free range parenting
My husband and I are not bad parents, and I am not here to apologize.
“I don't think it should have made it past the hotline," the mother said.
Helicopter Parent, Free Range Parent. These terms are so overused they're as thin as my cotton tee shirts have become. I consider myself on the continuum, somewhere between the extremes of ultra-permissive and overprotective. Somewhere sensible, somewhere kinda in the middle. You know, perfect.
I am always surprised when these parents -- the same ones who are encouraging their children to walk to the park alone, to venture out into the woods, to play without adults around -- say things like "but we always supervise their technology use." Technology. Where even free-range parents seem to stumble.
I do know that my work as a parent is to protect, yes, but also to find ways to push against my kids' boundaries. I want them, after all, to come up with adventures of their own in the years ahead, and feel comfortable selling me on them. That's a version of "free range" I can embrace.
Leaving a child on his own for the first time can make any parent feel a bit anxious. As with many areas of parenting, it requires balancing factors to come to a decision you feel comfortable making.
The debate in the media and around the kitchen table continues to gain momentum. Is free range parenting good or bad for children?
Yes, it is important for your child to test himself against his environment. However, that environment needs to be both age-appropriate and safe. Children also need supervision and they may venture out further if they can turn back and know that there is a significant caretaker nearby.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, the notorious "free range" parents, need to stop battling Child Protective Services and the "parenting police state" for now and start supervising their two young children so they don't lose them.