What is everybody's take on the use of harnesses in teaching children? I know there are some proponents out there, and there are definitely some pretty strong detractors as well.
I happen to fall into the detractor category. I just see so many down sides to a harness, and such little up side. Parents using harnesses are almost invariably tugging hard on the harness the whole time, holding their child back from going too fast. This means it is almost impossible for the kid to be in anything approaching a decent stance, not while they have their hips being tugged uphill the whole time. It also means that the kid isn't able to actually control their speed on that terrain, so if the parent should lose grip on the harness, that kid is going flying with no way to stop themselves. It isn't about teaching the kid anything, its about "skiing 'x' trail". Not to mention the parent/child connected by harness straps makes for a pretty big target for an out of control skier. That skier gets caught in the harness, all of a sudden you have a parent, small child, and another person all tangled up and tumbling downhill. Overall a bad situation. I just think a harnesses the way they are utilized is a safety concern, and doesn't actually teach a child anything worthwhile that can't be better taught without a harness and with a little more patience.
Harnesses. Love them? Hate them? Don't care either way?