How the Free-Range Kids Movement Is Helping Parents Embrace Their Libertarian Side

Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 3 weeks ago to Legislation
29 comments | Share | Flag

"So basically it's now legal to go outside and play like when I was a kid."
SOURCE URL: http://reason.com/blog/2018/04/01/in-which-lenore-celebrates-that-free-ran


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by  $  Stormi 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    All through our daughters early years, parents had to be very cautious, kids could be at any school organized activity, but were always telling kids to call children's services on parents, if they talked mean even. One family in our upper middle class neighborhood were investigated for six weeks after their girl sneakerd out at night, via her own patio door to the pool, to meet boys. Thye grounded her, and she did make that call. Parents were not allowed to set limits for their kids to keep them safe, a judge in Ky ordered parents to let a girl date on school night, when she got pregnant, judge ordered they provide her with an apt. at their expense. Government has been sticking their nose into parenting in all the wrongs ways since the Clinton years. Hillary was an idiot, what village did she allow near Chelsea, that child was and is so controlled.My husband used to bike for hours with friends, showing up at dusk. I would take my horse out and no one cared I was off walking or riding with him for long periods. It is called learning to make decisions and take care of yourself, whild having fun.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      "after their girl sneakerd out at night"
      How long ago was this? From what I see, sneaking out or taking any action is less common for young people today. I would actually be encouraged to see a kid take action without permission, even if it's action I don't agree with, because there's not enough independent individual action in the world anymore.

      I know this is off your point of the gov't interfering with the parents' decision, but what stands out to me is that the child or young woman had the initiative to do something. Something has happened in the past 20 years.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  Stormi 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        Within 10 years, as our daughter was grown. STeh escapee was into the whole socialize thing sold by schools, and the boys were older with a car. We would see her run down the street to meet them when our dog would bark. She did exactly what teachers told the sheep, if your parents limit or punish you, call Children's Services, which is what she did, saying they were therefore abusing her. To me, saying I disagree with a parent, and saying you were going to do it anyway - as when my dad told me to stay away from a local drag stri - is exerting independence. She was being mrore of a sheep. Accepting punishment as part of the deal, is also different from crying to some social service agency when it comes time to accept the consequences of your deicsion.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by chad 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    So Utah passed a law that it is okay to be a kid and play outside. Why was it necessary to pass a law? Was there a law preventing it?
    Glad I grew up in the 50's and free ranged all over the town, climbed the hills and cliffs, hiked to springs and harvested asparagus and water cress for our dinner table. Stayed out until dark with no cell phone!!
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by jdg 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      It's not so much "there is a law", but rather, the states have so-called Child Protective Services agencies which feel free to arbitrarily take your children away for such sins as leaving them alone at home in the afternoon or having them wait in the car while you go shopping. Utah's new law is about taking away part of CPS's unbounded discretion, but it's only a start.

      Which is not to say that CPS doesn't sometimes find either (1) actual abuse or (2) children being a real public nuisance, who should be stopped (and adult third-parties don't dare touch them nowadays). We need to roll back that whole area of law 100 years, not just abolish CPS.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      "Was there a law preventing it?"
      I don't about Utah, but some places are passing laws against kids doing anything unsupervised. Moreover kids face constant questioning from adults under 30 who see them out and have never heard of the concept of kids playing unsupervised. They react to 8-y/o kids playing at a park like seeing a lost 3-y/o.

      I grew up in the 80, just missing the time when parent became a verb, creating a generation of young adults for whom adulting is a verb.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by preimert1 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Recently a family with four young kids moved next door to my daughter. They were allowed to play "unsupervised" in the quiet residental street and around the neghborhood. Hop-scotch courses scrawler on the pavement, jump-ropes, etc. Soon my grand daughter was right out there playing with them. Wh oops and shouts and the laughter of young kids having fun--almost forgot about it after so long. Then a county Child Protective Service knocked on the door to make a home visit in response to an anonymous complaint, She explained the "dangers" and the consequences of "bad parenting". What can I say? Its California, afterall.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    I spent most of my time growing up outside, playing and exploring with friends. The key to safety back then was to never travel alone. We had a tendency to investigate some wild places in North Georgia, with the possibility of crossing paths with snakes and uncertain terrain, so it was a self-imposed buddy system. We survived just fine.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      "playing and exploring with friends"
      I think if we deprive people of this, it's like depriving them of some important vitamin while growing up. I've seen some of them reach early adulthood and experience anxiety at the prospect of making the simplest decision. I don't think it's a mental illness issue. They really never have had the slightest bit of freedom in their lives. If they start debating who gets to go first or which game to play, a hovering adult rushes over and resolves it.

      I love how the cub scouts began the school year saying this year the kids will be doing things with fire, knives, shop tools in a fun and responsible way. I watched my nine-old cut with a bandsaw after someone showed him how to do it and saw he was of a temperament to be keenly aware of the danger of how one mistake could cut off a finger. I see him and get sad when he struggles with some task others have a natural aptitude for and see him kindly offer to help others with things he's a natural at. Those ups and downs, little successes and failures, are something people try to shield kids from. I really think my 9-y/o internalizes the idea that he's good at some things bad at other, that it's his choice if he wants to work at improving at things he's not good at or work on becoming even better at things he's good at, and that there are more things to try than a human life has time for so it's okay to try and fail; that's part of life. These other kids need an emotional support fluffy at the first sign of failure. It's not because they're pansies or snowflakes or whatever epithet. It's because their parents shielded them from any failure or disagreement, and they believed their parents' and teachers' message that any failure/disagreement was abhorrent.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  allosaur 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Me dino was a free-range kid. I'd hop on my bike and pedal miles away sometimes alone and sometimes with one friend or more. I'd be gone for hours and was rarely asked where I had been.
    This was during the 50s when I also rode my bike to school and back several blocks away on a daily basis. There were a bike racks at school for lots of kids.
    It was way different when I had kids. Walk or ride a bike? Forget it.
    My wife would have a fit if our kids were not delivered to school by car. With so many stories about kidnapped and sexually preyed upon kids in the news, I had nada for an argument about "the good ole' days.". And a bike rack? What's a bike rack?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  kddr22 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      You bring up very good points. There are circumstances where it may be ok to be a" free range" child but as a pediatrician who has had to deal with sex trafficking in children/abuse it requires judgement on the parents part to still know what is going on and what the environment in the neighborhood is... A law cannot replace judgement and actual parenting .
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  allosaur 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        Environment makes a huge difference~even though I'm not for any pinheaded zero tolerance=zero common sense laws I've read about.
        About ten years ago a next door neighbor told me she had pinpointed several sex offenders in our small Birmingham "satellite city" and two lived on our very street.
        This was before a F5 tornado missed our homes by a quarter of a mile and obliterated a lot of homes on my street. Looked like a freaking war zone.
        The lady had located the offenders by using a site such as this~
        https://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/p...
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        I completely agree parents need to be actively involved. Nebraska Sen Ben Sasse writes about it in The Vanishing American Adult.

        I really think "sex trafficking" is not real, at least not as a thing where strangers randomly kidnap kids playing with their friends at the park in a middle-class neighborhood down the road from the house where their parents are doing household tasks. It's people in bizarre situations, where the parents are not present or are hanging out with criminals.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by  $  kddr22 5 months, 3 weeks ago
          will have to really disagree since I have had to treat/ diagnose or review the deaths of the children in too many of these situations
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
            Is it a question of where you draw the line? Spending less time outside playing and spending less time in motor vehicles saves lives. But at some point we give up so much that it defeats the purpose of staying alive.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by  $  kddr22 5 months, 3 weeks ago
              I agree with this part of your premise just not the statement about trafficking. Being with a friend having a knowledge of where you live etc are all part of the equation. Teaching children to be self aware as well...
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      "Walk or ride a bike? "
      We are the one family on our block that sends our 7- and 9-y/o out to play in the neighborhood. One amazing thing that has happened is other parents have confided they used to go out and play, but they felt like they shouldn't let there kids out b/c no one's out and "things are different today." So kids are starting to go out more; I'm surprised it's working. One parent lets her 4-y/o son play with my kids at a park briefly if my kids watch him. The 4-y/o loves going out into the big wide world and my 7-y/o feels the desire to be a responsible role model and looking out for someone younger. It's how people should grow up! This is almost unheard-of now. Usually kids spend every waking minute with an adult hovering telling them exactly what to do.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  allosaur 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        Kids need to get outside under a Vitamin D sun and even out in the snow. It's good exercise for little kids to release energy by enjoying a free-styled romp.
        Me dino warned my kids about talking to strangers.
        I also taught them to scream "She's not my mommy!" and "He's not my daddy!" if they ever happened to be grabbed. But that never happened.
        Out of the blue I now recall my wife (at the time) being called into the elementary school principle's office for a chat about our youngest punching another boy in the nose.
        My ex said, "I told my son to punch that bully in the nose if he ever bothered him again." The matter was dropped.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
          I did all of that, including suggesting punching as a last resort. Once it I think it was within earshot of the teacher. :) They have so far not had no problems with bullies or criminals.

          Kids should NEVER go off alone with a stranger, but I encourage them to talk to strangers in public if they have a need to because the vast majority of strangers wouldn't think of hurting a child, and those who would hide it in public. Most people are enraged by the thought of abusing children, so children shouldn't walk the world in constant fear of a rare criminal.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    I was fairly free-range when a child ('50's and early
    '60's), but that was out in the country. We lived for awhile on a blacktop road, but mostly on dirt roads.
    And it's not always safe out there. I had to walk home from school because the bus wouldn't go on that dirt road, and I was molested by a punk
    who lived near us. (Whether he intended to "go all the way" I don't know, but he let me go, I guess because he saw I was getting very upset).
    I didn't tell anybody about it for years.
    But I ranged and roamed around somewhat. I
    just knew better than to let a punk lure me into a shed in his yard again.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Herb7734 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    I sometimes think of today's kids as being gift-wrapped in plastic sheets that don't come off until college. I often think, "Was i a negligent parent and were my parents also negigent.We'd come home from school, throw down our books and be gone until supper time. On bikes or on foot, every day was an adventure. We only stayed in the immediate neighborhood if someone got a good game of Red Rover. If there was a street which was dead-ended at both sides so there was hardly any traffic the game provided definite victors, bruises, cuts, scrapes and torn clothes.It went like this : A group offive or more (The more the better up to no limit, I participated in games of over 50 or so.) One kid in the middle of the street . At first he would call out for someone to try to cross over to the other curb, whereupon he would try to stop him by any means possible ."Red Rover, Red Rover, let Billy cross over. Then Billy wold try to cross the street without getting stopped. If he didn't make it, he joined the kid in the middle and now they could get called out two at a time or stick with one where the kids in the middle who had the advantage, unless the kid was big Lou L. who at the age of 13 or so was already 6 feet tall and 200 pounds.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Solver 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Parents trying to ween their kids away from being dependent on safe spaces and take on some individual responsibly is going to enrage leftists.
    Good!
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      I think it's shoehorning to make this about left/right bickering. There has been a phenomenal shift since I was a kid. My kids riding their bike to the same park in Madison I rode to at their age is now seen as controversial. It seems like all the way through high-school, kids are now used to someone monitoring them and telling them where to go. They don't resent it. When they get even the most basic freedom to walk down the road and decide what to do, some of them feel the need for emotional support animals.

      I swore I would not grow old and say "kids these days...", but I really think something bad happened in the 90s, right after I had grown up. If I had grown up 10 years later, I would not have ridden my bike to the park, to school, or learned to use the bus system.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        "Something bad happened in the Ninties"
        Yes you and the rest of the liberals elected the Clinton Crime Cartel. Now you can see the effect of it takes a village to raise a child. What a bunch of BS.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
          "you "
          I caused helicopter parenting? Even if you were saying it was some other group, this would be intensely stupid.

          It actually does take a village: elders who within reason look out for kids as they grow and have more freedom/responsibility; and younger kids who bigger kids with a crossing guard badge and start to take responsibility for. Kids who live that way are better able to grow into individuals with agency than kids with a helicopter parent.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by  $  Dobrien 5 months, 3 weeks ago
            Ignore this as well.
            Plagiarized the title of the book “It Takes a Village.” Author Jonah Goldberg said of the book: “No more thorough explication of the liberal fascist agenda can be found than in Hillary Clinton’s best-selling book, “It Takes a Village.” All the hallmarks of the fascist enterprise reside within its pages.” Clinton learned from Marian Wright Edelman how to use children as propaganda tools for her ideological agenda: childhood is a crisis, and the government must come to the rescue. “I cannot say enough in support of home visits,” Clinton said.
            As an attorney in Arkansas, Mrs. Clinton wrote articles in favor of children’s “rights” to divorce their parents. Goldberg wrote: “Hillary Clinton’s writings on children show a clear, unapologetic, and principled desire to insert the state deep into family life – a goal that is in perfect accord with similar efforts by totalitarians of the past. … She condones the state’s assumption of parental responsibilities … because she is opposed to the principle of parental authority in any form.” She believes families hold children back and the state sets them free. “Hillary Clinton’s ideas are, in general, fascist.”

            Hillary’s guru was Rabbi Michael Lerner, who authored The New Socialist Revolution. He wrote of the coming socialist take-over.

            One of Hillary Clinton’s most outrageous statements: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by  $  Dobrien 5 months, 3 weeks ago
            No liberals take responsibility for their actions .I expected your down vote no surprise you think."it actually does take a village"

            Reality is it takes two parents no village required.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo