Dad was Dragged Online for Leashing His Quintuplets — but He’s Making No Apologies
Jordan Driskell is aware of how sensitive the topic of “leashing” your children might be, but it’s safe to say that he doesn’t really give a damn. The dad who is a social media influencer and who has 5-year-old quintuplets with his wife Briana gained fame for a video he posted regarding child leashes. Driskell originally shot the video in 2021. But when he decided to reshare the clip, it got a much bigger reaction than expected. In the clip, Driskell is seen strolling outside a local aquarium with his quintuplets — Gavin, Asher, Zoey, Dakota, and Hollyn. But instead of letting them all roam freely around the place, he has them each secured to a child harness with a leash on the back, and holds the other end of all five leashes in his hand.
“When people judge me for using child leashes …,” the video reads.Then, in his caption, Driskell dares them to “come walk a mile in my shoes.” At the time, the video had more than 3 million views. It also garnered hundreds of comments, including those from critics who find the whole thing to be everything from strange to cruel. “They are humans, not dogs,” one person told him.”Don’t have that many kids if you can’t handle the pressure,” another commenter said.“Can’t you just train your children well?” someone else asked. “Explain to them why it’s dangerous to run away?”(To be fair, its unclear whether or not any of those comments came from people with kids themselves.)
Eventually, Driskell spoke out about all of the backlash. During an interview with Today Parents, he defended his choice, and explained that when you have five small kids and only two parents to wrangle them, safety becomes a critical issue. “Kids are so curious — they want to run off and explore,” said Driskell, 31. “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.”
It’s not as if they haven’t tried any alternatives. According to Driskell, he and his wife used to own a six-seat stroller — but it was an absolute beast to maneuver.”It was just too bulky and ridiculous to take anywhere,” he told the outlet. As many large families know, traveling — even if it’s just to the grocery store — comes with its own set of logistics. And at the end of the day, practicality won out.“The other thing is, they want to walk when we go somewhere crowded,” Driskell explained. “A leash gives them the opportunity to do that — but we’re still in control. They love it.”
Haters aside, there are still many people out there who are “pro-leash”. For every negative comment we saw, there were at least a handful of others that were highly supportive of Driskell’s decision. “With five kids, you need that,” wrote one person. “Responsible parenting right here.””I bet the people complaining don’t have that many that young, let alone quintuplets,” added someone else. “I’m all for safety.””Keeping them safe is priority #1, so you’re all good …,” another person chimed in. Plus, they added, “It’s not hurting them in any way.”
“Don’t mind me, just crate training my ‘DOGS,’” he quipped in the caption of one video post, which showed him strolling through Walmart with his kids in a shopping cart. “Where was y’all at when they were putting babies in the trash??” he wrote in another post, alongside a photo of … well, a baby trapped under a literal trash can.
In general, Driskell has been pretty candid about the ups and downs of parenting quintuplets, and shares his story to offer a glimpse into his world. But he’s also expressed frustration over all the unsolicited advice and unfair judgment he’s gotten along the way. “You may not agree [with my parenting] and that’s ok,” he wrote in one post. “But don’t tell me about something you have no clue about!”
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