Free Range Parenting

So much yes to this - just read Free Range Parenting and that book quotes the same type of data - “The odds that a child will be abducted by a stranger — one of the fears that motivates constant supervision — are tiny in comparison with the odds that a child will be injured in a car accident. Yet parents aren’t under investigation for choosing to drive their kids to school.”

Link to Article

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Society as a whole shake their heads on kids roaming free. A while back a couple in Maryland have cops took their kids away because they let kids walk home from schools. So even I believe in free range parenting, I will get hassled or even sued for trying.

There’s always going to be moralizing about how the kids are raised. I think it serves to assuage the personal guilt/ insecurities held inside. If it’s not too little parent involvement, then it’s too much, on and on. Moms are the prime targets and they are perpetrators too.

I can also see about the “liability” effect mentioned in the interview, which adds another dimension.


This is the dumb crap that happens when people freak out and judge other parents - I’m sure these kinds were perfectly fine…

Or worse, letting their kids drive themselves…anywhere.

You should see the reactions I get when I mention that we should raise the driving age to 18 as we’re not an agrarian society and teenagers don’t have to drive to town for farm supplies anymore.

Auto accidents are a leading cause of death amongs 16 to 25 year olds. And yet, we still give them car keys. For “kicks”. And, we’ve dropped driver’s ed from school curricula.

Before you react, look in the face of the next 16 year old you see and tell me if they are mature enough to pilot a car or truck on public thoroughfares.

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And the kids are almost 10 years old…

This is the Maryland couple who got in trouble for letting their kids walk 2 blocks back to home from the park:

And these parents are not some dopes on welfare. They have PhD’s! Just that they immigrated from another country that doesn’t think locking up the kids is a good idea.

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Always be familiar with foreign laws and culture. Is the main reason why I stay at home when I came here. My son is only 4 years old. Childcare is too expensive for me then.

Of course, back home I walk to and fro to schools since 9.

So sad. We travelled to Chicago last month, and I reminded myself that it is illegal to leave my 12 year old–you know, the one who travels to SF for school on public transportation by himself half the time–home alone until he’s 14.

Of course, he’d be safer home alone than on public transportation too, but as the author points out–reasons matter to people.

“I’m not going to risk my kids being snatched again by CPS,” Danielle Meitiv said. “If they had let our kids go home, they would have been in bed two hours ago.”

That is horrible, that the parents weren’t notified until several hours later. Kind of defeats the purpose of living in a “safe” suburb (Silver Spring is supposed to be nice, IIRC). Don’t think this would have been an issue if more neighbors knew or looked out for each other.

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Totally agree. Frankly, CPS is the biggest kidnapper in the US. Yes, some kids are abused and need rescuing, but many kids from good homes get kidnapped by CPS, judges get lied to, and the kids are sometimes abused and raped while in CPS’s care.

So yeah, I guess that’s a good argument for keeping close tabs on kids nowadays.

Or didn’t use CPS to get back at other parents?

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What’s the law for California? My kids are still small. And being in SF I guess I can instacart pretty much anything. Just curious do I need to babysit them until like 13?

Come to think about it, what happened to the parents in the movie “Home Alone”? Did they go to jail?

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We did that here too. Right in SF and the SF suburbs when I was a kid. Before everyone got so freaky that agoraphobia became commonplace.

I walked to and from school about 1/2 mile and four very long blocks from my house from first through 8th grades. Of course, I didn’t walk alone. I walked with other kids.

They can still do it today. At virtually no risk. But put on your flameproof suit if you suggest it.

There is no official law in CA–it’s left up to the common sense of the parents. Of course, that is in the eye of the beholder. I will not post what I’ve been doing publicly, but I personally believe that it depends on the kid(s), the situation, the amount of time, and what resources (ie neighbors) they have nearby.

Frankly, leaving a 14 year old and a 16 year old who get into fist-fights together is worse to me than leaving kids who are 5 and 9 but who get along fabulously. For me, internal safety has always been the biggest issue. If there is any chance of two kids fighting which might accidentally result in an injury, I take one or both with me. If someone doesn’t have the common sense to not turn on the stove/oven/ or tries to cut veggies unsupervised with a knife or opens the door for a stranger, I take them with me until they understand that they aren’t allowed to do these things. If a kid is likely to go out wandering outside the house on their own, I take them with me.

If the kid will be right where I left him watching tv or playing with legos, and they’re comfortable alone, I don’t mind
leaving them for a bit, especially if the neighbors are home. The age for that varies so much with the kid!