How to Free-Range Your Kids (And Not Get Arrested)
Flood the streets with kids.
Lenore Skenazy|Mar. 9, 2015 3:47 pm
How do we fight back against cops and child protection workers who think parents that let their kids walk outside are negligent?
By flooding the streets with kids.
Busybodies who dial 911 the instant they see an unsupervised child are not going to do that when they pass a park filled with 15 kids. (Well, most aren’t.) And when masses of moppets take to the sidewalks after school, no one is going to call the cops to report, “Tons of children are walking home!”
But how do we get to that point? Today, only about 13 percent of children walk to school. One report I read found that only 6 percent of kids 9-13 play outside on their own. Part of the problem is that parents are scared of predators. But compounding that problem is the fear of the police. The Meitiv family in Maryland faced that fear firsthand when they were investigated for letting their kids, 10 and 6, walk a mile home alone.
But you know what Danielle Meitiv wrote to me, just after CPS declared her and her husband “responsible for unsubstantiated neglect”?
“Allowing kids to be Free-Range is critical for their development. We will continue to let our kids roam. Thankfully, CPS harassment like this is NOT common. The best way to make sure it doesn’t happen is to make Free-Ranging as common as it was when we were kids.”
If you’re ready to give it a try would like a little push, watch this video. Then, do what I do help this nervous family do: Give your kids one little errand that they feel they are ready for that you haven’t let them do yet.