T Nation

Free Range Parenting


#1

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/%e2%80%98free-range%e2%80%99-family-again-at-center-of-debate-after-police-pick-up-children/ar-AAaWrUm

I can't believe there's actually a name for this sort of thing now.

I was born in '79 and grew up in the 80's and early 90's when we roamed in packs, didn't wear helmets, and knew it was time to come home when the street lights came on, and all that good stuff.

What's your opinion? I got two, a toddler and an infant. By a certain age I want to give them reasonable space and freedom to roam and play. Rules and boundaries, of course.

But is it me, or do all the empty streets and yards kinda seem weird?


#2

pg. 12


#3

Had to steal this one from you

“Despite what Law and Order SVU portrays, there aren’t child rapists on every street corner. The unsubstantiated fear in this country is out of hand.
Side note: We wonder why kids live with their parents until they’re 40, but we can’t let a 10 year old walk with his sister without supervision for 15 minutes…”

Waiting for somebody to post statistics on child rapists per sq mile and a psychology report on the decision making abilities of 10 year old children.


#4

Depends on where you live and the kids in question.


#5

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
Depends on where you live and the kids in question.
[/quote]

Exactly.

That being said, the fear of children being attacked is greatly overblown. I blame media for this. It’s very easy to be scared for your children when you see a bunch of news reports that show child abduction/rapes/etc. You lose sight of the fact that this is occurring on a very small scale overall.

That being said… I don’t think this is so much an issue of over-protectiveness as it is about people just being judgmental. All of these children have been reported to the police through neighbors, and CHP has no choice but to respond to each and every of them as though they’re serious cases.


#6

[quote]alpha_mike wrote:
Had to steal this one from you

“Despite what Law and Order SVU portrays, there aren’t child rapists on every street corner. The unsubstantiated fear in this country is out of hand.
Side note: We wonder why kids live with their parents until they’re 40, but we can’t let a 10 year old walk with his sister without supervision for 15 minutes…”

Waiting for somebody to post statistics on child rapists per sq mile and a psychology report on the decision making abilities of 10 year old children.[/quote]

Depends on where you are

This report did bring up some interesting issues with respect to where these people (pedophiles) are able to reside if they’re banned from being X number of miles/feet from schools and that distance is subject to change, or new playgorunds/schools built. Not trying to be an apologist, but it does seem to me that when released they do need to be managed in an effective manner. Simply saying fuck them isn’t going to deal with this issue.

If there is some intrinsic (something that happened at a young age) or genetic component to it, that makes it pretty awful. I’ve heard before that sex offenders were often previously victims of another perpetrator, pretty vicious cycle.

Also I remember this case


15 year old streaks at a football game and the school says that he can be charged and labelled as a sex offender. Ends up offing himself. Pretty awful story from something that was novel when we were younger.


#7

Here’s a funny and strange story


Adults aren’t allowed at a park unless you have a child with you. Anyone heard of this before?


#8

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#9

I have been trying to say something to this article all week, but I am stumped. We have parents refusing to vaccinate their kids while other are being found responsible for ?unsubstantiated neglect? (what the fuck does that mean to the real world anyways?). I don’t even have kids and this pisses me off.


#10

Stories like Stand By Me, It, The Outsiders, and even a movie like the freaking Goonies must look so weird to children today.


#11

[quote]Stoney56 wrote:
Stories like Stand By Me, It, The Outsiders, and even a movie like the freaking Goonies must look so weird to children today.[/quote]

Good point, they should probably be banned or have chaperones CGI’d into all the scenes.


#12

[quote]TheKraken wrote:
I have been trying to say something to this article all week, but I am stumped. We have parents refusing to vaccinate their kids while other are being found responsible for ?unsubstantiated neglect? (what the fuck does that mean to the real world anyways?). I don’t even have kids and this pisses me off. [/quote]

I think this is what happens when hippie liberals meet progressive liberals. I’m curious to see how it turns out.


#13

[quote]alpha_mike wrote:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/‘free-range’-family-again-at-center-of-debate-after-police-pick-up-children/ar-AAaWrUm

I can’t believe there’s actually a name for this sort of thing now.

I was born in '79 and grew up in the 80’s and early 90’s when we roamed in packs, didn’t wear helmets, and knew it was time to come home when the street lights came on, and all that good stuff.

What’s your opinion? I got two, a toddler and an infant. By a certain age I want to give them reasonable space and freedom to roam and play. Rules and boundaries, of course.

But is it me, or do all the empty streets and yards kinda seem weird? [/quote]

Well, the case in the article is of the Nanny State going way to fucking far. If my kids were out playing and some po-po picked them up and then called me, they would be dealing with one angry mother fucker. To me that’s no different then being picked up by a stranger. The kids are being taken against their will to a place they don’t want to go. Kids have a right to play outside. And like you, I would leave for the whole day and play with my friends until dinner, it was never a problem. However, now where I live is waaaaay more populated then it was when I was growing up and we have had more than one report of creepy people cruising our neighborhood and I live in a nice place.
Despite the fact that the danger is overblown, it’s still worse than it used to be. If I lived in Montana like Push, I wouldn’t give it a second thought, but I am concerned especially for my daughter. The problem is that the consequences of being wrong are so severe that it’s often just not worth the risk. So my kids simply don’t have the freedom that I had. I give them as much as I can handle, but I cannot handle losing a child. I cannot take anything bad happening to my kids and the fact is that, overblown it may be, it’s worse now than it used to be.
It’s also why I won’t let my daughter move out until she has a weapons license and training and her own personal 9mm.


#14

My neighborhood has a lot of kids, but is pretty quiet. In fact, I only know of one house on my street where the kids are regularly playing outside (front yard, usually with someone watching from the porch). There’s a school with a playground and a field next to me as well, and it’s usually empty. We also have a large wooded/swamp, never see kids playing back there.

And I live in a clean, quiet, “safe” suburb. Way before this story came out, I used to wonder (especially on snow days, or really nice summer days) where all the kids were. Again, mine are still very young (3yrs and 8mos) to be alone, period. But it was disconcerting to see that we live in an area where kids should be outside, but they aren’t. Pretty sad that this generation with all its technology and all things that are supposed to bring us together, actually isolate us more.

I honestly think this is a huge factor. It’s easier to play on your phone or Xbox than it is to go outside, where it might be hot or cold. But that brings me to my next point. One advantage with all this technology is that you can track your kids. I saw this little 2 inch square GPS tracker for kids and think it’s brilliant. If people are so worried about their kids running around, why not track them? I’m sure there’s things that can and could go wrong with this, but it’s something worth looking into. Same goes for home monitoring cameras for latch-key kids.


#15

Also for usmc

[quote]alpha_mike wrote:
My neighborhood has a lot of kids, but is pretty quiet. In fact, I only know of one house on my street where the kids are regularly playing outside (front yard, usually with someone watching from the porch). There’s a school with a playground and a field next to me as well, and it’s usually empty. We also have a large wooded/swamp, never see kids playing back there.

And I live in a clean, quiet, “safe” suburb. Way before this story came out, I used to wonder (especially on snow days, or really nice summer days) where all the kids were. Again, mine are still very young (3yrs and 8mos) to be alone, period. But it was disconcerting to see that we live in an area where kids should be outside, but they aren’t. Pretty sad that this generation with all its technology and all things that are supposed to bring us together, actually isolate us more.

I honestly think this is a huge factor. It’s easier to play on your phone or Xbox than it is to go outside, where it might be hot or cold. But that brings me to my next point. One advantage with all this technology is that you can track your kids. I saw this little 2 inch square GPS tracker for kids and think it’s brilliant. If people are so worried about their kids running around, why not track them? I’m sure there’s things that can and could go wrong with this, but it’s something worth looking into. Same goes for home monitoring cameras for latch-key kids. [/quote]

I read this article awhile ago about myopia and exposure to outdoor light, eg sunlight.


Basically they concluded that kids should get at least (?) 3 hours of sunlight for proper eye development. Thought I’d pass this along since you said you have young’uns


#16

In England kids play out on the street and streets away unsupervised. I was shocked when we went to the U.S for awhile and people didn’t let their kids out of the front garden. Even weirder Americans often don’t let their cats out of the house. What the fuck? America ironically seemed much safer for a kid wandering around, but it might just of been the area, anything seems safe compared to the council estate shithole we used to play around on.