Oregon Father’s ‘No Shame’ Toddler Leash Picture Goes Viral

Is it wrong to put a toddler on a leash? This is the question that has been asked all around the internet in the last week.

On May 27, a father from Oregon took to his Facebook page for his blog titled No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog to share what is being referred to around the internet as his “no shame” toddler leash picture. The “no shame” toddler leash picture has since gone viral. As of June 4, the picture has received 15,000 reactions, 4,400 shares, and just shy of 4,000 comments.

The father

According to ABC News, Clint Edwards is a 34-year-old father from Oregon. He shared the picture on his Facebook page because he wanted to explain why he utilizes the backpack safety harness – more commonly known as a toddler leash – from time to time. In just shy of a week, thousands and thousands of people reflected on the Oregon father’s explanation for the toddler leash.

“We were at the farmers market. No shame. I put this kid on a leash,” Clint said introducing his “no shame” toddler leash picture. A few days ago, ABC News caught up with Edwards in order to get a little more information about himself, his child, and his decision to use the backpack safety harness.

“I put this kid on leash because I love her, but I’m going to get some backtalk about it and it’s a complicated position to be in. That’s what parents respond to the most is, ‘You’re doing everything you can to keep your kid safe and somehow, somebody’s ready to judge you.'”

Clint proceeded to explain that he is used to just “blowing through” the judgmental backtalk he receives from other parents when he walks around with his toddler on a leash. He, however, admits that what was truly surprising was the number of people who supported his decision.

In addition to his three-year-old daughter Aspen (who was seen on the toddler leash in the picture he shared), Edwards is also the father to a 10-year-old named Tristan and a seven-year-old named Norah. The Oregon father told ABC News that he and his wife purchased the toddler leash last year for Christmas in order to use it when they went on a vacation to Disneyland.

Edwards claimed to be glad they made the decision to purchase and use the toddler leash as his daughter Aspen tried to take a dive into a pond when they were at the “It’s a Small World” ride.

“She’s very curious and not afraid of as much and runs wherever she wants to go. I don’t want to lose her.”

For Clint Edwards, the decision to use a toddler leash and not care what the people around him think about it is a combination of safety and love. He loves his toddler and he never wants anything to happen to her. So, he uses the toddler leash.

The support

To Clint’s surprise, there were thousands of parents who responded to his “no shame” toddler leash picture with compassion and support. These were a combination of parents who either used toddler leashes as well or didn’t/don’t use them, but could completely understand the need to do so.

One Facebook user named Chelly, agreed that nothing was more important than the safety of your child.

“Keeping your kid safe is more important than a**h***s judging because their kid is soooo perfect.”

A second user named Lesley revealed that she had leashed all four of her children – who grew up to be adults with no “scars” left behind by her decision to leash them.

Two children being walked on leashes by their mother
Two kids on leashes [Image By Ruslan Iefremov/ShutterStock]

Some Facebook users even acknowledged that the world is different than it was when they were raising children. A toddler leash required for safety now may have not been something required back a few decades ago. Some of the judgmental parenting could just be parents who don’t understand the parenting requirements of different generations.

“I’m a Grandma of 7 & I never used one on my 3 sons. This is a different world we’re living in & I’d much rather see a child tethered to a backpack any day than lost or abducted.”

The backlash

As Clint predicted when he shared his “no shame” toddler picture on Facebook, there were a handful of individuals who left judgmental and negative comments regarding his decision. To Edwards surprise, the negative comments seemed far and few between the positives. Furthermore, every negative comment was littered with hundreds of replies slamming the original person who left the comment for being so “negative” and judgmental.”

“Putting your child on a leash says a lot about your knowledge of parenting, discipline and unrealistic value of safety parameters and you should be judged.”

The Facebook user who left the comment above has received just shy of 700 replies slamming him for the judgmental comment. In the comment, the user proceeds to talk about how toddlers as young as two begin to understand basic verbal commands and the need to use a toddler leash for safety means the parent isn’t doing his/her job properly.

The general consensus of the replies to this negative comment questioned whether or not the original poster had given any thought to children with special needs or disabilities. Some even discussed how “all children are different.”

A toddler being walked down the street on a leash by his parent
Toddler on a leash [Image By John-Alex]

“Uggggg!! I bet every parent that uses this is a liberal. I had two wild children, 2 out of 5 is not bad.” Another Facebook user started in a very long comment.

“Never would I put my child on a freaking leash. Don’t try to change your child, change your parenting skills! If you can’t control your child at all times, then you’re not the parent you need to be. Change your parenting…. It’s as simple as that…”

This Facebook user – like the first who left a negative comment – blamed the parents for being the reason why the child requires a leash in the first place. As of June 4, there were more than 150 replies mostly slamming the father for being so negative about toddler leashes.

Share your thoughts

The real question is – what do you think about the toddler leash? Do you think parents should share Clint’s belief of “no shame” in putting his child in the safety harness? Or do you think a parent is really to blame for reaching the point of needing to be on a leash? Be sure and let us know what you think in the comment’s section down below.

[Featured Image By John-Alex/ShutterStock]