People on MN aren't. This is one of the MN Perennials and about 99.9% of MNers think there's nothing wrong with them at all and in fact they're a marvellous thing when you've got a bolter.
I personally don't like them. I absolutely cannot tell you why but I limit my opinion to my own choices. I don't judge people who use them in the slightest and rationally I understand them completely. Ditto dummies. They're just not things I would want to use and therefore I don't.
I have always used reins for my DC when they were little.
T people who say it's treating a child like an animal, I take the view that people put leads on their dogs because they love them enough not to want them to dash out into the road and get run over. Why would you take less care of your child than someone would of their dog?
Yes, you can hold hands, but it only takes a second for a child to tug free and dash into the road. Very small children have no concept of road safety and until they develop it, a parent has to take extra care and think for them.
My parents used them when we were small as we were bolters and we travelled a lot so it was a bit of a mare getting us through airports. They frequently went abroad with all three of us and, with a 6ft 7" dad, he coukdnt stoop to hold a hand the whole time and mum's hands were full.
I can't say I'm scarred by the experience and if my son is of the same runaway tendencies I'll be open to using them.
I used them by they were more annoying than anything else once DD discovered she could take her weight of her legs and use them to spin round when she was bored or stop dead when she didn't want to go somewhere!
I think reins are an excellent idea and I plan on using one. It's a mental association of them being used for animals that people cannot get over. Frankly I care more about making it easier to keep my child safe than what others think.
I wish that had worked with my DS when he was a toddler. He was a 'bolter'. he would just suddenly wriggle free and run off. This was aged 2-3 yrs old, and to be honest, there was no reasoning with him. I just HAD to keep him safe at all costs.
I didn't actually use reins in the end, because they didn't work for us either (I was more a 'hold them down and forcibly strap them into the buggy if they don't play ball' type of mum) but reins are so obviously practical and useful for many parents and children, that I can't imagine why people are so against them.
I also find the 'treating them like animals' argument very weak.
I don't understand why people don't like them either. I get on the tube with my DS and I can tell you getting off at say Oxford circus I think they are brilliant. I DO hold hands but have the lead around my wrist too as back up. It's easy enough to lose an adult in busy central London let alone a child whose head becomes lost amongst the sea of legs. A few pushes and shoves and we are easily separated. We don't use a buggy as I think it's far better for children to walk where possible so reins are fab in very busy places.
I had reins for ds1. A true bolter. I was heavily pg and just couldn't catch him. Was the only way I could cope. We don't use them anymore as ds1 has learnt not to run. However he will still on occasion ask to wear the backpack part to take toys around. I think they serve a purpose.