After reading No Free-Range Kids for Me? by Mary Ann Romans, I have to agree wholeheartedly. The idea of having free range kids is well, just a little nutty from me and coming from one of those crazy homeschoolers, that’s saying alot.
In our entire neighborhood, we have one “free range” child, and I have been tempted to call child protection several times. I have seen him wandering both in and out of the subdivision in all types of weather, and there have been times that he came to my house for shelter as his mother locked him out of the house. (She probably does qualify as abusive as I don’t think free-range parents lock their kids out.) I have had to bandage his wounds, I have fed him, I have let him rest at my house on hot and wet days when he didn’t feel he could go home.
About a few months after we moved into our home, I knocked on their door to introduce myself and ask if it was OK to feed the boy dinner as he seemed to show up at our house at dinner time alot. She informed me sweetly that he could do whatever he pleased and quickly shut the door.
This kid fends for himself 24/7. Fortunately is is a well mannered kid who knows every adult and child in our neighborhood. Therefore most of us also allow him to come and go as he pleases.
If there was one thing I think is off about this child is that he seems very lonely and in need of parental direction. I don’t want my kids wandering around looking for attention from everyone in the neighborhood but me.
Another reason I keep my kids on a short leash is because of the number of pedophiles and criminals in our area. Don’t get me wrong, I live in a fancy-schmancy subdivision with gate and all, but children have been attacked at local schools, men in cars have tried to steal kids, and houses have been broken into all around us. Call me paranoid, but I want to be able to call my kids name and have them answer back.
As each child turned 11, we did give the kids a bit more rope by buying cell phones and letting them go out as long as they stay in the neighborhood. But guess what? With the exception of the one child who wanders from home to home, there are no other kids outside. So what’s the use? It looks like everyone else around here are also keeping their kids close to home.
If you liked this you should also read my other posts at the home blog, the homeschooling blog, the parents blog, and the frugal blog. You can read my recent posts here.