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What is free range parenting?

Posted by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 11:39 PM
  • 45 Replies

I read another post that mentioned it.  I had never heard of it before today.

by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 11:39 PM
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hill2
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 11:40 PM

me neither...hmmm curious.

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/free-range-parenting

a link I found guess I am not free range! LOL

 

hepmommy
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 12:06 AM

I'd say that I'm not a "free-ranger" but I'm not a "helicopter" either.  Fortunately, we live in an area that allows them to run around without me having to constantly be on guard and on watch over them.

StephanieSH
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 12:16 AM

There's a book called "Free Range Kids".  It's pretty funny.  There is a broad range of "Free Range Parenting".  You don't have to be like the author and send your nine your old son alone on a subway in New York to be a Free Range Parent.  It's just about stepping back a little and maybe giving your kids a tiny bit more freedom.  The author gives some examples in the book.   She also discusses the likelihood of our fears about our kids coming true.  The author also discusses how we live pretty comfortable lives relatively speaking, so we don't have real things to worry about all the time.  Accordingly, we've taken that energy and thrown it into worrying about things that are unlikely to happen. I wouldn't do everything the author suggests, but the book does help to put some things into perspective.  

mrjjmt
by Member on Jun. 4, 2010 at 12:39 AM

I think being free range is important to your childs development. If you are always hovering over them when will they ever have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and use the knowledge that you have given them. I think you have to look at your area and decide how much free range is safe, but i don't think it is ever a good idea to hover over everything your child does.

rkoloms
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 5:59 AM


Quoting mrjjmt:

I think being free range is important to your childs development. If you are always hovering over them when will they ever have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and use the knowledge that you have given them. I think you have to look at your area and decide how much free range is safe, but i don't think it is ever a good idea to hover over everything your child does.


The child-abductions by strangers don't happen in the subway; they tend to happen in quiet, small towns and suburbs. It only takes 20 seconds for a stranger to snatch a child.

Robin in Chicago

justanotherjen
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 8:46 AM

http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

Free range kids is about letting kids be kids like when we were younger...freedom to explore their world, etc.  It's about learning risk assesment (for parents and kids) and realizing the world isn't as scary as the news makes it out to be.

I'm definitely free-range.  I have a group here for it.  And, yep, my kids play outside all day long while I relax inside or actually get stuff done without them following behind me whining they are bored.  I even live in the big, bad city and feel perfectly safe letting them out.  Right now my 3 are walking themselves to school (last day of 1st, 2nd and 4th grades).  They've been walking alone since March.  Later today they have a class at the park (around the corner from out house) and will walk alone to it and then when they are done I'm letting them go play at the playground (their first time alone).  They don't know it yet, though, it's a surprise.

It's not a willy-nilly decision.  We've been building to this point since they were toddlers.  Giving incrimental freedoms as they became older and more responsible.  Although, they aren't allowed to wander as far as I was at their age (in a much worse, gang heavy neighborhood) they basically have the same life I had as a kid.  I've (or my famliy in general) has lived in this neighborhood, in this house, for the last 21 years.  It hasn't changed that much...new people, same feeling of community and safety as always (not all of Chicago is a hell-hole full of hoodlums on every corner).

bmw29
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 8:53 AM

 I guess I would be more on the free range side even though I have never heard this term besides when talking about chickens. LOL My son walks through the woods to his grandparents house and has been since he was 3. I leave him home when I go to the gas station sometimes and (gasp) he even sits in the car while I run into the gas station. I sit in the car on occasion when we have books to drop off at the library or when we just have books to pick up from behind the counter. He is a very independent and responsible 9 year old. I was a latch key kid by age 7 and I see nothing wrong with that.

We are also homeschoolers. Most people believe that people that homeschool are more of the helicopter type parents but 90% of the ones I know are not in the least overprotective.

eilenej1
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Same here.

Quoting hepmommy:

I'd say that I'm not a "free-ranger" but I'm not a "helicopter" either.  Fortunately, we live in an area that allows them to run around without me having to constantly be on guard and on watch over them.


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babysauce74
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 10:33 AM

I have to agree with rkoloms....free range my butt! I think it depends on the individual child's age, maturity and whether or not they have any disabilities as well.

Quoting rkoloms:


Quoting mrjjmt:

I think being free range is important to your childs development. If you are always hovering over them when will they ever have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and use the knowledge that you have given them. I think you have to look at your area and decide how much free range is safe, but i don't think it is ever a good idea to hover over everything your child does.


The child-abductions by strangers don't happen in the subway; they tend to happen in quiet, small towns and suburbs. It only takes 20 seconds for a stranger to snatch a child.

THANK YOU!!!!


CafeMom Tickers
StephanieSH
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 10:51 AM


Quoting babysauce74:

I have to agree with rkoloms....free range my butt! I think it depends on the individual child's age, maturity and whether or not they have any disabilities as well.

Quoting rkoloms:

 

Quoting mrjjmt:

I think being free range is important to your childs development. If you are always hovering over them when will they ever have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and use the knowledge that you have given them. I think you have to look at your area and decide how much free range is safe, but i don't think it is ever a good idea to hover over everything your child does.


The child-abductions by strangers don't happen in the subway; they tend to happen in quiet, small towns and suburbs. It only takes 20 seconds for a stranger to snatch a child.

THANK YOU!!!!

 

Well, of course.  I think the book is worth a read.  It might not change anyone's mind but it certainly helped to put risks into perspective.

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