Have you heard of Free-Range Mommies? Do you agree or disagree with their beliefs?
Free-Range Mommies allow their children to walk to places unattended. If you agree, at what age do you feel this would be appropriated? People are loosing their teenage children over this.
From what I've heard of it they're not even talking about teenagers most of the time. They're talking about - like - nine-year-olds or younger. In any case, I don't think much of it because most of the time when people start to adhere to some "latest line of parenting", it's because they, the adults, themselves, have the either/or thinking that people are supposed to grow past once they become parents.
People need to use common sense and be willing/able to face the reality that a young kid out walking alone isn't the wisest thing (in most instances). True, there's a good chance the child (and zillions like him) will be OK, but the "nothing-bad-will-happen" thinking that some people are too insecure or stupid to out-grown (when protecting a child is required) means that all won't be OK for all children - and it's too late when some sick freak singles out YOUR child.
This is not the 1950's, and most of America isn't much like 1950's/1960's television anyway.
It's not convenient to aim to give a child freedom and independence, and it takes some thinking things out. It's less convenient to try to do the same for, say, a few children. One almost has to take things situation-by-situation and then factor in any differences from daily situation to daily situation, and then factor in, too, the individual child and age of each child. (Like, is a five-year-old walking on a quiet, suburban, street to the house across the street as his mother watches until he gets to his friend's house (where the mother there can be trusted to watch the children; or is a ten-year-old walking on either a wooded area of road or else around a downtown area where there's lots of opportunity for him to encounter bad stuff (including traffic, by the way).
In any case, it's not a matter of either/or - either someone suffocates a child and tries to stop him from all children's natural tendency to want independence (at the right time) OR someone just doesn't watch/protect the child and hopes for the best. It's not even just concerns about sicko freaks. It's all kinds of things. And it's not even just about walking alone. A couple of kids together can think up some pretty dangerous stuff to do.
Parents need to a) be grown-ups, b) think like grown-ups, c) protect their children, d) have some common sense, and e) figure out (sometimes creatively) how to let children grow and gain increasing age-/development- appropriate independence.
We are obsessing over fear of kidnapping and molestation, and it is to an irrational degree. And it is hurting kids to never be allowed outside without supervision.
Free-range is how the Boomers grew up, and they are mostly fine. Kids should have more freedom.
What if the opponents of free range parents are right about how dangerous it is? If the streets are truly that dangerous, adults need to make them safe again for everyone's sake, not keep the kids that close at all times.
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