Support for ‘Free Range Parenting’ Is Growing

Igor Demchenkov / Shutterstock
Igor Demchenkov / Shutterstock

“Free range parenting” has become a hot topic after a Maryland couple was investigated and charged for allowing their kids to walk home alone. But support for this type of parenting is growing.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv made national news after police picked up their 10- and 6-year-old children walking home from a park without adult supervision.

The couple, who believe in a hands-off approach to raising their kids, are part of a movement called Free Range Kids, which encourages children to be independent and self-reliant.

Authorities charged the Meitiv’s with neglect.

“They believe this is the right way to raise their children,” Russell Simon, co-founder of Empower Kids in Maryland, said.

The Free Range Kids movement has sparked national debate about parenting and raises questions about how much freedom children should have and the rights of parents to raise their kids as they see fit.

Lenore Skenazy, from New York, founded Free Range Kids. She said parents who allow their children to play outside alone shouldn’t be treated like criminals.

In 2008, she was named America’s worst mom for letting her 9 year old son ride the subway by himself.

“It was a sunny Sunday and I let him take the train home and I wrote a column about it in the newspaper I was working for. And two days later found myself on every possible television show,” Skenazy told CBN News. “I felt he was ready and he felt he was ready.”

Critics argue that free range parenting is irresponsible and puts kids at risk.

“A 10 year old should never be in charge of a 6 year old,” child and family therapist Susan Klein-Schilling said.

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Charlene Aaron

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