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To keep using reins even though DH is against it

297 replies

Suntrapped · 25/06/2017 12:55

For background I'm a SAHM.

DD seems more excitable/hyperactive than other toddlers her age. Eg she always runs instead of walking and runs off. In parks she is the one racing round the perimeter or trying to climb over the fence, while my friends' toddlers potter happily nearby.

I use reins as I'm terrified she'll run into the road or out of sight. She doesn't come back when called. Only time she's off reins is the park, at child-friendly places like farms or if DH and I are both with her. Recently he insisted we start letting her off reins so she gets used to it. Yet she won't hold hands for long. She ran off in the street (pedestrian zone luckily) and tripped up a lady before DH could catch her (not the first time she's tripped people up as she darts in front of their feet.

DH thinks it's bad for her self esteem and development to be on reins 'like a dog' and she needs to learn to behave without them. He thinks she's too old for them.

What do you think? Please be honest

OP posts:
WaahImTellingTheDorchester · 25/06/2017 13:25

Yes to what previous posters have said. My first thought was this poster (just did quick search) - MrsPresley. I remember that she always used to post on reins threads but I've not seen her for a while. Her posts are easy to search but I'll c&p one here. Get your DH to read it, OP.


I'm the poster mentioned a couple of times up there^^

My DS was hit by a car and died because his dad didn't put his reins on him (or his twin sister), he was in a hurry and thought for a short journey it wouldn't matter.

Well we all found out, in the worst way possible that it does matter, it only takes a minute to put them on, and it took less than a minute for my DS to end up under a car, while ExDH was distracted by DD.

Please please always use reins, no matter how short your journey, if you are near a road then put them on.

Believe me when I say you really don't want the life I have had for the past 28 years, I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

Even though I had another 3 children, there is a huge emptiness that will never be filled.

And thank you to the posters who have remembered me, hopefully on the next "reins" thread there will be some more parents who will remember me and please keep telling people how important reins can be smile

Oh and if anyone says it's like putting them on a lead like a dog, well, would you let your dog run about the streets without a lead.


Just so sad.
I think, OP, that this is one of those situations where maybe you could come in and say that as the SAHP you're in a better position to judge the need for this. Your DH does not get to overrule you here, and if he's got any respect for you and the job you currently do with your DC, he'll use reins for as long as you think them necessary when he's out with your DD too.

Deploycharitygoats · 25/06/2017 13:25

DS is 2.5, and if you say "hold my hand and walk nicely while we cross the road" he will nod and say "don't want to get squished and hurt." So you could say he understands. But when a gust of wind blew his hat off, his immediate response was to try and dive into the road to get it. That's why I use reins, because he won't be able to put safety before impulse until he's older.

Queenofthestress · 25/06/2017 13:26

Jesus Christ, she's not even 2 yet, she doesn't understand the concept of spacial awareness or anything else PP have posted, either reigns as a backup or a toddler backpack is almost essential when you've got a kid that runs everywhere, safety over self esteem any day!

cricketqueen · 25/06/2017 13:26

I had to use reins with my d's up until about 4 months ago (she's 2.5). She was exactly the same, she once tried to run across a road cause there was a dog at the other side and she likes dogs. I used them as sort of a back up so if she wrestled herself out of my grip I could stop her running off. She will learn to walk nicely next to you but obviously she's not there yet. It's for safety nothing else, it's not like she will be on them when she's 18 is it...

MissMarpleSparkles · 25/06/2017 13:27

Little children don't have good impulse control at this stage of life. If she is a bolter, or - casuing others to fall over, WTF- then of course reins are a good idea.

My DS had reins until he was 4. Because he was a bolter and bloody fast. Turns out he also had other developmental issues that made him being under my control for a little while longer than average to be a very good idea.

Use reins for as long as you need. It's basic safety, not an indictment on her abilities to understand or an attempt to rock her self esteem.

megletthesecond · 25/06/2017 13:28


creepymumweirdo · 25/06/2017 13:28

Another advocate for reins as a back up.

DS is nearly two. He has a little backpack with reins attached. We put his favourite things in it for our trip out and he likes to carry is around. I loop the reins around my wrist and insist he hold my hand as he would have to if he weren't wearing reins. Then if he slips me and make a break for it I don't panic, can tell him calmly to come back and hold my hand.

He's learning and is much better than he used to be. He too seems to be more mental determined and energetic than lots of his peers. It's bloody exhausting. Sometimes ideal parenting goes out of the window in favour of stoping him killing himself and me losing my shit.

If you're a SAHP and your OH is working all week he might have more sympathy for your POV if he spent more time trying in your shoes.


WaahImTellingTheDorchester · 25/06/2017 13:29

By the way if MrsPresley is still around I hope you don't mind my 'taking your posts in vain' so to speak.

Your story always stuck with me. A life gone, a marriage and a family destroyed, your ExH's torment. All for one split second decision :(

RedPeppers · 25/06/2017 13:31

First role as a parentbis to keep your child safe. The to keep other people around safe.
It's clearly not ossible to do wo them and he isn't more able than you at managing your DC so that she is in danger or a danger to others.

She is more lively than others, she will learn to control her impulses with time.

Fwiw my mum used reins until I was much older than your. I only know because she told me (and told me about the scare I gave her!). I have no recollection and certainly don't have any self esteem issues!

What IS worth doing is to teach her to hold your hand etc... even though you're u are using the reins so she starts learning about staying near you, holding hand step.. whilst being kept safe by the reins iyswim

Goingtobeawesome · 25/06/2017 13:31

I heard that it seemed kids were treated as dogs when on leads and I said it a couple of times. Dick. Then I had children. We used reins. I didn't tell my child to heel, sit, do your wees, so therefore child on reins is not equalling a dog. But better doggy than dead.

ALemonyPea · 25/06/2017 13:31

Your husband is being ridiculous. Reins are essential if you have a child that can't understand the rules of the road.

Yolannnda · 25/06/2017 13:31

I know its not a popular opinion but I agree to an extent and I really dislike reins and seeing children on them in open/safe places because it makes it easier for their parents. I am not saying you are one of them OP but the amount of parents I see in open safe areas holding their children back on reins to stop them running around and enjoying themselves!

I also think children have to learn to hold a hand and they will not learn this if kept on reins, obviously if she is prone to running off the reins are probably necessary by the road.

mygrandchildrenrock · 25/06/2017 13:31

You only have to witness one child almost being run over to wish more parents would use reins.
If children don't like using them, I always say 'let's pop your reins on to help keep you safe' rather than using them as a punishment which some parents do.

HildaOg · 25/06/2017 13:31

I had to use reins on mine until she was about three because she used to bolt so quickly, it was physically impossible to catch her immediately. I couldn't let relatives mind her either because she'd always come back with black eyes or other injuries from climbing and falling because they couldn't understand you had to move like lightening with her.

Better reined than seriously injured or dead. There'll come a point where she'll understand the dangers of cars and stop at the path because she knows that to do otherwise is to be run over. She's too young to understand that now and she's a bolter, you have to raise the child you have and protect her by using precautions shaped by her individual needs.

Your husband is being very unreasonable and putting his personal distaste above her personal safety.

NoSquirrels · 25/06/2017 13:32

While they are small and impulsive, and somewhere they could get injured or worst, killed, reins are an appropriate safety measure.

They don't take the place of teaching them about holding hands, or behaviour around cars or in crowds, but they are an aid to it. And YY to the stop/go game, that's really great for allowing them some freedom but teaching them about obeying orders too.

If I'd objected to my CM using reins on DC, she'd have stopped minding her and terminated the contract. Because health and safety concerns would have meant she was knowingly letting a child be unsafe in her care. If it's good enough for other people's children, it's good enough for you own DC, surely?

I have one who's much more impulsive than the other, but even the calmer SC can make a bad decision over a dropped toy in the road etc. At 2, your DC is too small to take the risk.

AlternativeTentacle · 25/06/2017 13:33

It's like she sees a puddle or a cat and just runs to it without looking around her or stopping to think.

She will do. Because she is very little. That is why they invented reins.

Your husband is being stupid. You will know when she is ready to follow instructions when out and about.

RedPeppers · 25/06/2017 13:34

Btw I agree, your dd is NORMAL.
It's thinking that a child that is less than 2yo has enough understanding and self control to not run on the road that isnt sorry.

n0rtherrn · 25/06/2017 13:34

Only on mumsnet have I ever heard anyone say they refuse to use them or are a bad idea or compare them to dog leads.

In the real world most people keep their children safe and that means reins or a stroller if they can't yet understand the need to stay close and hold hands.

I used reins for my daughter from starting to walk (about 13 months) till she was about 2 and a half. She was wild. Always ran off. Wouldn't hold hands. Went to close to kerbs. We were constantly grabbing her, chasing her and restraining her in the stroller of the reins weren't used.

Now at 3 and a half she will always hold hands, not run off and stays away from roads. It just comes with age I think. If she reverted back to running away etc I wouldn't hesitate to use reins again until she got the message.

A kid on reins is better than one squashed under a car IMO.

Louiselouie0890 · 25/06/2017 13:35

I wonder if he'd think the same if God forbid something happened to your child. Wonder who he'd be quick to blame. Your looking after your daughter being responsible tell him that's more important.

limestrawberry · 25/06/2017 13:36

I hardly ever see reins.

C8H10N4O2 · 25/06/2017 13:36

Ask DH how often he sees adults wearing reins or even children at school - they grow out of this stage.

If reins get you through the mobile and brainless stage then use them and don't worry about what others think.

MatildaTheCat · 25/06/2017 13:37

Do babies under the age of 2 even have self esteem issues with reins? Or car seats, bibs, stair gates, nappies or buggies?

I just can't see any possible reason to not use reins in the situation you describe. Might be different if she was 12 but for now carry on and do the right thing.

WeAllHaveWings · 25/06/2017 13:44

I agree with your dh, she needs to start learning to calm down and behave appropriately.

Yet she won't hold hands for long - make it non negotiable, if she is not holding hand you don't move. Tell your friends to walk on and you and dd will catch up when dd holds you hand. This includes anywhere near a road, or pedestrian areas where she might disappear out of sight. Once she get used to consistent boundaries and following through she should tantrum less.

PlugUgly1980 · 25/06/2017 13:47

I use reins when walking near roads or busy areas with my 3.5 year old. She has the back pack reins, but I never just use the reins, we always hold hands. The reins are a back up for the few occasions she's been that way out and managed to slip my hand or I've been distracted by 18 month old DS. I'm not sure fully understands road safety yet, and would wander off given half a chance.

specialsubject · 25/06/2017 13:48

She is two . she is a mobile baby with no sense, logic or understanding of danger.

Put the reins on.

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