When out and about with his 5-year-old quintuplets, one dad was seriously dad-shamed for using a child leash with his kids.
Jordan Driskell received backlash online after he shared a video of the quintuplets using a leash during a visit to an aquarium. Driskell initially posted the video last year, but it recently started going viral with millions of views and counting.
Driskell and his wife, Briana, share Zoey, Dakota, Hollyn, Asher, and Gavin. With five kids and just two parents, it's clear to see why being outnumbered so much would be cause for concern when one parent is on a solo outing with the kids.
“Kids are so curious—they want to run off and explore,” Driskell told TODAY Parents. “For our own peace of mind and sanity, we use a leash. It also allows us to leave the house and do fun stuff as a family without being stressed."
A lot of people shared their strong feelings about the toddler leash being used for Driskell's kids:
“They are humans not dogs.”
“That’s messed up. If you can’t handle that many children don’t get them in the first place.”
“Don’t have that many kids if you can’t handle the pressure.”
“Can’t you just train your children well? Explain to them why it’s dangerous to run away?”
Are they rescues?
On the other hand, there were also plenty of parents who totally understand why he'd use the toddler leash for all of his kids. Honestly, anyone who's had a toddler or young child knows how quickly those curious (and stubborn) kids can bolt away from you. It's like they have a sixth sense when it comes to placing themselves directly in the line of danger in the blink of an eye!
Is a child leash safe?
There's limited data on toddler leashes and child leashes in regard to safety. This doesn't mean that child leashes are bad for children, however," Ben Hoffman, a pediatrician and chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention, tells Slate.
If the kids are safe and happy, this is one of those instances where abiding by the whole "do what works for you and your family" is probably the best response. (Personally speaking, I only have one toddler at the moment—I've raised two total—and I am now placing a child leash in my Amazon shopping cart after she took off into a very busy street over the weekend. For context, I am in a walking boot and can't run after her as quickly as I'd like to, and she had just been sitting and contentedly eating before bolting from her chair in the span of half a second.)
While Driskell says the family once had a 6-seat stroller, it's not easy keeping five 5-year-olds buckled into a stroller, not to mention pushing them around.
“It was just too bulky and ridiculous to take anywhere,” he told TODAY Parents. “The other thing is, they want to walk when we go somewhere crowded. A leash gives them the opportunity to do that—but we’re still in control. They love it."