Bringing Up Kids: Why Parents Should Have the Freedom to Choose

Parenting in today’s world can be challenging, especially with the constant scrutiny that comes from not just family members, but also from complete strangers online. Jordan Driskell, a 31-year-old father, knows this all too well.

He has five quintuplets, all five years old, and it’s no easy task raising five children who are the same age. Their curiosity and love for exploration can sometimes lead to stressful situations, especially when out in public.

To tackle this challenge, Driskell came up with a unique solution. He purchased leashes specifically designed for children to keep his energetic bunch in check while they are out and about. This not only ensures their safety but also allows them to freely explore their surroundings under their father’s watchful eye.

In the past, the Driskell family used a stroller with six seats, but the kids would often get restless and bored inside. Taking the stroller anywhere became a hassle, and it didn’t provide the same level of freedom for the children. With the leashes, the family can now enjoy outings without sacrificing the children’s need for movement and exploration.

However, when Driskell shared a video of their trip to the aquarium, he faced an unexpected backlash from critics. The video went viral, attracting over 3 million views and numerous negative comments. Some people argued that kids shouldn’t be put on leashes because they are not animals. Others questioned the father’s ability to handle the pressure of raising five children.

But parenting and adolescent development specialist, Dr. Deborah Gilboa, offers a different perspective. She believes that using a leash for young children, particularly those with neurological differences, is a great way to ensure their safety in public spaces. Dr. Gilboa points out that a leash doesn’t make a child feel like an animal; rather, it provides an effective means of control for parents who want to give their kids the freedom to explore without compromising their safety.

Of course, Dr. Gilboa acknowledges that by the ages of eight or nine, neurotypical children should have developed enough independence and listening skills to navigate public spaces without the need for a leash. At that point, parents should be able to communicate verbally with their children, without relying on devices like leashes.

Parenting is a deeply personal journey, and every parent should have the freedom to choose the methods that work best for them and their children. Unnecessary judgment from society only adds to the challenges parents already face. So, what do you think about children on leashes in public? Let us know in the comments below and share this article with friends and family to hear their thoughts too!