My free range kid

July 3, 2009 at 10:02 am 1 comment

I’ve always been that kind of person who is on the go. Constantly. Isaac seems to have the same trait…but I’m trying to kick that in the tush now. After the farmer’s market fiasco, I was so upset by the fact that my child had to be at what we call in the sped department-closely supervised-be in arm’s reach at all times. Why can’t my 5 year old be in my eyesight? Why do I have to be that close so as to smother him? What’s the deal?


That’s when I found Free range kids. Holy cow. What a breath of fresh air! This site (and coresponding book) teaches the nervous parent that allowing a child some freedom-the time to be bored, the independence to do things on their own, based on their age and skill set-is not a bad thing. This mom let her child (then 9) ride teh NYC subway alone, wtih a map and a cell phone because he wanted to and she knew it was ok. Fine! Cool!

But this backfired on her as I saw my playground experience backfired on me. She became the subject of media scrutiny-the worst parent in America? Not in my book!

It has taken me a while to realize that Isaac does need some downtime-there’s no reason to schedule life and things. When you are a first time parent, you want all of the advantages, to the detriment of the kiddle. I’m working on being a free-range parent-I did it as a kid. I was a free range kid. We were out all of the time, rode our bikes everywhere, on our own. We came out just fine. Totally fine.

People need to remember this and use common sense-not be the most hypervigilant society. Kids need space, time and some lack of parental involvement-not to the point where they’re unsafe, but so that they can explore, create and be them.

I guess that’s what I’m working on now. Giving Isaac the space to know downtime is OK-that it’s OK to play in your room and be weird. To create, to mold and to be you.

Free ranging isn’t for everyone-but it works for me.


Entry filed under: parenting hell, shrimper.

Doctors and patients and medical stuff, oh my! Happy 4th of July!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. TheAngelForever  |  July 3, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I definitely believe in letting kids learn to do things on their own and experiment in their world. On the flip side, I think the 9 year old taking a subway alone (NYC or not) is a little much this day in age. Not something I would want to do alone, no less have my child do.


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