“Leads are for dogs not people”
Actually, I disagree. The sight of a child straining at the leash while their mother gossips 4 feet above them is an awful one. But there are times and places in which a set of toddler reins is a splendid piece of equipment.
There is a stage when a child begins to learn about traffic. They are fascinated by cars (*point*), lorries (*point*), buses (*point*), vans (*point*), motorcycles (*point*) and aeroplanes (oh no, sorry, that’s something else). They learn from their parents’ verbal and non-verbal cues that roads are things to be treated with caution, and that the pavement is the safe place to be.
There is also a stage when a child learns to walk – wobbly at first, and delighting in their growing balance and confidence.
Some people’s children encounter these stages in the convenient order. Others learn to walk before they understand roads. For these children, wearing reins by the roadside gives them the freedom to walk along and the parent the ability to stop them falling into the path of an oncoming juggernaut. Reins can be slack at all times except when disaster actually looms.
Cliff tops and river banks are similarly good rein places. A child can investigate without actually falling 150 feet.