Clint Edwards is a 34-year-old father of three with a light-hearted parenting blog called No Idea What I’m Doing.
Edwards’ father wasn’t in the picture when he was growing up, so when it came time for him to have his own family, he realized that he not only didn’t know what he was doing, but he also didn’t have anyone to look to as an example. So, he took to the online parenting community with his blog and shared his stories of figuring it out as he goes.
On his blog, Edwards admits, “I’m making it up as I go,” and from the looks of it, he’s doing an excellent job!
Recently, however, Edwards took to Facebook to defend a personal parenting practice that was getting some negative feedback both in public and online.
Since last February, Edwards and his wife have decided to start using a child-leash for their 3-year-old daughter, Aspen, while in crowded public spaces.
The toddler–who her father affectionately refers to as his “wild child”–wears the adorable backpack with a tether to keep her mobile yet still in reach of her parents.
The curious little girl often bolts away in order to explore what’s caught her eye, so for the Edwards, this seemed to be the only viable solution.
This is especially true since Aspen is prone to Nursemaid’s Elbow, which is when a toddler’s elbow can be easily dislocated.
So, understandably, Edwards would not want to hold onto her arm because a yank from the girl trying to escape could cause her joint to pop out. Which, the family learned the hard way since it’s happened twice before.
The couple first used the leash with Aspen last February when the family was on vacation at Disney World. Edwards was compelled to post the explanation for his decision on Facebook after receiving snide remarks and judgmental looks from other parents.
On his Facebook post, he assures all onlookers that this is the safest solution.
“I’m keeping this kid safe while maintaining my piece of mind, and that is 100% worth it.”
Edwards and his wife don’t plan on using the leash–more affectionately called a ‘safety string’ by online community members–within six months or so. While this is a period of verbal development for Aspen, they’re hoping that with a little bit of time she’ll grow out of her unpredictable ways and respond better to verbal instructions.
And for other parents out there who are also looking for a way to keep their energetic explorers safe in crowded public spaces, Edwards has this advice to ensure them that using a safety string is the right thing:
“If you see somebody using something like that, it’s for a good reason,” Edwards said. “Don’t make assumptions. I’m their parent; I know this child well enough to know that I need this. So trust us.”