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Updated Story: Parents Who Let Kids Take a Walk Alone Found Guilty of 'Neglect'​

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2015 at 8:56 AM
  • 11 Replies

Parents Who Let Kids Take a Walk Alone Found Guilty of 'Neglect'​

kids walking

Back in December, Silver Springs, Maryland couple Danielle and Alexander Meitiv allowed their two kids -- 10-year-old son Rafi and 6-year-old daughter Devora -- to walk one mile home from the park without adult supervision. As a result, they've just been found guilty of "usubstantiated child neglect." How awful! 

First off, "unsubstantiated child neglect" means that Child Protective Services will keep a file on the family for at least five years, which complicates what could happen if the kids are caught roaming around town again on their own. So no, the kids aren't being confiscated, thank god, but this is still scary news -- and not just for the Meitivs.

Because let's face it: once kids reach a certain age, many parents are fine sending them down the road to the local 7-11 for a Slurpee, or letting them stroll those few blocks to a nearby park or school. These parents are often pegged as "free range," and sure, not everyone agrees with their principals. Still, it's one thing for parents to differ and debate how much freedom to grant their kids. It's a whole other ball game for the government to step in with criminal proceedings and label these "free range" practices "neglect"!

Because where will this end: Will parents have to stay glued to their kids' sides wherever they go, whatever the age, or else risk getting written up by the CPS? If so, it's bound to create a whole lot of unhappy families. Kids need their freedom, and parents need the freedom to raise their kids however they think is right (within reason, of course).

In any case, it looks like moms may have one more thing to worry about when they send their kids outside. Sigh.

Thoughts?

What's the furthest you let your kids walk on their own?

by on Mar. 4, 2015 at 8:56 AM
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Replies (1-10):
chrlstoncharmed
by Melissa on Mar. 4, 2015 at 10:42 AM

What a sad indication of how times have changed.  When I was a child, the school bus would not pick you up unless you lived further than 2 miles from the school. Everyone else had no choice but to walk or get a ride, but 2-car families weren't all that common in the 70s. No one I knew  ever got a ride to school; we all walked.

mom2jessnky
by on Mar. 4, 2015 at 11:03 AM

This is completely asinine. If I were this family I'd be moving as far away from that moron riddled town as I could.

Reina13
by on Mar. 4, 2015 at 11:15 AM

So stupid. We used to walk or bike everywhere when I was young. It was what everyone did. We have made so many positive strides in so many ways and we have also regressed as a society in other ways. Kids have no sense of independence anymore because of stupid laws and helicopter parents. 

violinjewel
by Julia on Mar. 4, 2015 at 12:28 PM
I agree with all that was said already. If I didn't walk to school as a kid, or the bus stop when I got older, I would have no way to get to school. I better watch out because I have my daughter go out and get the mail from the mailbox that is at the sidewalk of our house. That might be considered to far for a child to walk now...
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darbyakeep45
by Darby on Mar. 4, 2015 at 2:10 PM

 My son can't go anywhere alone.  Period.

chrlstoncharmed
by Melissa on Mar. 4, 2015 at 2:22 PM

That is completely understandable. 

Quoting darbyakeep45:

 My son can't go anywhere alone.  Period.


cocoroo
by on Mar. 6, 2015 at 5:06 AM
I guess I'm guilty of neglect. We had a park separated from our house by a privacy fence and another house. The kids had to walk down our cul de sac and another street to get to it, probably 1/8 mile. But, I let my youngest two go together when they were 5 and 6. My oldest dd was riding her bike all over the place at 9 with her friends and going to the gas station about a mile away to buy snacks. I raise my kids very similar to how I was raised.

I'm so glad we are in Germany now. No one bats an eye when kids are out walking alone. My kids are 12, 14, and 17 now, so it doesn't matter anyway.
cocoroo
by on Mar. 6, 2015 at 5:07 AM
Your situation is obviously very different.

Quoting darbyakeep45:

 My son can't go anywhere alone.  Period.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Mar. 6, 2015 at 6:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh yeah.  Now when I was a child, I went all kinds of places by myself.  It wasn't a big deal then. LOL!

Quoting cocoroo: Your situation is obviously very different.
Quoting darbyakeep45:

 My son can't go anywhere alone.  Period.


mom2jessnky
by on Mar. 6, 2015 at 10:20 AM
1 mom liked this

Me too.  If I was glued to my kids' side 24/7 people would think I was nuts where I live now (and where I've lived before). A kid should be able to go to the park in their neighborhood, if that's not safe, you need to move.  That's the only reason to call CPS right? What the kids were doing wasn't safe, therefore that area is dangerous and people with kids shouldn't live there.

Quoting cocoroo: I guess I'm guilty of neglect. We had a park separated from our house by a privacy fence and another house. The kids had to walk down our cul de sac and another street to get to it, probably 1/8 mile. But, I let my youngest two go together when they were 5 and 6. My oldest dd was riding her bike all over the place at 9 with her friends and going to the gas station about a mile away to buy snacks. I raise my kids very similar to how I was raised. I'm so glad we are in Germany now. No one bats an eye when kids are out walking alone. My kids are 12, 14, and 17 now, so it doesn't matter anyway.


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