Globe and Mail Tells Government to Back Off and Let Parents Free-Range!

Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, just came out with a big, blazing, bad-ass defense of everything we are fighting for. It specifically said:

Free-Range Parenting may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but practising it should not demand state intervention.

If that’s not legitimacy, what is?

The piece was prompted by the case of a British Columbia dad who taught his kids, ages 11, 9, 8 and 7 to ride the bus. A busybody assumed this wasn’t safe and called Child Protective Services. CPS found the dad, Adrian Crook, exemplary. BUT it also ruled that kids under age 10 are not allowed on their own “in the community, at home, or on transit.” This prompted the Globe and Mail to say:

We are becoming a nation of censorious busybodies and scaredy-cats bent on inhibiting not just personal choice but the very notion of parental and child agency. The enterprise is being empowered by overbearing government policy.
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Telling the dad his kids need constant adult oversight is a “terrible precedent. And we’re all to blame for it.” But if we could just get back to believing kids can be fine outside on their own, they way most of US were, “child welfare organizations won’t freak out.” 
 
Unfortunately, Canadians and their governments are increasingly adopting an extreme and absurdly narrow view of child welfare. It imagines that every moment unwatched by adults is a moment of looming danger, and that such moments must be eliminated. This mindset has taken over gradually, progressing step by small step, always professing the best of intentions…
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The state, however, should be capable of looking out for kids while maintaining some sense of perspective, and not confusing “life” with “neglect.” … 
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A society where children can go outside, unsupervised, and where they are encouraged to do so, is a healthy and safe society.

Which is why towns and states that want to prevent government intrusion into decent parenting decisions should consider passing some version of the Free-Range Kids & Parents Bill of Rights: “Our kids have the right to some unsupervised time, and we have the right to give it to them without getting arrested.”

The goal of overthrowing the culture of overprotection is one I share with not just the Globe and Mail, but with a group of thought leaders here in the States, with whom I am starting a new non-profit to super-size the goals of Free-Range Kids. We’ll make a formal announcement soon, but safe to say this morning we are just savoring the Globe and Mail.

And trying to figure out how to get all that on a t-shirt.  – L

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Should they all be back inside? Or in a car? Or maybe in a bubble? (Photo of Adrian Crook’s kids from his blog, 5kids1condo)

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39 Responses to Globe and Mail Tells Government to Back Off and Let Parents Free-Range!

  1. Susie September 10, 2017 at 11:31 am #

    It is nice to see a publication that can explain the difference between living and neglect. More of this kind of coverage would be amazing, especially if they leave out the fatalistic “examples” of horrific childhood kidnapping that is so rare.

  2. fred schueler September 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    purely a matter of self-interest – the Globe & Mail needs to have kids deliver their papers

  3. pentamom September 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    Fred Schueler, I don’t know about the specific situation of the Globe and Mail, but kids delivering newspapers is pretty much a thing of the past of the U.S. So I wouldn’t attribute that motivation to them unless there’s something you know that I don’t.

  4. Garfield Pennington September 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

    Made me proud to be a Canadian today to know that many people know in their hearts that children and youth have inherent needs for exploration, adventure and discovery.

  5. Emily September 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    I live in Ontario, and if the minimum age for kids to be unsupervised really is 16, that’s news to me–it’s not really enforced, anyway. I see under-sixteens out in the world without an adult all the time, and I think that’s a good thing. When I was growing up, the minimum age for a child to be at home alone was twelve, but I started walking to and from school independently when I was about eight (actually, technically, my first time was when I was five, but that was an accident–I was supposed to walk with an older girl who never showed).

    Anyway, at the time, there was no official minimum age for children to walk to school/play in the park/traverse the neighbourhood without an adult, which made sense to me, because there are some places where the “constant adult oversight under X age” rule would have been almost impossible to enforce. For example, when I was growing up, beginning at age six, I used to go skiing with my dad and my brother on weekends in the winter–first at a local family-friendly ski resort, and then at a more challenging place that was further away. My mom was invited to join us, technically, but she doesn’t like skiing. Anyway, once my brother and I progressed beyond the beginner level, the three of us skied at different paces, and sometimes (often) had different preferences of which runs to ski. At first, we’d all have to agree on which run to ski, then when we got older, we were allowed to split up, as long as we stayed in the same general area (each area was served by a different lift), and then we were allowed to go wherever, and just meet up at a specific time when it was time for lunch, and again when it was time to go home. So, we progressed from staying together all the time, to being able to be separated for a few minutes at a time, to skiing independently for most of the day if we wanted–and I don’t remember exactly when “skiing independently for most of the day” happened, but it was definitely before I was in high school. But, under the current “constant supervision” policy, does that mean that a family going skiing now, has to ski in lockstep the entire time, which is an almost impossible feat for a group of people of varying sizes and ability levels? I’m sure there are other examples of wholesome family activities that aren’t a “joined-at-the-hip” kind of deal, and people should be able to do those things with their kids (albeit, not necessarily always physically WITH their kids) without being unfairly branded as “negligent.”

  6. C. S. P. Schofield September 10, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

    T-Shirt:

    My Kids, My Rules.

  7. Dienne September 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    But “My Kids, My Rules” is precisely why we have CPS in the first place. You don’t own your kids and you can’t unilaterally decide what to do with them. Children have rights, and those rights have frequently been violated by people with exactly that attitude. We have to find a happy medium between “I can do whatever the hell I want with my kid” and “the government needs to protect kids from every little thing”.

  8. Mya Greene September 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dienne. I think that a lot of Free-Range parents see the Free-Range movement as being more for their rights as parents than their children’s rights as human beings. I think that in these kinds of situations, the children’s rights are at least equally important.
    When busybodies do the kind of stuff described in this post, they are exhibiting prejudice and discrimination against both the child and the parent. I think that the child’s perspective if often left out in our social commentary regarding the overprotective culture we find ourselves in. Put yourself in the child’s shoes for a moment. Iimagine if you were just peacefully minding your business, and someone came up to you strictly because of how old they thought you looked, and started harassing you. It’s not too different from when some other groups get followed in malls because security assumes that they will steal, or get pulled over more often by police.

  9. Edward Hafner September 10, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

    Good News! Success Story in the making.

  10. Donald September 11, 2017 at 12:19 am #

    I also agree with Dienne. However, I want to stand up for C. S. P. Schofield. “The goal of overthrowing the culture of overprotection is one I share with not just the Globe and Mail, but with …..” This is too wordy. That’s why it isn’t on a t-shirt. However, to break this down in few enough words will mean these few words are open to interpretation and misinterpretation.

  11. David September 11, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    @Dienne: Parents have the right to respect their children’s rights as human beings.

  12. Diane September 11, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    Re: T-shirt – maybe, “My Kids: I Know Them Better Than You Do”

  13. Steve N September 11, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    I agree with C. S. P. Schofield. Come on, he/she’s not proposing a constitutional amendment. Just a T-shirt slogan.

  14. Andrew Jones September 11, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    Of course when I try to comment on their page it crashes….but one point everyone is overlooking – they ruled ‘cannot be without supervision outdoors or INDOORS! That means no privacy in the shower, on the toilet, they all need to sleep in the same room, they all need to visible at all times by the father, so *he* doesn’t even get privacy in the bathroom either etc. Typical bureaucrats – write something inapplicable and then later claim, “well, that’s not what we meant” Then F**king write what you mean, you morons!

  15. Troutwaxer September 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    The whole point of Free Range Kids is that we’re willing to accept a slightly higher level of risk in exchange for the opportunities it offers for our children’s growth. For example, walking unsupervised to the park, then playing unsupervised at the park, then walking home without supervision does have a slightly higher risk than the supervised version of the same scenario… but the learning, confidence, and personal growth a child gains from making a series of independent decisions and dealing with the consequences is gigantic compared to the supervised version of the same actions… it’s well worth the risk!

    But how to sum that up in a tee-shirt? That’s a tough one!

  16. Annie Gramson Hill September 11, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

    It depresses me that this happened in Canada.
    I thought they were supposed to be more sensible.
    It is frightening that so many people think the government should be regulating every aspect of life.
    I hope more people push back.

  17. Heather September 11, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    This is amazing!!

  18. Railmeat September 11, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    Mya writes:

    “I think that a lot of Free-Range parents see the Free-Range movement as being more for their rights as parents than their children’s rights as human beings.”

    I’m not sure where you are gathering this impression, Mya. Could you cite something more than a post or two on this blog?

  19. RE September 11, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

    Something that isn’t clear to me from this site is where does Free Range differ from neglect and how is an outsider supposed to tell. It is hard to tell from the outside which child is “exploring and growing” and which is being forced to do something they aren’t ready for because it is convenient/cheaper for the parent. Neither child would probably ask a stranger for help – one doesn’t needed it and the other would get punished at home for doing so. I was the latter, my parents would say I was the former.

  20. New Name September 11, 2017 at 8:38 pm #

    “‘I think that a lot of Free-Range parents see the Free-Range movement as being more for their rights as parents than their children’s rights as human beings.’

    I’m not sure where you are gathering this impression”

    Mike Tang.

    (Governmental interference in parenting may affect the rights of children, parents, or both, depending on the exact circumstance. Since most of the people here are parents, that tends to be the dominant point-of-view.)

  21. Theresa Hall September 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    To me neglect is when the kid is filthy and not just I’m was outside playing in the dirt and grass. It when a sick and hurting kid never sees the doctor. It when the kids are expose to the elements all the time. When a good meal for the kid is a dream come true. If they refuse to wear a coat but do have one then if the kids want to freeze let them. If they don’t it’s something to consider.

  22. Emily September 12, 2017 at 7:02 am #

    >>But how to sum that up in a tee-shirt? That’s a tough one!<<

    How about this? PARENTING: Making myself obsolete, one day at a time. PARENTING would be in big letters, and the rest would be written smaller. That'd be on the front of the T-shirt, and "Free-Range Kids" would be on the back.

  23. Jennifer Solomon September 12, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    Amazing!!!!!!!

  24. New Name September 12, 2017 at 9:50 am #

    “When I need help parenting my kid(s), I’ll ask for it.” for me, and “my dad says it’s OK” for my kid.

  25. Troutwaxer September 12, 2017 at 10:44 am #

    Maybe the T-Shirt should show a helicoptered kid. S/he could be wearing a kiddie harness attached to one of two helicopters which hover over the kid and pin the child in two spotlights. The kid’s head would be down so they can’t see the neat stuff all around them; balls, animals, other kids, etc.

    The caption would read, “Is this what you really want for your kid?”

  26. Eric S September 12, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    I hope this common sense and reason are actually seen by mature grown adults. We have a lot of adult-children these days. Overly sensitive, paranoid, fearful, insecure, and sanctimonious. I know families were the children are trying comfort their parents, and help them see reason. lol The kids are raising the adults.

  27. Papilio September 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

    There is a list of international rights of the child (or words to that extent) – maybe there is one that sums it up nicely and fits on a shirt?

  28. ThoreausVillager September 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

    Too little. Too late. We are all just government’s pets at this point. There is no “agency” anymore. I wish I were exaggerating.

  29. lrh September 13, 2017 at 7:21 am #

    DSP I will say that I am PROUD to say that the movement is in fact about MY RIGHTS as much, maybe more so, than my child’s. I am not saying it is ONLY that, and of course I recognize that I can’t do ANYTHING I want to my children in terms of sawing their arms off etc, but I do in fact feel that except for the most extreme of cases, my rights should be darned well near ABSOLUTE in terms of that (a) I can do ANYTHING I want to short of chain-sawing off arms etc and (b) anyone who interferes with that absolutely should deal with a heap of trouble being heaped on their head.

    If some of us feel that way and it seem a bit extreme, it’s a “backlash” against things being taken too far on the protection side of things. Having every little thing you do questioned, with the real threat of your losing your kids just because you do things a particular and yet non-abusive way, will do that to you. I would go so far as to say that CPS should be ABOLISHED and not exist at all anymore, and replaced with something else that considers parents above reproach except in the most extreme of circumstances.

    As long as I’m not sawing my child’s arms off with a chainsaw, I shouldn’t have to explain myself to ANYBODY as to why I’m doing ANYTHING I’m doing with my children, ANYTHING. They are people, yes, but they’re not 18 and I’m the one responsible for them and until someone else is, leave me alone to parent them however I feel like doing it. Having other people come along questioning everything I do undermines my authority and yes I should be above having to explain myself to ANYBODY about ANYTHING if I’m not using a chainsaw in such a manner.

    “Well they can’t determine real abuse from false reporting otherwise’–oh well, that’s not my problem. Figure out a way to catch real abuse AND leave me alone BOTH, or just don’t do anything at all about anything. If you’re CPS or whatever takes its place, that’s YOUR problem to figure out how to catch real abuse but not be harassing innocent people all of the time, not mine.

  30. Dienne September 13, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Damn, Irh, I feel very sorry for your children. Anything short of a chainsaw, eh? Maybe you need to look in the mirror when you wonder how CPS has gotten so out of control.

  31. New Name September 13, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    “Figure out a way to catch real abuse AND leave me alone BOTH”

    You’re one of those folks who wants more government spending and lower taxes, too, aren’t you?

    Given a straight-up binary choice between “innocent kids incapable of dealing with abuse on their own” and “angry Internet ranter who wants to be left alone, even if that means innocent kids incapable of dealing with abuse continue to be abused”, I won’t have any trouble picking a side.

    “oh well, that’s not my problem.”
    Actually… you’re the one who wants something different from what everyone else wants, so figuring out how to get it IS your problem, and it is not anyone else’s. Good luck with that.

  32. lrh September 14, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    New Name You’re not fooling anybody, we’re well aware that you’re James Pollack the anti-free range crusader wrecking ball. Yes, it is OTHER PEOPLE’S problem, in terms of the people in charge of things etc, to figure out how to balance the tightrope of weeding out child abuse while simultaneously not being a pain in the neck to the other parents who aren’t doing anything wrong. I & these other non-abusive parents, the onus is NOT on us to be tolerant of constant meddling and interfering because, well, “they have a hard job to do” or “given the prevalence of child abuse I need to be accommodating,” I’m over here minding my own business living my own life not hurting anybody.

    They may not know that, but I do, and constant meddling is extremely aggravating and “chilling” as in how people mention they’re timid about letting their children walk to school etc NOT because of kidnapping fears but fears of being reported on by meddling strangers. That needs to stop, pronto, and it’s not my job to figure out how to do that because I’m not the one going around butting in other people’s business. I’m busy living MY life and I consider it my RIGHT to be left alone.

    Dienne Obviously there are other forms of abuse that don’t involve a chainsaw, but my point is that it needs to be pretty much on that level–broken bones on a regular basis, welts around the eyes and they don’t play sports, they mention an uncle who touches them in funny places and says it’s “our little secret”–before intervention is warranted. When a parent is repeatedly, not once but over and over, having to explain to CPS that their child’s eye bruises are from playing baseball and there are coaches etc corroborating that, it’s not something a parent should be expected to be OK with. One-time, OK, but over and over–that’s being overly intrusive. Yes, to me, a parent is above having to explain that sort of thing more than one time.

    And I am going to say it–to me, the collective over-intruding into parent’s lives is as bad as child abuse itself is. Yes, I said it, and I meant it. Obviously unit for unit abuse is worse, but the adage “if it saves one child’s live it’s worth annoying 1 million parents to do it,” I don’t agree with that at all. If one child is abused wrongly, and again we’re talking abuse that even I would classify as being that, but in return 1 million parents who are doing nothing wrong are being left alone, I will take that choice over annoying all 1 million of those innocent parents just to save that 1 child.

    There’s nothing outrageous in what I’m saying, we do cost-vs-risk analysis of that type with all sorts of things. We have a lake near our house where several people, including children, have drowned over the years. The lake is still there and it’s still not lifeguarded, and people still swim there. No one has said “the lake should be closed–hey, if it saves one life, it’s worth it,” obviously it’s been decided that it’s NOT worth ruining the enjoyment that lake would provide for many other persons to save a child’s life. They haven’t even decided it’s worth the expense of having lifeguards on duty.

    And that’s what I’m saying–yes, at some point we have to act, we can’t let parents do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they want to do, but it’s gone way too far. Parents shouldn’t have to explain themselves all the time to outsiders, and it’s not “worth it if it saves 1 child from the clutches of abuse” to inconvenience, bug, and bother numerous innocent parents. I have the right to say it’s been taken too far, to push for that, and to NOT be the one to have to bother with the work of coming up with just how that’s going to be done. That’s not my job.

  33. lrh September 14, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

    Lenore, PLEASE for the sake of your site not turning into a chat room, please start moderating these forums. I NEVER thought I’d say such a thing, but it clearly is necessary now.

    In the meantime–NEW NAME, keep on replying, and I will continue to reply.

    This is a site where people, especially Lenore, advocate that the government stay out of our lives unless it is necessary with respect to our parenting. We are tired of a bunch of busy-bodies poking their nose into our business and we want to be left alone to frerange as we see fit to do. We who post here strongly believe that, and your kind is not welcome here at all. You are doing NOTHING except defacating all over our free range beliefs–at a site whose very reason for being is promoting these beliefs–and those who hold dear to them. You frankly need to go away, or hold a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 up to your head while it’s charging, I don’t care which, but as long as you continue to crawl out from whatever rock you managed to crawl out from under, you’re going to be called out and told off.

    Life’s a bitch. Nobody guaranteed you a life with no aggravation in it.

    I can think of someone else with 2 names who would fit that description better. Aside from that, your assertion that nobody guaranteed a life without aggravation in it does not mean said aggravation is justified. In my life, ANY aggravation I come across, when I can, I get rid of it, DESTROY it if I can. The same goes for here. Any changes in law or such which DESTROY people who interfere in a parent’s private business, I totally support them.

    (Me) “I consider it my RIGHT to be left alone.” (You) Too bad that’s not how rights work.

    When I am parenting, I don’t give a SPIT what the law says, other than avoiding jail. I have no respect for the law when it goes nosing around in my parenting business, nor SHOULD I respect it. To the extent that the laws or persons in the law go around nosing in people’s business, the law needs to be changed and those people need to be stripped of their power.

    “And “but I WANT it!” isn’t an argument for giving it to you, either”

    The only “argument” needed is this–I AM THE FLIPPING PARENT. That’s it. If that freedom isn’t going to be given for that reason, even though that reason is plenty as far as I’m concerned, then maybe it doesn’t need to be so much given as it is TAKEN and by any means necessary short of something the Montana Freeman or David Koresh would do.

    If Free Range bothers you so much, what you are doing in here? If you think what we are asking for is unreasonable, impossible, immature, whatever description, well guess what–97% of us here feel otherwise, including the author and designer of this site. You’re contributing NOTHING, you’re a cockroach in Buckingham Palace and someone needs to call the exterminator and blast your hind-end right on out of here because it’s clear you have no decency about yourself.

    To me–and my opinion is the oNLY ONE that matters in my mind where it regards my children and my rights–Lenore did not need to justify to ANYBODY her letting Izzy ride the subway at age 9 in 2008. Why? Because Izzy is HER child. He is not your child, he is not New York state’s child, CPS’s child, and he sure as heck isn’t a bunch of nosy busy-bodies’ child. If the law says otherwise, the law needs to be changed and in the meantime I would even say it needs to be IGNORED (except for what is needed for staying out of jail), and those who would WANT it to be anyone else’s business other than Lenore’s with what she did with HER CHILD Izzy in 2008–those people need to be run out of town on a rail and stripped of all their power.

    What did the title of this article say? “Globe and Mail Tells Government to Back Off and Let Parents Free-Range!” That title should tell you everything you need to know about this site. Lenore advocates that parents who aren’t freaks from the David Koresh compound should be able to parent however they feel. Period. That is what this site–HER SITE–believes, and it’s what the bulk of the posters here belief. If you feel otherwise, fine, but you aren’t welcome here. As long as Lenore sees fit to let you keep pontificating your nonsense in here, that’s her call, and I will continue to call you out on your idiotic nonsense.

  34. Donald September 14, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

    Some people love to complain. They love it so much that they don’t realize that their hobby (bitching) is actually helping to create the event that they are complaining about!

    For example. The media loves to create headlines such as:
    3 YR OLD DIES BECAUSE AUTHORITIES IGNORED WARNINGS!
    and
    WHY DID THE SYSTEM FAIL TO PROTECT 3 YEAR OLD TIMMY?
    and
    WHY DID CPS IGNORE THE WARNINGS?

    The news does this because it sells. Webpages do this because it’s great at attracting viewers and facebook likes. To make a long story short, when you purchase the newspaper, tune into to the news channel, or take the click bait, YOU REWARD THE BAD BEHAVIOR!

    I have more to say but I don’t have time. I have to get back to my drama binge of 37 episodes of Bluebloods

  35. New Name September 15, 2017 at 12:17 am #

    “I AM THE FLIPPING PARENT.”
    Well, you’re acting like a child, throwing a tantrum.

    “If Free Range bothers you so much, what you are doing in here?”
    Free Range doesn’t bother me at all, that’s why I raised my kid that way, and have advocated and continue to advocate that other people do the same.

    “If you think what we are asking for is unreasonable, impossible, immature, whatever description”
    You, specifically, and not anyone else, are asking for something that is unreasonable, maybe impossible, and you, specifically, and not anyone else, are behaving incredibly immaturely. There is no “we”. There is only “you”.

    Part of the reason I’m calling you out is that you’re confusing the “parents should have nearly unlimited power over their children” and “free-range” philosophies. They can overlap, but they are FAR from identical.
    When you have a parent who is free-range, and has nearly unlimited power, then the result is a very free-range child. But when you have a parent who is helicoptery, and has nearly unlimited power, the result is not very free-range at all. Are you capable of seeing the difference?
    Imagine a parent who thinks kids should be kept indoors 24/7, under nearly constant supervision. A government worker (doesn’t matter if it’s a cop, teacher, social worker, whatever) thinks the child needs to be outside more, and given more self-responsibility. Which side do you fall on? With the parent, or with the (gasp) government?
    I believe that (most) parents should raise (most of) their kids in a free-range way because it best prepares (most) children for adulthood, and the goal of parenting is to produce functional adults. Parenting is not about “rights”. It is about responsibilities. I have a responsibility to raise my kids to be productive, functional adults. You have a responsibility to raise your kids to be productive, functional adults. Everybody who has kids has a responsibility to raise them to be functional adults (some exclusions apply, because some children cannot become productive, functional adults, no matter how they are raised.)

    “To me–and my opinion is the oNLY ONE that matters in my mind where it regards my children and my rights– Lenore did not need to justify to ANYBODY her letting Izzy ride the subway at age 9 in 2008. Why? Because Izzy is HER child. He is not your child, he is not New York state’s child, CPS’s child, and he sure as heck isn’t a bunch of nosy busy-bodies’ child.”

    To me, Lenore did not need to justify to ANYBODY that letting her son ride the subway because there was nothing wrong with letting her son ride the subway. He asked to be allowed to do it, and he was ready for the responsibility. What’s to justify?
    Here’s where we diverge. If someone thought he shouldn’t be allowed to do it, they’d be wrong… but not at all because of Ms. Skenazy’s parental rights. They’re not involved. He has the right to travel about in public places using public rights-of-way. That’s the beginning and end of the “justification”

    “Lenore advocates that parents who aren’t freaks from the David Koresh compound should be able to parent however they feel. Period.”
    No, actually, she doesn’t. If she did, she’d be supporting helicopter parents who feel like being helicoptery. (Period).

    “I will continue to call you out on your idiotic nonsense.”
    No, you seem to prefer “calling me out” on some idiotic nonsense that you have made up in your mind, and decided, for some reason, to assign to me.
    (Hint: If you think I’m anti-free-range, you’re either A) VERY stupid, or B) blinded by rage AND stupid.
    I’ve been walking the walk for a decade-and-a-half.)

  36. lrh September 15, 2017 at 1:19 am #

    Imagine a parent who thinks kids should be kept indoors 24/7, under nearly constant supervision. A government worker (doesn’t matter if it’s a cop, teacher, social worker, whatever) thinks the child needs to be outside more, and given more self-responsibility. Which side do you fall on? With the parent, or with the (gasp) government?

    The parent, because they’re the parent. Period. To me, that matters even more than free-range vs helicopter. They have ALL the rights, or should. I would rather a parent raise their children non-optimally THEIR way than raise them optimally someone else’s way, especially under societial or legal compulsion.

    And yes:

    Parenting is not about “rights”. It is about responsibilities.

    To me it is about BOTH. It is my RIGHT to decide what I think is the best route for having them be RESPONSIBLE adults when the day comes. That doesn’t mean I don’t read books and such to gain insight on other’s thoughts, but the final decision should be mine with NOBODY having ANY ability to compel me to go one way or the other.

    Part of the reason I’m calling you out is that you’re confusing the “parents should have nearly unlimited power over their children” and “free-range” philosophies.

    Again, I support both. I’ve said it before, I don’t agree with helicopter parenting, but even if the practice is detrimental (but not EXTREMELY so) to a child, I would rather a parent do that than to parent “free range” but under socieitial compulsion. It is more important to me that parents be able to parent how they please than it is that they parent in the best way. Seriously. I’m not saying they shouldn’t parent in the best way, but except for the “chain saw extremists” or whatever, parent should have almost COMPLETE authority to parent how they feel.

    And you, or heck even Lenore (and I like her) can tell me that “it doesn’t work that way” and even if (and I stress IF) I am the only one who says it should work that way, I stand by it. To me, anyone who would go beyond giving advice and go so far as to put compulsion or duress onto a non-evil parent to do things in a way the parent doesn’t agree with, even if it’s better than what the parent is currently doing, they are no better a person to me than a rapist or a military dictator committing genocide. If Hurricane Harvey or Irma wiped out their house, I’d shed no tears and I might even consider it JUSTICE in some way.

    I’m not saying parenting is only about rights and that parents should have no care over their children and the impact of their decisions, of course they should, and yes parents who are truly evil should be taken to the woodshed, and yes I think free-range is better than helicopter and yes I think parents should do things such as read books and take some advice (non-preachy advice) from their close friends and family. However, any changes a parent makes, even changes that are for the better, must happen within the context of the parent going along with it with no compulsion, duress, or harassment.

    A quick way to say all of this–when Dienne said “We have to find a happy medium between ‘I can do whatever the hell I want with my kid’ and ‘the government needs to protect kids from every little thing’. (or rephrased “the government has total say-so in how your kids are raised”), if the 1st scenario is a 1 and the second scenario is a 10, I would say I rank around a 2½ or a 3. I DO NOT subscribe to the 1 scenario either, and I AGREE that we cannot do that, because that would mean even people who lock their kids in cages are allowed to “because they’re the parent” of course no sane person would want that, but I would say right now we’re probably hovering somewhere around 8 and that’s WAY too high, we need to dial it back down to 2½ or 3.

  37. Donald September 15, 2017 at 2:55 am #

    @James and Irh
    I’m not siding with either of you and to be honest, I don’t have the time or patience to decipher your wallpaper of text in order to do so.

    “blinded by rage AND stupid.” James, you can be this way as well sometimes.

    You’re smart. I’ll give you credit for that. However, you get so attached to ‘winning’ the argument that you do this at all cost. You’re rage often shifts your sense of logic into neutral.

  38. James Pollock September 15, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    “It is more important to me that parents be able to parent how they please than it is that they parent in the best way.”

    Six times (count ’em) you called me “anti-free-range” for taking the free-range side of the argument instead of your now-admittledly non-free-range one.

    You’re free (of course) to continue wishing for a reality that has never existed before, does not exist now, and cannot exist in the future, but it just doesn’t create an obligation in me to honor your wishes, no matter HOW MANY WORDS YOU PUT IN ALL CAPS. I assume you will continue to blame me for reality’s hostility to your worldview. I will continue to not really care. You will continue to not care that I don’t care (I’m guessing, but pretty confident I’m right about that, too.)

    By your own account, you aren’t willing to put forth any effort to actually achieve your unachievable goal. I agree 100% with that assessment. It’s totally not worth any effort. TTFN.

    “However, you get so attached to ‘winning’ the argument that you do this at all cost. You’re rage often shifts your sense of logic into neutral.”

    My faith in your analysis is more than a tiny little bit blunted by the fact that in our last interaction, which consisted of you making shit up so you could argue with me, getting caught making shit up so you could argue with me, admitting you made shit up so you could argue with me, and then… surprise!… you continuing to insult me because you got caught making shit up so you could argue with me.

    Let me help you out. Here’s a list of things I care about, (in order):
    Real people that I interact with.
    How interconnected systems work
    Ideas and opinions that are based in reality.
    Random people on the Internet
    Random people on the Internet with opinions that are not based on reality
    People who take the time to comment that, although they don’t have time to actually READ someone else’s comment(s), they definitely have an opinion about them.

    Work out for yourself where you fall on the scale, and adjust your expectations accordingly.

    Also,
    “You’re rage often shifts your sense of logic into neutral”
    You have never seen me enraged.
    (I was trained in the proper care and handling of b57 and b61 weapons systems. It doesn’t work this way for everyone, of course, but for some of us, it makes us philosophical about the exact nature of anger, rage, and the international politics of the use of overwhelming force to achieve one’s practical goals.).

  39. lrh September 15, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    Oh yes James, he just HAS to “win” and just HAS to have the last word, and we’re all the better for it. [Insert Doug Heffernan hand fart here.]

    LRH