Free Range Parenting?


ave you heard that Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah signed the “free-range parenting” bill into legislation?

This is bill is completely insane! It actually ALLOWS children to “walk, run or bike to and from school, travel to commercial or recreational facilities, play outside and remain at home unattended.”

OMG, has the world gone completely insane?

I spent my early elementary school years in the small town of Ambler, PA. As a kid, we would ALWAYS be outside! We would run, play and ride our bikes in the street. We rode for miles and miles unattended.

We played in the woods where we found bugs, worms, and critters. We caught snakes, salamanders, and frogs. We built forts and battled with sticks. We threw rocks at squirrels and each other.  We played in the streams and swam in the ponds. We drank from the hose and ran with scissors; no one ever lost an eye. We played in the grass, dirt, and mud. We got filthy dirty and exposed to all of those germs, but we survived.

We explored and conquered our environment. We rode our bikes from dawn till dusk being home just in time for dinner. We learned from our mistakes. We learned how to be social and how to cope and play with others.

We learned to create, explore and try new things all without the need for a law. We grew up by doing and trying; sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but this is how you learn.  We relied on ourselves to figure it out and didn’t need a legislative body to govern us. We grew up in the play-yard and the woods.

Not everyone got a medal, ribbon or a cookie. You fought for what you got. You learned from your mistakes. Trouble in school meant trouble at home where a belt hung from a hook on the door as a threat. It wasn’t abused, it was learning about choices and consequences.

I learned and did all of this by the age of 9 – how about you?

Why do we need a law to allow kids to be kids? The world is actually a much safer place than when I was a child. You would never know this as media channels continually publish hyper-sensationalized titillating stories to make you cringe while making you believe the entire world is crap with a psycho lurking behind every closed door. Turn off the news already!

If we would just focus upon what is good in this world, versus what is not, maybe, just maybe we would create a kinder, gentler place where kids can be kids and parents can feel comfortable leaving that 15 years old alone to come visit us for a beverage. But this is just my humble opinion.