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Thread: Free Range Kids?

  1. #11
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    Interesting topic - I have to say that when I saw the title of the thread I thought it was going to be about kids and the chicken they should eat

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvirginia View Post
    Source?

    My kids have the cognative ability to reach unbeleavable heights on video games, way better than any adult ... how could they not be able to cross a street? Your negligent neighbor notwithstanding, I think there's an element of learned helplessness with kids who are protected, hovered over, and insulated from the real world all the time.

    ETA: Okay, I found the source. I still think it is nutty. I walked to school when I was in 2nd grade. 10 is OLD.

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/newtips/pages/tip8.htm

    I think a kid who has been given a fair amount of independence and trust is likely to be a lot more resourceful than one whose parents assume they are incompetent to do the most basic tasks.

    You are joking about levels on video games being equal to the real world, right?

    I have had 4 pediatricians (due to job related moves) and they have all uniformly stated 10 is the minimum age for crossing the street alone. What are you basing your beliefs on, aside from what you did as a kid?

    I know a 12 yr old child was killed walking home from school where I live. You know what sucked was driving by the shrine of her cheerleader sweatshirt and teddybears hanging at the spot she died everyday. I wonder how many times her mother has thought "If only...?"

    Again, where I live, 9 is the minimum age for children to be unsupervised. So you may want to check your local laws before letting your kids go "Free Range". Also, in many places leaving a child unattended in the car is illegal.

  3. #13
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I consider myself pretty laid back

    not sure if I would do what the author did though. But we don't live in NYC and my kids aren't used to that. If they were-maybe. One of those things that until you are in the situation, you don't know.

    I tend to be laid back about a lot of things. My kids play outside on the front lawn with me inside the house. I'm not watching their every single move. They know they can run up and down the sidewalk and play with friends. It is not a big deal to me.

    One day DS had a playdate around the corner. I could almost see the person's house if I looked across the street and into that person's backyard. I was busy making dinner so called the mom and said "just send him home" and she was horrified that I'd let him walk home. He would be on a sidewalk and out of her/my vision for all of 20-30 seconds. She wasn't a happy camper but I don't coddle my kids now that they are getting older.

    We grew up in an age without cell phones. In 1st grade, I was riding almost a mile away to a park with my cousin. We were gone all day. No one knew where we were. No adays this texting is unbelievable. These kids are NOT independent and it is downright scary. They are not making decisions and learning anything because they are in constant text-mode with the moms/dads. And I'm talking teenagers. I think it is way out of hand and kids aren't learning to grow up or think for themselves.

  4. #14
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    Here are some samples of areas I googled:


    This is VA
    Child Supervision Guidelines

    Supervision


    Age 0-9 Should not be left unsupervised Age 10-12 Should not be left unsupervised for more than 3 hours Age 13-18 May be left alone for longer than 3 hours Under 16 Should not be left alone overnight
    Babysitting

    Age 9-12 May act as "Parent Helper" with adult supervision Age 13 May baby sit for children over age 4 for no more than 3 hours Age 14 & over May baby-sit infants and children


    The state of CT (where my MIL lives) it specifically states no child under 12 may be left unattended in a motor vehicle.

    This is a library law in CT, which addresses the issue of children in libraries alone (frequently abused as a source of free child care in the summer):

    2. In accordance with Connecticut State Law, “ Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, of any child under the age of twelve years knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation….that presents a substantial risk to the child’ s health or safety,” may be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Public Act NO. 97-298)

    In Missouri, a child under 11 may not be left unattended in a motor vehicle.

    Many more states likely have similar laws or plan to adopt similar laws. Kids used to ride around without carseats, and people figured out that was unsafe. I am not impressed with a mother that lets a 9 yr old take a subway alone. What exactly is she trying to prove? That she is too cheap to pay for childcare? And she really wants her child to have the ability to leave school with merely a note? I am certain she stands alone in that.

  5. #15
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    I am of the quiet vigilance mindset. Sadly, we are no longer in the 1950s. I am not familiar with NYC public transportation, but my child would not be on Chicago public transportation until they had their driver's license . . . and maybe later! (at least as far as the CTA - maybe would allow Metra a little earlier).

    Some of the safety stuff is fadish (although my boys are both in Britax and 5y3m DS who is 54" is in a high-back booster and was in 5-pt harness until the not-to-distant past) and people can be real nags about stuff.

    I think each parent just needs to do what's best for them based on their locale, laws and common sense. Maybe it's b/c I'm a nurse, but I always err on the side of caution.

  6. #16
    jvirginia is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Exactly ... we are made to feel like bad parents if we allow ABSOLUTELY REASONABLE things like walking from one kid's house to another.

  7. #17
    jvirginia is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Well, we've had hours of discussion on this board about leaving your kids alone in a car. I mean, briefly, so you can grab a bottle of water or pay for gas or something - not for a chunk of time. This is not child endangerment any more than driving somewhere with your kid is endangerment.

    In Connecticut a woman was ARRESTED for leaving her sleeping baby in a locked car in Connecticut while she had a cup of coffee with a friend at Starbucks. She drove to meet her friend and her baby was asleep in the car when she got there, so she parked in front of the store and locked the car. She had full view of the car the whole time. It was not hot. This baby WAS NOT IN DANGER except in absurd "what if" scenarios, but the cops acted like she left the baby lying on a busy street.

    It is one of those things that just shows how nutty we've gotten about "what if's" ...

    I probably wouldn't let my kid ride the subway yet, but I get her point, which she makes more eloquently than I can.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvirginia View Post
    Exactly ... we are made to feel like bad parents if we allow ABSOLUTELY REASONABLE things like walking from one kid's house to another.
    I read the Free Range lady's blog, and quite frankly my eyes ache from rolling. She is majorly pimping and trying to extend her original 15 minutes of fame, now with a book and a blog. All at her child's expense.

    Not only has she advertised her 9 yr old child rides the subways of New York alone (and minus a cell phone, I don't know about New York, but public phones are now as scarce as hens teeth where I live), but she included pictures of her son as a helpful guide to any pedophile wanting to spot him, and pimps her tale nationwide for maximum publicity.

    I used to think pedophiles were more rare, until stings like "How to catch a Predator". Scum buckets come out of the woodwork and fall for the same stupid stories (I am alone, here, let me go make you an iced tea) all for the chance to sleep with a tween/teen.

    Would anyone REALLY be willing to publicize pix of thier child along with his location and the fact he was alone?

    I really think she is looking for attention and doubt her kid is ever really out of her sight.

  9. #19
    seals is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I thought the same thing

    Recently a woman who writes a column in the local newspaper wrote against guns and that she would never have a gun in her house. In the comments people asked her if she realized that anyone could now look her up in the phone directory and rob her house with more confidence because now they knew she didn't have a gun.


    Sue

    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

    Not only has she advertised her 9 yr old child rides the subways of New York alone (and minus a cell phone, I don't know about New York, but public phones are now as scarce as hens teeth where I live), but she included pictures of her son as a helpful guide to any pedophile wanting to spot him, and pimps her tale nationwide for maximum publicity.

  10. #20
    Reese14 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I didn't feel bad

    I know we all have different levels of comfort, and I am respectful of other people's, but I didn't feel bad in the least that I was adamant that he walk home. She kept going "oh my gosh, I can't believe you are DOING this..." She tends to be over-the-top. Different strokes for different strokes.

    I also let him cross the (very quiet) street several mornings a week and walk a few houses down (in my sight) to carpool. When it is my turn for the carpool, the mother not only walks the child to the car out but buckles the seatbelt for the 9 year old.

    Different strokes for different folks. Like another poster said, I personally feel it is my job to help my kids grow up, so as they get older, I teach them to be more independent.

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