, mattered.

      If I embarrassed by parents in public I was going to be executed for it.

  7. I have learned several things by having kids, mine are adults and on their own.

    Here are 2 of them

    1. Having kids is way overrated.
    2. Food actually does go bad when there are no kids around.

    My dad had a 3 foot section of garden hose that was used. One day one of my brothers decided to get rid of it and threw it on the roof. The brilliant idiot that he is, tossed it on the roof right outside my parents bedroom window.

  8. Sounds to me like the ultimate solution to your dilemma would’ve been solved had your parents felt the same way you do regarding children before you were born?

  9. Maybe a noose instead of a collar/harness at the end of that leash.
    Seriously though, we were having lunch in a bar/restaurant on Cape Cod, and seated in a smaller room with about 10 booths. I groaned (and got a poke in the ribs) when a couple comes in with three children under 9ish. We were served, ate, and ready to leave never having heard a peep from their booth, so I went over to them.

    One kid was quietly conversing with Mom, and one was looking at a picture book, with the third looking at it also but not trying to take possession. I complimented them on how well behaved the kids were, how rare it is these days, left $100 on the table to cover their lunch. Dad chased me outside and tried to give the money back, but I declined, feeling that rare family deserved a free lunch.

  10. It is sad that so many have such negative views and experiences with children. I truly believe that it can be traced to the fact that parents would far rather pay attention to their cell phones than their children. When my children were young, one could often see parents actually talking to/with their children, showing them things, explaining what is happening around, or otherwise making the child feel they are a valued member of the family. Now I see children who may be physically with their parent, but certainly not emotionally or socially a part of the parent’s world. Children need attention, they need to belong, they need to understand the world around them, they need structure and limits and love! Somehow adults have become so self-absorbed they feel than any- and every- body else but themselves should be raising their children. I frequently hear, “Teachers should be covering that [manners or whatever] in the curriculum.” How about parents actually sharing enough of their time with their children to guide them appropriately? Children are becoming so disconnected from each other and society as a whole, it is really terrifying to think what may lie ahead. I hope people begin to realize it is not an investment in physical restraints that is needed, it’s emotional investment that will make the difference.

    • Diane, I see where you are coming from but at the same time it all cannot be blamed on technology. Some people simply were not and are not meant to be parents, yet the societal expectations and biological drives can override the obvious sometimes. The idea that any man who can get an erection can be a father is outdated and very dangerous. The idea that a woman who produces eggs ought to reproduce is just plain strange. There’s enough people to go around right now and in some cases far too many. When we’re burdened with people who are part of the excess we’re going to have children who as excessive.

      • I completely agree with you. I hope that in the future individuals manage to refrain from a perceived obligation to procreate, simply because someone else thinks they should. A careful consideration of what parenting entails, a look at whether a person is willing and able to sacrifice their freedom and an assessment of what they have to offer could all come in to play prior to deciding if parenthood is right for them. Sadly, though, a large number of children are also the product of a lack of preparation prior to succumbing to lust. There are millions of people who so desperately want a child and have the requisite time, capacity for emotional investment and means to raise a child. Yet society looks down on those who ‘give up’ their offspring. So few of those ‘surprised’ parents are ready for the huge demands of parenthood. We should be viewing the surrendering of a child as a courageous and selfless act. All parties would likely be much happier and better adjusted, in the end.

  11. In my youth, punishment was on the three part system. When I got home and showed my Grandmother the note from my teacher, she whipped me with a willow switch. When my Mom got home. it was a modified ping pong paddle and my Dad finished off the festivities with his belt. I learned very quickly to obey my teacher…

    • Richard, there was a day when a phone call from a teacher was a Death Sentence. There was this Adult Infallibility concept where if an adult in general, and a teacher in particular, accused you of anything at all you were guilty because you were a child.

      These days, it seems have swung hard the other way the My Child Is Never Wrong concept where children cannot be held responsible for their failures.

      We will never see middle ground.

  12. Chick

    I have no problem with parents who have their children in a harness, they know where that child is, I promise you that kid would not be in a gorilla habitat or an alligator’s gut.

    Unless the parents got fed up and tossed the child in themselves… 😉

    • I suppose that is a possibility, fed up or bored? Should people have to take a test before they are allowed to have kids? That’s another discussion all together.

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