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(Boulder Daily Camera)   If you allow your child to go face-first down a slide at the park or let your child ride the subway alone, you are now being called a free range parent   ( dailycamera.com) divider line
    More: Silly, Boulder County, Lenore Skenazy, parenting styles, first down, parental supervision, Longmont, bicycle safety, online predators  
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6057 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Aug 2012 at 9:25 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-19 08:27:57 AM  
Free range children are more tender, but have a gamier taste.
 
2012-08-19 09:24:18 AM  
Look at me i'm a free range attention whore!!!

extras.mnginteractive.com

/naturally grown!!
 
2012-08-19 09:28:07 AM  
When I was a lad...
 
2012-08-19 09:28:09 AM  
If only there was some way to raise children with a balance of coddling vs. freedom.
 
2012-08-19 09:28:33 AM  
Back when I was a kid (only 20 years ago), that was considered normal
 
2012-08-19 09:30:30 AM  

machoprogrammer: Back when I was a kid (only 20 years ago), that was considered normal


This. "dad, I'm going to so and sos house." "homework done?" "yes!" "take a quarter for a pay phone and be home by 8."
 
2012-08-19 09:31:23 AM  
Seems to me that's what we used to call "Summer Vacation".
 
2012-08-19 09:31:48 AM  
I don't believe kids need or should have 100% free reign... nor do I believe in having an over-bearing Helicopter Parent, either. There needs to be a a middle-ground.
 
2012-08-19 09:32:40 AM  

machoprogrammer: Back when I was a kid (only 20 years ago), that was considered normal


Yep. Hell - I didn't even have a curfew.

FTFA Critics have dubbed it lazy parenting and say parents are taking unnecessary risks with their children's safety.

Bullshiat. Children are no more at risk from being run over or kidnapped than we were kids.
 
2012-08-19 09:34:41 AM  

gingerjet: Bullshiat. Children are no more at risk from being run over or kidnapped than we were kids.


However, now we have multiple 24 hour news sources looking for content.
 
2012-08-19 09:34:53 AM  
HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE KIND OF PARENT I WANT TO BE.
 
2012-08-19 09:36:19 AM  
Guilty as charged
content6.flixster.com
 
2012-08-19 09:39:57 AM  

mekkab: HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE KIND OF PARENT I WANT TO BE.


Stuck on caps lock?
 
2012-08-19 09:41:09 AM  
We practice this.

We of course step in when our two year old is about to do something totally retarded, but if she's going to bounce off of her diaper clad butt, we let her bounce off of her diaper clad butt.

We find that it increases the amount that she DOES listen to us.

While I won't try to force this down your throat, I will advocate trying it.
 
2012-08-19 09:41:17 AM  
I like this label. I'm about as free range as you can get without lacking complete supervision. I like to follow my mother's parenting philosophy

"Big Yard. Big Fence."

In other words, not many rules within the fence, but you don't leave the (metaphorical) yard or your ass is toast.
 
2012-08-19 09:41:27 AM  
I'm a new parent, my son is now 6 months old. We were over at a friends and they were having a BBQ. So I had my son and was sitting on a couch when the family dog comes up smells my son then licks the side of his head. My son laughs leans in to he can try and chew on the dog. I tell him no eating animals that are alive and sit up back up. The other parents were horrified. I was confused about the looks and asked "What?" You just let Sue (the dog) lick him in the face!

I've know that dog since my friends got her. She and my son had met before and she will stand there while he pets her. My parents and my wife's parents have dogs, my friends have dogs. Why is it bad that my son knows dogs. Dogs lick, yet these few ladies thought that Sue had a mouthful of ebola. I won't let a dog I don't know lick my son. Nor will I let someone I don't know touch him. I've told more that one overzealous old lady not to touch my kid. If I don't know you I don't want you touching me or mine.

I can't wait until he's older and I tell him to go outside and play during the summer. Of until he's old enough to mow the grass.
 
2012-08-19 09:41:42 AM  

gingerjet: machoprogrammer: Back when I was a kid (only 20 years ago), that was considered normal

Yep. Hell - I didn't even have a curfew.

FTFA Critics have dubbed it lazy parenting and say parents are taking unnecessary risks with their children's safety.

Bullshiat. Children are no more at risk from being run over or kidnapped than we were kids.



I catch shiat from the ex for letting 3 kids 12-15 walk four blocks to a Subway sandwich shop. When you read how her lawyer wrote it up, I sound like a horrible parent.
 
2012-08-19 09:41:51 AM  

machoprogrammer: Back when I was a kid (only 20 years ago), that was considered normal


.
.
Fark! I remember 40 years ago my parent biatching that a law was passed that they could no longer drive around with open beers in the car, you think they cared if we were going down the slide head first? Screw free range, Darwinism ruled the day back then and the world was much better for it!
 
2012-08-19 09:42:05 AM  
So, basically, old-school parenting like we experienced when we were growing up has been re-labeled as free-range parenting...

More power to 'em. Fark a bunch of micromanaging helicopter parents. I've often wished I could be an interviewer at a job fair so I could deal with helicopter parents who answer the interview questions on behalf of their offspring. "I'm sorry Johnny, but it would seem your daddy is better-suited for this position than are you. Good luck with your search. *turns to parent* I'll set up a follow-up interview for next week. We'll be in touch!"
 
2012-08-19 09:49:02 AM  
You know, back in the '70s...
 
2012-08-19 09:50:26 AM  
Me and my cousins grew up in a rural, wooded area. Our parents used to encourage us to go out in the woods and play.
"Bears? Well just take your guns, boys. Do I have to explain everything to you?"
 
2012-08-19 09:51:19 AM  
All the snowflakes who are now having their own snowflakes need to feel special. Hence, even regular old parenting now has a label so everyone can feel good about themselves.

Why don't people stop this ridiculous self-analysis and labeling? Because that would mean *gasp* that they're just regular people with nothing particularly special about their lives to make them better than their neighbors. And God help us if we can't point out that we're better than those around us.
 
2012-08-19 09:51:23 AM  
Is "I'm a free range parent" code for "I sit home and play WoW 18 hours a day and couldn't be bothered that my kid is vandalizing the neighbors property?"
 
2012-08-19 09:52:05 AM  

Trance750: I don't believe kids need or should have 100% free reign... nor do I believe in having an over-bearing Helicopter Parent, either. There needs to be a a middle-ground.


 I think this should be the case with all aspects of life.
 
2012-08-19 09:52:07 AM  

squeez cheez: When I was a lad...


I was gloomy and sad.
Yes, I was from the day I was born.
 
2012-08-19 09:55:01 AM  

Ker_Thwap: Is "I'm a free range parent" code for "I sit home and play WoW 18 hours a day and couldn't be bothered that my kid is vandalizing the neighbors property?"


Hey, when I was playing WoW excessively, my kids were always in the next room on their computers playing Left 4 Dead or Assassin's Creed or something... Maybe Garry's Mod... hell if I know what they were doing, but I know for sure they weren't vandalizing your property!
 
2012-08-19 09:55:48 AM  
my parents were free range before it was cool. not only did they encourage me to wander off on my own, they even played this little game were they would lock the doors and pretend they weren't home. --good times.
 
2012-08-19 09:57:17 AM  
I think they're going a little far--protective pads on sharp corners make sense, falling right on the corner could do something nasty.

Things with no lasting consequences, though--I agree with the parents.
 
2012-08-19 09:57:27 AM  
I'm impressed that the 7 month old can climb up a slide. Most kids are barely crawling at that age. My daughter didn't start walking till she was one.
 
2012-08-19 09:58:11 AM  
That's how I raised my daughter. She turned out pretty well. She still has a lot to learn but she does think of the consequences of her actions. And most of her decisions turn out pretty well.
 
2012-08-19 10:04:15 AM  
Having visited Italy this summer, I realized 3 things:

1. Kids are roaming free at all times. Even 2am in the morning - playing soccer in supermarket parking lot or hanging out by the bonfire at the beach

2. news outlets in italy are doing a shiatty job of fearmongering - there were no reports of murders, rapes, kidnapped children.. Unless they were talking about america. I mean, where would your average helicopter parent get his daily dose of panic and anxiety? Fox?

3. Boobies at 11. No, seriously. Italian network tv had so much skin, it makes me suspect that they don't do a good job of scaring the public into watchong because.... They have no need to fearmonger to get the ratings? Oh and boobies at the beach!

My 11 year old son saw them... And survived. I think I need to save up for therapy that surely awaits him, right America?

fark, this country is so f>ucked up
 
2012-08-19 10:05:32 AM  

machoprogrammer: Back when I was a kid (only 20 years ago), that was considered normal


Yup.


Me: Mom, Greg and I are going out on our bikes.
Mom: OK, be home when the street lights come on
Me and my brother: OK, bye.

/1960s
//on bikes without helmets
 
2012-08-19 10:07:31 AM  
It's because parents feel guilty for going to work. Parents need to focus on being good human beings: respecting their spouses, having principles, doing something meaningful with their lives. Then they wouldn't freak out about the details of parenting, because as it turns out, being a good person where your kids can see you is the essence of good parenting.

Modern society is a lot more nerfed than it used to be. Back in the day there was always at least three kids in every class with a cast on their arm. Don't see it as much any more. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.
 
2012-08-19 10:10:41 AM  
As a kid I left the house around 8-9am and didn't usually come home until sundown (during summer). We would roam the nighborhood on out bikes, hit the park maybe, or build a ramp for the bikes. And as long as no bones were broken, injuries were shrugged off. This was just the mid 90s.

Let your kids eat a bug or something.
 
2012-08-19 10:11:23 AM  

Witchyman: We practice this.

We of course step in when our two year old is about to do something totally retarded, but if she's going to bounce off of her diaper clad butt, we let her bounce off of her diaper clad butt.

We find that it increases the amount that she DOES listen to us.

While I won't try to force this down your throat, I will advocate trying it.


I think free range is more like letting your kid wander over to the neighbors house unannounced for some free babysitting, because you are too lazy to be a parent. Shiatty parents are just trying to market themselves as actually being good parents.
 
2012-08-19 10:13:00 AM  

Zarquon's Flat Tire: As a kid I left the house around 8-9am and didn't usually come home until sundown (during summer). We would roam the nighborhood on out bikes, hit the park maybe, or build a ramp for the bikes. And as long as no bones were broken, injuries were shrugged off. This was just the mid 90s.

Let your kids eat a bug or something.


As my dad used to say, "I pay for this health insurance, let's get some use out of it."
 
2012-08-19 10:15:49 AM  
fark, why is this even a thing? They're assigning a name to the way children have been raised for 99.99% of human history as though it were some new-age experimental parenting method.

From the time I was about 8 to when I moved back to the city with my family, I used to spend all of my free time wandering around in the forest alone or with a couple of other kids. We got hurt doing stupid things sometimes, but can you guess how many times we did those same things again? If you guessed zero, you're right on the money.

After lunch on weekends and summer holidays my mother would shoo me out of the house and told me to stay out until dinner time. Those were some of the best times of my life. Every day was an adventure, whether I was trailblazing through an unexplored patch of woods, having a fort war with my friends or hunting frogs and snappers in the pond. I once came upon a strange man in the forest burning yard waste and, rather than be kidnapped and raped in his basement dungeon I simply helped him get his work done a bit faster.

When I meet or hear about kids who are coddled and sheltered without any sort of freedom to learn about the world and themselves, it makes me feel sorrow for their futures. They're going to see everything that isn't routine as frightening and alien and will have almost zero ability to prepare for the accidents and misfortunes that befall every one of us.

What's even worse is when kids do have an accident while out playing, but then watch as their parents fly into a storm of rage and hurl blame at everyone possible. Playground accidents result in fun-removing lawsuits, media sensationalism, the spread of fear and children learning that the best solution to their problems is to lawyer up and go after the rest of the world. It's creating a future race of selfish assholes and ignorant cowards - not a race of kind, rabbit-petting and song-singing elves like parents seem to believe. When I was 9 I had an accident on the monkey bars at school because I decided to climb them in the rain. I slipped and snapped one of my front teeth in half. It hurt like a bastard, but all my mother did was rush me to the dentist while suggesting that in the future, maybe, I shouldn't do that again. Pretty good advice, and I learned to be more cautious.

I could rant on and on about this, but the only thing left worth saying is that there is a clear difference between safeguarding your child and imprisoning them in a padded room. Safety and adventure do not need to be mutually exclusive. You can sit down with your children and teach them about how to be safe and then sit back as they work out exactly how to do that with the occasionally nudge from you. This might mean a bump or bruise or even a broken bone, but this will in no way make your child weaker or somehow less of a person than they could have been.
 
2012-08-19 10:25:02 AM  

cynep: My 11 year old son saw them... And survived. I think I need to save up for therapy that surely awaits him, right America?


Oh absolutely. I mean, the only possible outcomes are that he'll have been so attracted to them that he'll become a sex-crazed teenager hell-bent on trying to recapture those boobies again, or he'll be so repulsed by them that he'll turn gay. You don't want either of those outcomes, of course, but the former is better than the latter so I'd go ahead and remove your Internet filter now...
 
2012-08-19 10:27:08 AM  
I had a whole lot of freedom growing up, but I also had a lot of expectations and rules. Teach your kids about rules, high expectations and consequences, then let them run wild. Crush them when they break the rules.

I want to slap those parents with the crying kid in the grocery stores who reward tantrums with candy.
 
2012-08-19 10:31:38 AM  

jjwars1: I think free range is more like letting your kid wander over to the neighbors house unannounced for some free babysitting, because you are too lazy to be a parent. Shiatty parents are just trying to market themselves as actually being good parents.


Once upon a time, this would have been the case. But today the "normal" state of parenting has shifted so far toward the psycho mommy side, that just being a reasonable human being and not treating your kids like they're made of glass is considered to be an "extreme" parenting strategy.

I was riding the bus at 4 years old and would go out and wander the woods and fields after school. When I got my first bike I was allowed to ride as far as I wanted once the training wheels came off, and we lived near a major highway. And neither of my parents was considered "lazy" by the standards of the day. My playmates had even more latitude.
It's almost hard to imagine kids doing that these days because of psycho mommies who won't cut the damn umbilical cord, and the pervasive Nancy Grace/Fox News/Missing White Girl narrative that tells people they have to be afraid of everything.
 
2012-08-19 10:52:27 AM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: jjwars1: I think free range is more like letting your kid wander over to the neighbors house unannounced for some free babysitting, because you are too lazy to be a parent. Shiatty parents are just trying to market themselves as actually being good parents.

Once upon a time, this would have been the case. But today the "normal" state of parenting has shifted so far toward the psycho mommy side, that just being a reasonable human being and not treating your kids like they're made of glass is considered to be an "extreme" parenting strategy.

I was riding the bus at 4 years old and would go out and wander the woods and fields after school. When I got my first bike I was allowed to ride as far as I wanted once the training wheels came off, and we lived near a major highway. And neither of my parents was considered "lazy" by the standards of the day. My playmates had even more latitude.
It's almost hard to imagine kids doing that these days because of psycho mommies who won't cut the damn umbilical cord, and the pervasive Nancy Grace/Fox News/Missing White Girl narrative that tells people they have to be afraid of everything.


at 12 years old I rode buses, walked miles to the beach, rode my bike for miles, all while Mom was at work. I would be home about the same time as her and we would talk about what we did that day....Jesus, what I would give to relive just one day of that...
 
2012-08-19 10:54:52 AM  

Pattuq: What's even worse is when kids do have an accident while out playing, but then watch as their parents fly into a storm of rage and hurl blame at everyone possible. Playground accidents result in fun-removing lawsuits, media sensationalism, the spread of fear and children learning that the best solution to their problems is to lawyer up and go after the rest of the world.


And all the cool playground equipment getting preemptively torn down. :(
 
2012-08-19 11:00:35 AM  

Son of Thunder: Pattuq: What's even worse is when kids do have an accident while out playing, but then watch as their parents fly into a storm of rage and hurl blame at everyone possible. Playground accidents result in fun-removing lawsuits, media sensationalism, the spread of fear and children learning that the best solution to their problems is to lawyer up and go after the rest of the world.

And all the cool playground equipment getting preemptively torn down. :(



I am convinced 90% of this is due to healthcare. if johnny breaks his arm, most people cant afford it, and have to sue the playground to be able to afford it. I think the shiatty health payment system in the US drives a LOT of lawsuits.
 
2012-08-19 11:01:16 AM  
As a Boulder resident, I can assure Subby there are no subways in this one horse, redneck mountain town.
 
2012-08-19 11:03:01 AM  
Not getting a kick. I had an argument with one of my best friend's yesterday over this. My 12 year old, while we adults were manning the BBQ, asked to go swimming at the community pool in her neighborhood. There was a fence surrounding the pool, but it was maybe 30 yards away. My kid has been in the water since before he could walk, and is a better swimmer than most adults. After, no kidding, about 15 minutes, her husband suggested I go "check up on him". I was embarrassed that he felt I needed to be told and thought it silly, he was fine, but I went and...he was fine and asked me to throw a handful of quarters in so he could dive for them.

I went back, getting a little pissy and "how dare he question my parenting", but realized it didn't matter and let it go. Then he did it again, about 15 min later and I told him the kiddo was fine, he was freaking 12, and handles himself just fine for AT LEAST half hour increments. He disappeared a few minutes later and my friend to,d me he thought I was lazy and "didn't give a fark if he disappeared", so HE went to check in on him. I went to the pool, where my kid is giving him the "wtf" look while he is going on about strangers. My kid sees me, and laughing, tells me Ryan just discovered pedos, he guessed. We left. Still working
 
2012-08-19 11:06:50 AM  
(added afore I finished!)

Still working on how to feel about the guy. I know he thinks that he knows best, and so do I...but I really hate that I'm sitting here and trying to decide if I'm a shiatty mom, or he's an asshole. I tend to think that he's just an asshole, but isn't that exactly what a shiatty parent would think?
 
2012-08-19 11:11:07 AM  
I only step in to make sure the four year has the safety on before practicing his glock fast draw.
 
2012-08-19 11:12:10 AM  

mid6000tek: I'm a new parent, my son is now 6 months old. We were over at a friends and they were having a BBQ. So I had my son and was sitting on a couch when the family dog comes up smells my son then licks the side of his head. My son laughs leans in to he can try and chew on the dog. I tell him no eating animals that are alive and sit up back up. The other parents were horrified. I was confused about the looks and asked "What?" You just let Sue (the dog) lick him in the face!

I've know that dog since my friends got her. She and my son had met before and she will stand there while he pets her. My parents and my wife's parents have dogs, my friends have dogs. Why is it bad that my son knows dogs. Dogs lick, yet these few ladies thought that Sue had a mouthful of ebola. I won't let a dog I don't know lick my son. Nor will I let someone I don't know touch him. I've told more that one overzealous old lady not to touch my kid. If I don't know you I don't want you touching me or mine.

I can't wait until he's older and I tell him to go outside and play during the summer. Of until he's old enough to mow the grass.


I was surprised when my sister wouldn't let her super sweet dog near her first. Then she reminded me that she's always fixing kids faces from dogbites and the adults always say, "But granma's dog is so sweet and has never done anything like that before."* So there's that.

*I'm sure if you talked to them further you'd find out he'd never done anything like that, except that one time he bit Billy, and then that time with Uncle Bob, etc.

\She's calmed down a lot. Second baby was getting face licks within days.
 
2012-08-19 11:15:27 AM  
Me and the wife allow our two boys roam our 160 acres as they see fit. I give them 2 way radios in case they need it. I let my 2 German shepherds baby sit them.
And the boys each have .22 pistols in case they run into a rattler.
They found a waterfall on the property last week while exploring.

Let the kids be kids.
 
2012-08-19 11:18:22 AM  

rogue_L_chick: I know he thinks that he knows best, and so do I...but I really hate that I'm sitting here and trying to decide if I'm a shiatty mom, or he's an asshole. I tend to think that he's just an asshole, but isn't that exactly what a shiatty parent would think?


Some people just have a much higher anxiety level than others. My husband is this way. His mother never let him go anywhere, and he can't believe the things I am comfortable with. I just shrug and let him take over when he's getting antsy. The truth is his anxiety isn't going to be happy with anything less than helicoptering unless he's the one who gets tired of hovering constantly. He probably never will get completely tired of it, but he's definitely relaxed some over the last couple of years.

Am I a lazy parent. Yes, absolutely. But as long as I continue to take care of the thing that really need to be taken care of I'm okay with what other people may think of me.
 
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