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To give these responses when my Swedish inlaws tell me how terrible reins are?

(116 Posts)
ikeaismylocal Sun 09-Feb-14 17:13:00

Ds is a very active hooligan 13 month old. I was at a family gathering today and my dp's uncle said "it is contraversial but some blind parents use leads with their samll children!" I explained that in the UK leads (reins) are a pretty common parenting aid. My dp's uncle and aunt are blind and dp's aunt told a terrible story about how her ds was holding her hand and was spooked by a bus and ran off over a main road, she sat on the floor shouting what had happened and a passer by found her son and returned him to her, after that day they used reins, but it was clear that the family disaproved.

I said that I was thinking of getting some for ds as he is a really confident walker but he can't be trusted to not run away.

Their argument was this;

It limits your childs freedom
The alternative is sitting in the pushchair (Swedish kids stay in the pushchair until 4/5/6 I know a 7 year old who's parents push him about in a pushchair, he has no disabilities. Parents often buy a special big kids pushchair) The child being in a pushchair has no freedom, surely it is better to have limited freedom than no freedom.

leads are for dogs
Ds loves dogs, seeing a dog makes his day.

Ds will think he is a dog!
I don't believe ds has reasoning skills developed enough to think the dog has a lead, I have reins therefore I am a dog. Even if he did think like this he is just as likely to think I have brom hair, the dog has brown hair, therefore I am a dog. Ds doesn't know any of the cultural attitudes that we have about dogs.

Even if ds thinks he is a dog I have never met an adult who still thinks they are a dog because of early reins use.

It is wrong to restrin him
I pointed out that they strapped their kids into prams, highchairs, cars, kids living in cities can't be free range, it isn't safe.

Wibu I give these replies? They didn't end up convinced.

Fuck off it's my child would be my thought.

It's my child my way might be more polite.

(I use reins and think these reasons totes bs)

Innogen Sun 09-Feb-14 17:16:28

Yeah I'd be using fuck off too. Logic is wasted here.

You don't have to convince them of anything, you just have to do as you want and ignore.

JuanFernandezTitTyrant Sun 09-Feb-14 17:17:12

How about "better restrained than squashed"? Because, realistically, that's the alternative isn't it? Some people have no common sense. Of course reins are appropriate if you have a bolter.

AwfulMaureen Sun 09-Feb-14 17:17:57

Better a restrained child than a crushed child.

Better a dog-boy than a dead boy.

YouTheCat Sun 09-Feb-14 17:19:13

I used reins with ds until he was about 6 as he has additional needs and was a danger to himself near roads but he would not tolerate a pushchair from about 2 (would just undo the straps).

There is nothing wrong with using reins, especially in areas near roads etc, that might not be that safe. I just used to take them off ds when we got to the park.

harticus Sun 09-Feb-14 17:20:30

It limits your childs freedom - er, yes that is the whole point ... so buses don't squash him.

leads are for dogs - it isn't a lead. It is a set of reins. To call it a lead is like calling a necktie a noose.

Ds will think he is a dog! - no he won't unless I make him eat Chum, sleep in a kennel and shit in the garden.

It is wrong to restrain him - not when it is a choice between his safety and well being it isn't.

Bearfrills Sun 09-Feb-14 17:22:47

Search the MN boards for MrsPresley and read her heartbreaking story then forward it to them. I always think of her whenever I get funny looks for using reins, she's a big advocate of them and rightly so.

Reins save lives.

antimatter Sun 09-Feb-14 17:23:06

maybe where they live traffic is not as heavy as where you are

before dc's I felt they were terrible (i.e. though like your in-laws) but once I saw how hard it was to walk with a child alongside road full of cars I changed my mind

it gave me peace of mind and my kids were able to walk not be always in a pushchair - neither of my kids turned into dogs grin

Bluestocking Sun 09-Feb-14 17:24:32

Dogs wear coats on cold days. Will your Swedish idiot relatives object to him wearing a coat too? Reins are great, the toddler can bogle about happily without having one arm in the air to hold a grown-up's hand, and if they stumble, the grown-up can swoop them up before they hit the ground!

MrsKoala England Sun 09-Feb-14 17:25:02

if i didn't use reins on my 16mo he'd be dead or never allowed out of the buggy.

It limits your childs freedom - to kill themselves. i'd rather that than be confined to a buggy constantly.

Leads are for dogs - Yes, with collars round their necks. Reins are quite different, they go round the body and are there to provide limited supervised exploration range.

he will think he's a dog - unless you feed him from a dog bowl on the floor and give him a basket to sleep in i think he will realise he has more in common with his Biped family - Even if he DID make any connection. Which i doubt he would.

It's wrong to restrain him - no it isn't. It is necessary for his safety/

I would say all that once then if they addressed it again, say it's not up for discussion and change the subject.

I think i may have read your threads before. Are these the family who are very set on what is accepted there, such as no water births? If so they sound tiresomely rigid and incapable of accepting other ways. Therefore i'd be reluctant to discuss anything with them and just repeat 'it's none of your business'

MothratheMighty Sun 09-Feb-14 17:25:13

Lovely reins!
Lots of exercise, freedom to run and bounce and jingle away.
No risk of slipping your hand and getting lost or injured or worse.
No risk of you accidently breaking their arm as they flail and twist to get away from you to run over to the insane and child-eating dog they want to hug.
What's not to like?

Pigeonhouse Sun 09-Feb-14 17:25:19

I'd go all wide-eyed and do my best Innocent Foreigner impression: 'Do Swedes really think these things? Dear me, how strange. Hey everyone, listen up - the ILs have just told me the funniest thing!'

Be terribly, terribly interested in this strange phenomenon: 'What on earth does it say about the Swedish national character that a common-sense restraint for an adventurous toddler that allows him/her to get some exercise and have some independence while safe is considered so weird? Do Swedes actually think toddlers believe they are dogs?'

Honestly, I only wish my toddler would tolerate reins - have tried both the wrist kind and the cute-backpack kind and he just sits on the footpath and howls in outrage...

meganorks Sun 09-Feb-14 17:25:41

I have a runner. She is getting better all the time as she gets older but still can't completely be trusted. I have one of those little animal backpacks with a lead on. She loves the backpack andvi know she is safe. Just ignore them and do what is right for your family.

Incidentally I think American's have a similar attitude. My friend told me her mother was reduced to tears using reins in an airport over there as people kept telling her she was disgusting treating her child like an animal!

ReallyTired England Sun 09-Feb-14 17:27:08

Ignore them. Baby reins are a brilliant invention and are better for your child's fittness than a pushchair. Children often hate baby reins and having some in your bag as a threat for the three year old who constantly runs off is marvellous.

Unless there are special needs most children don't need baby reins after the age of two and half. If a child is constantly strapped in a pushchair they don't learn how to walk nicely.

poorbuthappy Sun 09-Feb-14 17:27:20

Reins were the only reason I could walk my twins outside once they hit 2.

SirChenjin Sun 09-Feb-14 17:27:29

How about "being Swedish does not make you an expert on child rearing. Stick to flat pack furniture and meatballs"?

What I would probably say is "thanks for your suggestions, but I'm using the reins" <repeat as necessary>

Bearfrills Sun 09-Feb-14 17:27:36
CarolineKnappShappey Sun 09-Feb-14 17:28:37

I'm not a massive fan of them, but it's your child, your decision.

And people forget how hard it is to walk with a bolter.

You don't need to engage with them in this, and you won't be using them forever anyway.

SofaKing Sun 09-Feb-14 17:28:44

I stopped using reins on ds2 when he was 2.6 he is now 2.10.

Last Friday he ran in front of a car on the way home from school, was too fast to stop. Thankfully the driver slammed on the brakes so didn't run him over.

He will be on reins until I can trust him near roads, I nearly lost him.

Tailtwister Sun 09-Feb-14 17:30:07

Imo it's better to use reins than have your child run into danger. DS1 was fine, never ran off and could be trusted to hold my hand. DS2 was a different story and had to wear reins for his own safety.

It's got nothing to do with parenting and everything to do with the individual child. I would tell your relatives to mind their own business.

bodygoingsouth Sun 09-Feb-14 17:30:31

show them the details of the Jamie Bulger case.

and tell them to fuck off too.

MothratheMighty Sun 09-Feb-14 17:30:51

There's going to be a lot more parenting advice heading your way over the years, so try and smile understandingly and then do what you think best.

steff13 United States Sun 09-Feb-14 17:30:54

They're pretty controversial here in the US, too. A lot of people look down on those who use them. I've never used them, but I wouldn't have hesitated if I had felt they were necessary. Better to be judged for using them than to have a horrible accident.

Bunbaker Sun 09-Feb-14 17:31:18

"It limits your child's freedom"

Utter nonsense. The alternatives are:

Being strapped into a pushchair
Holding the child's hand so hard when they try to run off that you hurt the child

Or even worse - they run off and end up under a car/bus

We used reins on DD and they were a godsend. For a start OH and I are tall so holding hands wasn't comfortable because we had to stoop. It wouldn't have been comfortable for DD either because she would have been walking with one or both arms in the air all the time and thirdly, we lived on an unmade up road and having the reins saved her from many a scraped knee.

You ILs are idiots.

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