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AIBU to wonder what is actually wrong with using reins on a child?

(265 Posts)
FancyRutabaga Fri 19-Jun-20 11:53:21

When I had my PFB, I was very anti-reins, but now I can't actually remember why. I remember reading on here about people tutting at the sight of them,comments about how children aren't dogs etc

We had a very different set up with number, we lived in an isolated cul de sac with wide footpaths and bridleways, and it was a lot safer for PFB to roam free.

Now, with my current toddler, we live in a village with narrow cobbly streets and quite a lot of agricultural machinery pounding through regularly. She is also a slippery handed bolter,which sensible PFB was not. She is good at holding hands, but there's a few areas where she could have some independence but would need to be within grabbing distance, if that makes sense.

I've been given a little backpack with reins attached, and she has been a happier child since we started using it on our (now much more peaceful) walks.

I just can't see a problem to be honest. I remember seeing arguments about reins going on for pages, but now I look at her able to explore her environment whilst being safe, and I genuinely can't see what the issue was or why I was ever so against the idea

OP’s posts: |
Thelnebriati Fri 19-Jun-20 11:59:13

I used reins and ignored the comments. As well as randomly bolting DS1 was dyspraxic, and I lost count of the number of times I managed to stop him faceplanting the pavement. When he fell he would ragdoll - he didn't used to put his hands out to catch himself at all.
But I did used to get people literally shouting at me in the street, usually that I was treating my child like a dog. I also had well meaning friends taking me to one side to have a word.

Iwalkinmyclothing Fri 19-Jun-20 11:59:53

I used reins with all my dc (born 2006, 2009 and 2014). I don't like the wrist strap things but reins are brilliant. I remember some people wittering on about them being like putting a dog on a lead and I thought that was a silly way to look at it. Ime, they allow you to ensure your dc don't disappear or run into roads and other dangerous places and often to stop them falling over. They don't hurt unless you misuse them (and then the problem is you, not the reins) and they aren't undignified.

But perhaps others are perfect parents of perfect children who walk everywhere calmly, follow all instructions fully and immediately and hold hands beautifully without ever seeking to wriggle away, who knows.

DustyMaiden Fri 19-Jun-20 11:59:56

I’ve always been pro reins. I know lots of people don’t like them. I think they are are even more important now as so many are distracted by their phones.

Spidey66 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:00:02

Not a parent, but I think they're useful. Toddlers surely like to feel 'grown up' and walk but I imagine it only takes a second for them to dart out into traffic or worse.

I'm in my 50s and I remember them being used for my younger sister/cousins. I also remember there being a comeback after the murder of James Bulger.

MinorArcana Fri 19-Jun-20 12:01:37

I don’t think there’s any problem with them at all.

I’ve used reins for all 3 DC, and never had any negative comments about it.

2Kidsinatrenchcoat Fri 19-Jun-20 12:03:41

Because people are snobs and enjoy feeling better than other people, basically.

I was anti-reins pre-kids (because my mum is a snob!) but then had kids and understood. The people who judge usually have well behaved neurotypical children and don’t realise that some children just won’t stand nicely holding your hand and there’s very little that can be done about it. Didn’t help that my child also has sensory issues so couldn’t actually cope with wearing reins, he did eventually grow out of running off though luckily!

LightTheFlameThrower Fri 19-Jun-20 12:03:45

I used them with both of mine. I am very pro reins they keep children safe.

Spidey66 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:04:04

Also as for the 'dog' argument....i use a lead for my dog because she's got no road sense either, and will likely run after a squirrel or a cat. Saves accidents. Yes it's similar but for good reason.

TheFaerieQueene Fri 19-Jun-20 12:04:05

I used reins with my DS, who was also a bolter. I used the wrist type. It was in the 1990’s though and I’m not sure there was any stigma then. If there was, I could give a damn.

KingOfDogShite Fri 19-Jun-20 12:04:16

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using reins.

toomanyplants Fri 19-Jun-20 12:04:26

I used reins with mine, the backpack type ones were great, never had any negative comments.

TinySleepThief Fri 19-Jun-20 12:05:58

Very pro reins here. Only ignorant people think they are inappropriate to use with children.

I also never undestood the comparison to being on a lead. You put a dog on a lead to keep it safe so what's wrong with doing the same to a child and wanting to keep them safe. People who say such silly things make it seem like a dogs safety is more important than a child's . hmm

cologne4711 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:07:18

Pro reins too.

It's fine to be smug until your child runs off!

IsMiseMorag Fri 19-Jun-20 12:07:31

Unless you can train your toddler to recall immediately and unquestioningly for a tiny piece of ham, it would seem to make a lot more sense to put reins on them.

Bluewavescrashing Fri 19-Jun-20 12:08:00

We had the cute rucksack ones from Little Life. Very useful on a cross channel ferry!

x2boys Fri 19-Jun-20 12:08:29

I didn't use reins but I don't have a problem with them, lots of parents of disabled children use them particularly of their child is a,bolter better a child on reins than a seriously injured or worse .

SimonJT Fri 19-Jun-20 12:08:47

Reins are great, when my son was 18 months old he had a similar intelligence level to a dog and similar compulsion control, eg no compulsion control!

I wonder how many people in the “dogs should be on leads 100% of the time” are also in the anti reins camp.

Sweetbabycheezits Fri 19-Jun-20 12:08:57

I was pro-reins, and never had a negative comment. My DS preferred walking to being in the pushchair, but he was also a bolter. My DD always stayed close, so I never needed them with her.
I also thought that it was a bit uncomfortable for him to be holding his arm up for so long holding my hand, so reins made more sense.

Immigrantsong Fri 19-Jun-20 12:09:32

OP there is nothing wrong with reins. There are many things wrong with people that judge them. Fuck them and do what's right for you. You will be judged regardless as a mum, so might as well do things your way.

Chicchicchicchiclana Fri 19-Jun-20 12:09:42

Nothing at all wrong with reins. Only the terminally stupid unimaginative have a problem with them.

icedaisy Fri 19-Jun-20 12:10:22

Pro reins. She puts them on and crys if I forget.

Dangerous busy farm yard, loads of stones and uneven paths.

I can tuck them in if we get into a field but she usually gives me them back.

MissFlite Fri 19-Jun-20 12:10:25

I used reins with my DC, the old fashioned kind, then the backpack, and never heard a single comment. I couldn't give a stuff anyway.
Far better than having them bolt in the road, surely.

If anyone needs judging it's the parents I see everyday walking on narrow pavements next to busy roads with toddlers trailing 10 feet behind.

MattBerrysHair Fri 19-Jun-20 12:10:32

I don't see a problem with reins at all. I was lucky in that my DS's weren't bolsters so didn't need to use them. My nephews are the absolute opposite and dsis had to use them to stop them running out in front of traffic. I really don't see how wanting to keep your DC safe by using reins is a bad thing.

vanillandhoney Fri 19-Jun-20 12:11:04

To be fair, toddlers are quite similar to dogs when it comes to road sense grin My dog would bolt in a road, so he's on a lead for his safety. If your toddler is prone to bolting, then they need to be kept safe too. If reins work better than holding hands, what's the problem?

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