Raising FREE RANGE Children vs Helicopter Parenting!!!

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Raising FREE RANGE Children vs Helicopter Parenting!!!

Post by Big Fat Heretic on Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:10 am

OK, this is a real hot-button issue for me!

If I were a parent, I would want to raise FREE RANGE children, and I would teach my kids to think for themselves, and yes, sometime to even QUESTION AUTHORITY!!!

My mother raised me to be a free range child. When I was 9 years old, I would get on my bicycle and peddle as far as 10 miles away from home. We lived in a small town of Carlton, Minnesota, and I would peddle my bike through Jay Cooke State Park, and we had some friends who owned a farm about 10 miles south, and I would peddle my bike the 10 miles to visit them, and I had fun there at their farm, and sometime I would peddle my bike 7 miles north to Cloquet.

OK, the only stipulation was, that before going out somewhere, was that, I would tell my parents where I was going, and I was told not to cross the great big bridge in Cloquet that went over the St Louis River. That was the bridge where I fell out of of the car, a 1948 Chrysler, back when I was 4 years old. The rear door had a faulty latch, and the door popped open and I fell out, busting my left knee on the pavement. After that, we traded the 4 door for a 2 door car. So, I was told to avoid crossing that bridge. Otherwise, I could go just about anywhere I wanted, except for that bridge.

So, there were a few rules.

Oh! And I was also told not to trust strangers that I didn't know.

Also, during the long hot summers, I would go to the public library, about 5 blocks from home, and hang out in there for a few hours, and come home with a bunch of books in the wire basket on the front of my bike.

Anyway . . . . .

Here is an article, related to this topic, from AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/maryland-parents-legal-trouble-letting-their-kids-walk-alone

Please do check this out!



When Parents Are Criminalized: Couple In Trouble
for Letting Their Kids Walk Unsupervised

Authorities tell parents they may lose their kids; tell kids
a stranger will grab them.



Photo Credit: via USAToday

A Maryland couple is in trouble with law authorities because they let their kids walk around the neighborhood without hovering over them.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say that their neighbors have called the local police and Child Protective Services because their children, ages 10 and 6, have been spotted walking to two area playgrounds without adult supervision. One playground is a mile away from the Meitiv’s home in Silver Springs, while the other is just two blocks down.

In a letter to Reason.com, Danielle Meitiv recalls a December 20 incident involving the police:

"On a Saturday afternoon in December, my husband, Alexander, gave our kids permission to walk home from the local playground. I was out of town at the time. When they'd walked about halfway, a Montgomery County Police patrol car pulled up. A 'helpful' neighbor had called 911 to report unaccompanied children walking outside. Our kids were brought home in a police cruiser.

At the door the police officer asked to see my husband's ID, but did not explain why. When he refused, she called for backup.  

A total of six patrol cars showed up."


The Meitivs say that law enforcement authorities and social services representatives have questioned their children while at school, and without their knowledge or consent and that the investigation infringes on their rights as parents to raise their children in a manner that they see fit. The parents also say the authorities asked their 10-year-old son what he would do if seized by a strange adult. According to Alexander Meitiv, they told his son that “there are creeps out there that are just waiting to grab children if they're walking by themselves.”

Since the school visit, Montgomery County Child Protective Services have visited the Meitiv’s at their home and asked them to sign paperwork, which the Meitiv’s said was called a “safety plan” pledging they would not leave their children unsupervised. When the Meitivs refused to sign the papers without it being reviewed by an attorney, they say the case worker announced that they will take their children “right away” and proceeded to contact the local police.

Alexander Meitiv is a physicist with the National Institutes of Health, Danielle is an author and a former climate scientist for the Clean Air Task Force.

State laws in Maryland prohibit children under 8-years of age to be unattended in an automobile or a home, but there are no laws that reference supervision while children outdoors and away from the home. Also, state laws say that a child must be at least aged 13 to supervise a younger child.

When asked about Meitiv’s case by USA Today, Child Protective Services refused to talk about it, instead referring the reporter to the state’s laws.

The Meitivs say they believe in “free-range” parenting, a movement that counters “helicopter” parenting, where children are controlled and monitored continuously. They say that their children have proven to them that they’re responsible and they that they believe their style of parenting teaches their children self reliance.

“I grew up in New York City in the ‘70s and nobody hesitated to let their kids walk around. The only thing that’s changed between then and now is fear,” says Danielle.  “The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood.”

There have been other instances of parents getting into legal trouble for letting their children walk outside without adult supervision. This summer, a single mother in Port St. Lucie, Fla was arrested for letting her son, 7, walk to the park.

In July, a 46-year-old McDonald’s worker and single mother was arrested for letting her 9-year-old daughter play at a local playground while she worked during the day.

Debra Harrell was arrested after other parents observed her daughter playing without supervision and called police. Harrell was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, a felony in South Carolina. Evidently, Harrell didn't have the money to pay for a nanny.

The website Free Range Kids cites many other incidents of overreach by Protective Services workers when responding to incidents when children are outdoors and playing while unsupervised by an adult.

“CPS is applying legal standards that are hopelessly vague, and erring on the side of 'safety,' by removing many children each year from families who have not mistreated them, and who have not come to harm, but who are nonetheless deemed to be ‘at risk,’” says author Lenore Skenazy, a former New York Daily News columnist who runs the Free Range Kids website.

See the video from USA Today:




Cliff Weathers is a former AlterNet senior editor who writes on the environment and consumer issues. He was previously a deputy editor at Consumer Reports. His work has also appeared in Salon, Car and Driver, Playboy and Raw Story among other publications. Follow him on Twitter @cliffweathers.

OK, when I was a kid, the first few times that I was allowed to walk around town alone, my parents would be following far behind. But then, eventually, I was allowed to go out on my own. It was a small town, and not a whole lot of heavy traffic. I would also go walking off into the woods, just across the railroad track beyond our back yard.

Oh! But guess what!!!

In some states, parents who are Christian Fundamentalists, they have the freedom to deny emergency medical treatment for their kids, and refuse vaccinations for their kids, and when the child gets really sick, the parents have the "religious freedom" to rely on prayer instead. As a result, a lot of children have died from neglect.

Yeah! In some states, parents have RELIGIOUS FREEDOM to deny their children medicine, and let their children die while praying to JEEEEEEEZZZZZUUUSSS for healing!!!

Oh! But well educated parents are not allowed to raise free range children to become independent free thinkers!

THAT'S A NO NO!!!

Now, if I were a kid today, about 9 years old, walking or riding my bike about 5 block to the public library, I would get stopped by a cop, taken back home, and my parents would probably be facing possible jail time, while I wind up in a foster home, or something.

I think scientists would make much better parents.

OK, my mother wasn't a scientist, but she was educated, and at least had some common sense. My stepfather, unfortunately wasn't a very good parent. Sometime he would come home drunk, but I don't feel like going into any further details on that tonight. I'm already depressed enough as is it.

Anyway . . . . . I think Republican right-wing religious fanatics would make the very worst parents. Oh! their kids grow up rich, but they grow up ignorant and bigoted to the point of sociopathology! Yeah! Narcissistic sociopaths!!!

Also. . . . . I think city curfew laws all should be repealed. Some cities have already done that.

OK, I live in public housing. Back when I was still living in a 9 story high-rise, one night, there was a total lunar eclipse. So, I was sitting outside the building in my JAZZY power chair, and it was well past midnight. A police car came by, the cop rolled down his window, and asked me what I was doing loitering outside the building. I pointed to the moon, and said that I was watching the lunar eclipse. Well . . . he just rolled up his window and drove off. So, no problems.

Oh! But in some cities, like Ferguson, Missouri, I probably would have been arrested, and if I were black, I would have been shot!!! Also, by pointing my index finger toward the moon, in some cities, that might be interpreted as a threatening gun gesture!!!

I remember, when I was a kid living up in Carlton, Minnesota. One night there was a lunar eclipse after curfew hours. In my neighborhood, there were too many trees around blocking my view of the moon. So, I went outside my neighborhood to the playground where there was a wide open field.

Fortunately, there was NO PO PO! I guess, that small town's only cop was too busy buggering another 12 year old girl somewhere! Yeah! He was kicked off the police force in St. Cloud after he had beaten and raped a 12 year old girl. But, he was able to get a job as a cop in that small corrupted fiefdom!

Anyway . . . . .

I think all city curfew laws should be repealed. If a kid under the age of 18 want's to take his binoculars or telescope into an open park in his neighborhood, then he/she should be free to do so, without any harassment from the PO PO!!!

Sometimes we seriously need to . . . QUESTION AUTHORITY!!!

Well . . . I'm getting really tired this evening.

I'm outta here!

Later!

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Big Fat Heretic
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