Why does this intrigue me, because it reminded me of those parents who put their kids in harnesses and attach a leash to them like I do when I walk my dog. If you are one of these parents, hopefully you will not take a offense to what I am writing here. There are times when these leashes are necessary. Some children have special needs and it's integral for them to have a little bit of independence while allowing their parents the freedom of not having to carry them everywhere or hold them by their wrists above their heads.
But, to be honest, there are a lot of parents who use this leash method (or the wrist thing) as a way to control their child instead of just teaching them what's acceptable.
This kid with the wrist had obviously been in this position before. Being a first grader he was old enough to know what was appropriate and what wasn't. We as parents, need to teach our kids what's expected, then give them a shot to prove to us that we can rely on them to do it. And, if they don't we remove them from the store or the playground or Disneyland, and they no longer get the opportunity to run around there. We take them back home or to the car or to the hotel room and explain to them (once they've calmed down) why they were removed from the situation, and we don't take them back once they promise they'll listen and "be good", no matter how much they beg.
That's how they learn, not with a leash or with a wrist-grab. Doing that just tells them that Mom or Dad are in control and don't trust me. Once I am released, I will run away again because my only consequence are some harsh words and being tethered again. But I still get to be at the store or the playground or Disneyland.
I already can foresee that I will get a few stink-eyes when it comes to this post. Parents will tell me that their situation doesn't fall into the above categories or that I don't understand, that their circumstances are more severe. And, they may very well be right. There probably are some times when the leash is appropriate. I know that if you have told your child seven times to return to you in the grocery store and they run away from you down aisle three instead, that you may grab their wrist out of frustration. But, the majority of these situations are about controlling our children, instead of teaching them to control themselves.
This is what Safety-Net Parents want...to raise children who can self-monitor so that when they are in situations when Mom or Dad are not around, they will make appropriate choices based on the opportunities they were given early on.
Image courtesy of MorgueFile.com/zabmo