This video by the CBC (Canada’s equivalent of PBS) explains a lot about Free-Range Kids!

  1. What is “Free-Range Kids”?
  2. You have been dubbed “America’s Worst Mom” by the media. How did you earn this title?
  3. Were you a Free Range kid? How can you tell if a kid IS “Free-Range”?
  4. What prompted you to found the Free Range Kids movement?
  5. What is a helicopter parent?
  6. Why were our parents different from today’s parents?
  7. You’ve offered readers a number of “Free Range Commandments,” one of which is “Fail!” But we don’t want our kids to fail…do we?
  8. You are raising your kids in New York City, is it harder to be a Free Range parent in the city?
  9. You have experienced the media from all angles, as a newspaper columnist, a news consumer and most recently as the sensational subject of a media storm. Has your view of the media changed as a result of this?
  10. What should we do to liberate our kids without going crazy with worry?
What is “Free-Range Kids”?
Free-Range Kids is a commonsense approach to parenting in these overprotective times.
You have been dubbed “America’s Worst Mom” by the media. How did you earn this title?
In 2008, I let my then-9-year-old ride the subway by himself. He’d been asking us — my husband and me — to please take him someplace and let him find his way home by himself. So my husband and I discussed this. Our boy knows how to read a map, he speaks the language and we’re New Yorkers. We’re on the subway all the time.That’s how it came to be that one sunny Sunday, after lunch at McDonald’s, I took him to Bloomingdales — and left him in the handbag department.I didn’t leave him unprepared, of course! I gave him a map, a MetroCard, quarters for the phone and $20 for emergencies. Bloomingdale’s sits on top of a subway station on our local line, and it’s always crowded with shoppers. I believed he’d be safe. I believed he could figure out his way. And if he needed to ask someone for directions — which it turns out he did — I even believed the person would not think, “Gee, I was about to go home with my nice, new Bloomingdale’s shirt. But now I think I’ll abduct this adorable child instead.”

Long story short: He got home about 45 minutes later, ecstatic with independence. I wrote a little column about his adventure and two days later I was on the Today Show, NPR, MSNBC and Fox News defending myself as NOT “America’s Worst Mom.”

The notion was that I had deliberately put my son in harm’s way (possibly to “prove” something) and I was just incredibly lucky that he made it home. One NPR caller asked why I had given my son “one day of fun” even though he would probably end up dead by nightfall.

I launched my blog that weekend (www.freerangekids.com) to explain my parenting philosophy: I believe in safety. I LOVE safety — helmets, car seats, safety belts. I believe in teaching children how to cross the street and even wave their arms to be noticed. I’m a safety geek! But I also believe our kids do not need a security detail every time they leave the house. Our kids are safer than we think, and more competent, too. They deserve a chance to stretch and grow and do what we did — stay out till the street lights come on.

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Were you a Free Range kid? How can you tell if a kid IS “Free-Range”?
A Free-Range Kid is a kid who gets treated as a smart, young, capable individual, not an invalid who needs constant attention and help.
For instance, in the suburbs, many school PTAs have figured out a new way to raise money (God bless ’em): They auction off the prime drop-off spot right in front of the school — the shortest distance between car and door.But at the mall, or movie theater or dentist’s office, that would be considered the handicapped parking spot — the one you need if you are really disabled. So somehow, in our understandable desire to do the very best for our kids, we have started treating them as if they’re handicapped! As if they couldn’t possibly walk a couple of blocks, or make their own lunch or climb a tree without hurting themselves, or struggling too much.Free-Range Kids are sort of old-fashioned. They’re kids who are expected to WANT to grow up and do things on their own. And then, when they show us they’re ready, we allow ’em to.I was a Free-Range Kid because we all were back when I was growing up, before cable TV started showing abductions 24/7 and finding the weirdest, saddest stories from around the world to make parents think that no child is safe doing anything on his own anymore. And it’s not just cable TV to blame: It’s most of the media we parents encounter. I read a four-page article in a parenting magazine the other day on “How to Have a Fun and Totally Safe Day in the Sun” — as if it is so hard to have a safe day outside with your kid that you need four pages of instructions! We are bombarded by warnings that make us feel our kids need constant supervision and help or they will die.That’s true if your child is gravely ill, but otherwise it is not true — as the presence of all us former Free-Range Kids proves.

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What prompted you to found the Free Range Kids movement?
I think it was the cameramen and make-up ladies at The Today Show.While everyone was bustling around preparing me and my son Izzy for our interview, they asked what we were there to talk about. I said, “I let him ride the subway.””I did that at his age!” said a couple of the cameramen. “It was fun!” The make-up ladies remembered walking to school. Everyone started reminiscing about their childhoods — the freedom, the joy, the simple fun of walking down the block to knock on a friend’s door to come out and play. And then they’d shake their heads and say, “But I would never let my kids do that today.”

Why not?

“Times have changed.”

They’re right of course — nothing stays the same. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, crime was on the rise. It went up and up until it peaked around 1990. The strange thing, though, is that since then, it’s been going back down. Dramatically. Today we are back to the crime level of 1970, according to Dept. of Justice statistics. So — unbelievable as it seems — if you were playing outside as a kid in the ’70s or ’80s, your kids are actually SAFER outside than you were!

It doesn’t feel that way (at ALL), because when our parents were raising us, there was no CSI. Law & Order was something you believed in, not something on the air 8 nights a week, made to look depressingly real. The other day I got a letter from a guy in an old Brooklyn neighborhood where they shoot a lot of Law & Order scenes. On TV, it’s always the backdrop for a rape or murder. In real life, he said, it’s a safe, quiet safe neighborhood — and therein lies the tale: There’s a big disconnect between the horrors on TV and the reality we live in — the safest time for children (in America, that is) in the history of this disease-plagued, famine-prone, war-wracked world.

I founded the Free-Range Kids movement in part to be one small voice saying, “Hey! I know we are all scared for our kids! But maybe we don’t have to be quite so terrified!” It’s an attempt to figure out how we got so much more worried for our kids in just one generation, and to separate the real dangers from the ones foisted upon us by the media, and by other folks with things to sell (like baby safety product manufacturers who have to scare us about a remote danger like “traumatic head injury from toddling” before we’ll buy their products, like the “ThudGuard” — a helmet for kids to wear all day when they’re learning to walk).

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What is a helicopter parent?
It’s a sort of disparaging term for parents who believe their child is so vulnerable — to injury, to teasing, to disease and disappointment — that they have to sort of hover (like a helicopter) over the child, ready to swoop in if anything remotely “bad” happens.I’ve heard of helicopter parents who call their children’s college professors to complain about a grade their kid got on a paper. A paper they might have even helped the kid write.

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Why were our parents different from today’s parents?
Our parents were watching Dallas and Dynasty, where the biggest crime was big hair. Today’s parents are drowning in bad news that comes to us instantaneously from around the world. We hear about abductions in Portugal and Aruba. I can instantly name you five girls who met ghastly ends — Caylee, Maddie, Natalee, Jon Benet, Jaycee — but our parents could never do that.When your brain is saturated with horrifying stories like those, it is hard to focus on the millions of children NOT murdered. We don’t know THEIR names. We know the ones who are GONE. So when we try to decide, “Gee, is it safe for my child to walk to school?” we flash on the stories we have heard. Also — one interesting brain fact: The most memorable stories come to mind first. And whatever comes to mind first we usually think of as the most common. That’s just human nature, but it’s also wrong.Anyway, in addition to all these gruesome images, we also live in crazy lawsuit time. That means that we have gotten used to schools and park districts banning things with even the tiniest chance of causing an accident that might cause a parent to sue. So our playgrounds are stripped of merry-go-rounds and slides that are higher than a worm. And we get so used to all these “safety” precautions (which are actually lawsuit precautions) that we start thinking of everyday childhood as inherently unsafe.

If you buy the DVD “Sesame Street: Old School” you’ll see kids having the world’s best time. It’s a collection of Sesame Street highlights from its first years, 1969 — 1974, and it shows kids playing Follow the Leader through a vacant lot, climbing through a giant pipe, balancing on a piece of wood, laughing as they wind their way through some sheets on the line to dry. Of course they’re happy: This was public television trying to model ideal childhood for pre-schoolers. It was put on the air after countless psychologists and child specialists signed off on it. But at the very beginning of the DVD, before you see any of this, there’s a warning:

“For adult viewing only.”

In just one generation, what was considered a normal, happy, HEALTHY childhood has become considered WILDLY dangerous. Litigiously dangerous.

We’re swimming in fear soup — fear of lawsuits, fear of injury, fear of abductions, fear of blame. (People love to blame parents for not being “responsible” enough.) And Free-Range Kids is trying to paddle out.

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You’ve offered readers a number of “Free Range Commandments,” one of which is “Fail!” But we don’t want our kids to fail…do we?
We sure do! It’s true, one of my Free-Range Commandments is, “Fail! Easy! Educational! Fun!”

We don’t want our kids to ONLY fail, of course. But if they don’t fail sometimes, they won’t learn that they can get back up and go on with their lives.

For instance, we don’t want our kids to fall off a bike. Who does? But we do want them to learn how to ride. So we have two choices: We can hold onto their handlebars forever. That way they’ll never, ever fall. Or we can wish them luck and then — let go.

Chances are, if we do that, they will, at some point, fall. When they get up again, they’ll have two huge things going for them:

  1. They’ll know they can fall and get back up again. If that’s not a life lesson, what is?
  2. They’ll be learning how to actually ride a bike.

Most things in life take some tumbles before we get it right. As Thomas Edison said, when asked how it felt to fail 10,000 times before he figured out the light bulb, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

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You are raising your kids in New York City, is it harder to be a Free Range parent in the city?
It’s not that hard anywhere. It just takes some time on the parents’ part. For us in the city, Free-Range means teaching our kids how to take public transportation. But in the ‘burbs it involves teaching them how to ride their bikes. And in either place, we also teach kids how to be safe in the very unlikely event they encounter someone creepy. I interviewed Ernie Allen, head of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. You know — the folks who put the kids’ pictures on the milk cartons (and failed to mention the vast majority were runaways or taken by the non-custodial parent in a divorce case. Oh well.)Anyway, when I said that I think “stranger danger” is way overblown, Allen — to my great surprise — totally agreed! “Our message is exactly the one you’re trying to convey,” said he. “We have been trying to debunk they myth of ‘stranger danger.'”

What do we both suggest? Teach your kids TO talk to strangers. That way, if they’re ever creeped out by someone in the proverbial white van, they can run to the man across the street, raking his leaves, and say, “Help! I’m being followed!” Or they can run into a shop and say, “Call the police!” Or, “Can I please borrow your phone?”

Confident kids who feel at home in the world are SAFER than coddled kids who have been taught they are dainty prey without mom or dad by their side. When Allen interviewed children who had escaped potential abductions, here’s what they had in common: They stood up for themselves. They kicked, screamed, bit, and ran.

So teach your kids to do that. Same way you teach them to, “Stop, drop and roll” in the unlikely even they ever find themselves on fire. And then — send them out to build that muscle called confidence.

“Our message to parents is you don’t have to live in fear. You don’t have to feel you have to lock your children in a room.”

That’s not me talking. That’s the guy who put the pictures on the milk cartons.

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You have experienced the media from all angles, as a newspaper columnist, a news consumer and most recently as the sensational subject of a media storm. Has your view of the media changed as a result of this?
Wow! That’s a question I never got before. I guess I hadn’t quite realized how much the media loves parenting controversies. It loves to pit me against a “helicopter” parent, as if we are two different species. But the fact is, helicopter parents and Free-Rangers are not that different. In fact, I’m part helicopter on my mom’s side. And I also feel that helicopter is an unfair word, considering we’re talking about almost an entire generation of parents who have had fear forced down our throats. We ALL want our kids to be safe, and happy, and responsible. It’s just a question of what we see as dangerous. Some
helicopter parents see the outside world as unspeakably treacherous. I see it as a place children have always explored and messed around in. I was talking to a representative from Tide recently and he told me kids are not getting as dirty as they used to! That’s sad. Anyway, back to the media: Someone wrote to my blog with this great analogy: If a Martian came to earth and wanted to understand what life is like down here, you could give him this choice. Does he want to know how 99.9 percent of people live their lives? Or does he want to know about the .1%?Chances are, he’d want to hear about the 99.9%. But when we turn on the TV, we see the .1% — the horrible stories that make the news, the horrible plots that keep us glued to CSI. And then we turn off the TV and say, “What a crazy world we live in.”That’s why one of the “How to Start Going Free-Range” tips I give in my book is so simple: Next time you are going to watch one of those crime shows, turn off the TV and take a walk outside instead — maybe with your kids. Talk to some neighbors, look around, get a feel for the place again. THIS is the world you’re living in, not the one on TV.

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What should we do to liberate our kids without going crazy with worry?
Besides read my book, you mean?Well, I do give a lot of lectures, if a school, company or conference wants to hire me. And my book has lots of tips in it. Here are a few.

  1. Warn your family beforehand, then turn off your cell phone for a day. Better still, leave it on the nightstand so you won’t be tempted to press, “On.” Why? Mostly because one morning my 10-year-old called to ask me, “Mom? Can I have another piece of banana bread?” And I realized: Our kids are getting used to us making ALL their decisions. Even the banana bread ones. Time to stop treating them like toddlers. (At least, once they actually AREN’T toddlers.)
  2. When you’re standing around with a bunch of other parents all waiting for soccer to start, or school to open, or the bus to come pick them up, volunteer to watch all the kids yourself. Give the other parents a little break. This way you are creating community. It’s your way of saying we’re all in this together and we can help each other out. It’s also a way of saying, “Look, I don’t think anything so horrible is about to happen here at this bus stop that we need five adults to fight for the lives of five or six children.”If the other parents are too nervous to accept your kind offer, flip it around. Ask them to watch your kid! This creates a sense of shared responsibility, too. And gives you time to go to Starbucks.
  3. Get a little perspective on this strange, scared parenting era we are living in by visiting a baby superstore with your oldest living relative. (Yes, always best if they’re living.) Go around looking at all the things like baby knee pads and infra-red video baby monitors asking, “Which of these things did YOU need when you were raising us?” (Be prepared for a little scorn.)
  4. And if you are an educator, considering doing The Let Grow Project and/or Let Grow Play Club. They’re described at Let Grow, the nonprofit I now head that promotes childhood independence.

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176 Responses to FAQ

  1. Kate Paine February 15, 2010 at 4:41 am #

    Hi Lenore,
    I love your site and thought you might like to know that there are some places in the world where kids are encouraged to become free range. I live in Switzerland, just outside of Zurich. My just turned five-year old daughter goes to kindergarten and will very soon be expected to start walking to and fro by herself. At the end of a session the teacher simply lets the kids walk out the door, without a second thought as to how they will get home. And once kids are back home it is the norm for them to be seen on the streets, going to visit friends or to soccer or whatever, or €“ wait for it €“ playing in the streets (albeit the quiet ones).

    So how is this possible? Well, the kids receive lots of training when they first start school on how to cross the road safely, and much of what they do in class is geared towards building their confidence and independence. Even better, this level of independence is actively supported and expected by the whole community.

    And it all starts way before school age. In playgrounds it is common to see parents not jumping in to referee every exchange their child has with another child, or to watch their every step on the climbing frame. In fact, I’ve never seen such out there playground equipment as I have since coming here.

    As you can imagine, there is much outrage amongst the many parents from the UK, America and Australia at this high level of €˜neglect’, but it is also encouraging to see that some of these same expats start to change their minds as soon as they get to see the system working up close. By the way, this is also a system in which kids don’t start formal reading and writing until they are nearly seven-years old.

    It really makes my heart glad to see kids out walking by themselves and also making decisions for themselves. And my daughter can’t wait to wave mummy goodbye.

    Kate Paine (an Australian living in Switzerland)

  2. Riff Dog February 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I remember that subway story. My wife and I were outraged at the outrage. We’re in for a whole world of incompetent future adults if these helicopter parents have their way.

  3. Brenda Lee February 22, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Hi Lenore
    I love the sight as many do, love the basic theology behind letting kids actually grow and learn independently!!

    I caught a brief glimpse of you on a documentary called Lost on the Playground, I only saw about 15 minutes of it , but would like to know more. I can’t find any information on it anywhere…google Lost on the Playground and I get something about being Lost in the Playboy Mansion ( not quite the same thing)….

    Do you have any information about what I am actually looking for?

  4. Kels February 25, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Hi Lenore,
    My name’s Kelsey. I am not a free range kid (well, teenager now). Growing up, I was never really allowed to wander much. My parents weren’t helicopter parents, they just didn’t let me explore. In fact, I only learned how to ride my bike to the library a few months ago. I have never in my life been given the liberty to explore around in the woods, even though I don’t think I want anything as much as that (I’m a nature freak). In fact, one of my favorite times during childhood was when I used to hang out with my cousin at the culd-de-sac in front of her house, because we were allowed to just run around. There was only one mom out at a time, and she was guarding the stop sign at the end of the street (the street let out into a major road). To this day, I miss running around there.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that even though I’ve never experience being a free-ranged kid, I think you’re right. And I fully intend to raise my kids up as free-range kids when I grow up.

  5. garth crouch February 27, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    This is awesome! I don’t have any kids of my own but one of my favorite quotes is constantly being challenged by those living in fear. “Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence” We have a daycare center at my worksite and it is in a constant state of fear, no matter what it is. Today the woodchips, that protect the KIDS from falls, is being questioned for mold because in the “Pacific Northwet” the chips stay damp under the surface and they are decomposing, turning black, so now we have a “mold” scare. I’m researching “other” resilient flooring for under the play equipment but I’m running into all sorts of “fear” about the different mediums. Rubber pellets, pea gravel, shredded tire mats they are all so “dangerous” (please) that I don’t know if a solution really exists that the parents will support.

    This search led me to your site! You deserve a huge THANK YOU, for what you are doing. My fear has been that our kids wont be able to function on their own, wont be able to make decisions or realize that the “bumps” we go through in life are actually our biggest lessons. again, THANK YOU

    ps. here’s one for the record books…. on our worksite we have a piece of equipment that detects wind shear for airplanes. It bounces a sound off of the atmosphere. It sounds off once an hour and when it was first installed the daycare personnel stated that the kids were scared of the noise because it reminded them of the old sci-fi film “Them” with the radioactive ants. The kids aren’t big enough to have ever seen the movie, it was the adults!

  6. Angela Green Garland March 4, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    I am thankful for this website. I was a free range kid. I have two children and have been scorned for letting them go outside by themselves.

    I know part of the problem with the “helicopterization” of parents is the lists of pedophiles and predators. I have done quick searches for comparisons and was unable to find any data–has anyone ever compared the child predator rate of then (when we were children) and now. By predators I mean true child sex offenders (not teenage lust) and kidnapping, etc. Are the numbers the same or are we more aware of it because of the numerous media outlets?

    Should I be nervous. I am always in tears when I see anguished parents on TV. It is a pain that I would not care to remotely imagine. I think such images cause the rest of us to “helicopter.” Are our fears irrational or are there more sick people out there compared to previous decades?


  7. Yan Seiner September 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    OK, this won’t make much sense. This freerange stuff got me to find an old book that I read as a kid (I had to have been younger than 9…)


    It’s a story about a brother and sister, both little kids, who have 3 adventures. Each is bigger than the last.

    I loved that book as a kid. The kids get to do really cool things, and in the book parents never appear except at the end of each adventure as the kids come home – and of course the kids say nothing about their adventures to the parents.

    I certainly hope my kids are having similar adventures where I’m not a factor. It’s called trust – I trust my kids to do the right thing even when I’m not around, and they trust me not to interfere.

    Here’s to childhood adventure!

  8. Betsy September 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Its not the fact that you allow your child to walk home, play, or do things unattended…

    But what makes you think you deserve $350 to do something that parents can do for free?

  9. Stephen September 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    I wanted to say that we have to change a lot more things for this movement to take shape:

    1) We will need to repeal curfew laws and other laws that limit children.

    2) We will need to reduce the grip the insurance industry currently has on rules of establishments. This will mean changing the presumption of negligence and not assuming the establishment is liable for not preventing every childhood injury off the parents property. We have gotten into a very bad cycle of with every claim paid by an insurer, where a child was injured, they ask the facility to ban the activity from future generations of children. We must find a way to reverse this trend. We should not assume a child will be indemnified every moment they are away from home.

    3) We will need to reduce CPS’s power and allow children to take some risks again, on a gradual scale in which the threshold increases as they grow.

    4) We will need to create policies that allow children’s rights and encourage unstructured play rather than discourage it.

    5) Allow children to take risks again.

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  11. Kire Du'Hai September 30, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    The primary concern I’ve heard from parents who do not want to leave their children unsupervised is not that of criminals, predators, or danger to life and limb…
    … but danger of having them taken away by the police, being called by “well-intentioned” neighbors.

    When you can get arrested for letting your kids play outside just because nosy neighbors thought it was irresponsible, it severely limits your *ability* to let them free-range.

    This is no small concern. Do you have legal advice for those parents who want to give their children freedom and self-reliance, but fear legal action against them or having their children taken away?

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  13. jeff mitchell October 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    I grew up a free range kid. My brothers and I were away from home all day long playing with neighbor kids in the woods a short distance from our townhouse. I wrecked my bike (frequently), I got scrapes, bruises and fat lips, I broke my collar bone sledding and except for the immediate pain of some of those experiences I loved evey minute of my childhood. The marks left behind I wore like medals, and I learned about risky behavior – on my own. I wish the same for my kids. I love them, we talk about safety, but I won’t worry about a chipped tooth or a broken arm – it’s not worth diminishing the adventure of their childhood. Besides, good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement. So I let ’em take their lumps.

  14. Jeffrey Varasano January 10, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    I grew up in the Bronx in the 1970’s. I lived in Co-op City, which is the country’s largest public housing project.

    I walked to school (about 7 or 8 blocks) by myself in the first grade. Everyone did. At lunch we all walked out, unsupervised, to Joe’s hot dog truck or the shopping center to eat pizza. When I got home, I grabbed my bike or baseball gear and played with friends in the streets or park until 6pm. Later in the summer. I never met my friends parents unless it was raining and went to someone’s house. But that was rare. Most parents you never saw. If a kid’s parents came to watch us play, we would have all thought it was creepy, like the parents were checking up on us or something. No one was damaged because their parents missed a game. They missed all the games. Parents were not welcome.

    In 1977 they arrested the Son of Sam and we found out he used to live in the next building over. This caused curiosity, but no change whatsoever in our behavior. There were many muggings. This was not a safe time or neighborhood. We thought to complain about the policing and the neighborhood in general. But no one thought to lock us up or helicopter over us. It was never even thought of as an option.

    I returned to Co-op in October. I hadn’t been there in 20 years. The streets and parks were empty of kids playing. It was like a ghost town on a sunny Saturday afternoon with the temp at 68. The population of the neighborhood, we heard, was actually up a bit. But kids were not outside.

    These changes are sad…

  15. Rob Cece January 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    This blog is hilarious. My parents use to do the same stuff with us. Let us do whatever we want basically, and we turned out fine.

    There was that one day that my brother was left at Toys-R-Us accidentally, but noone kidnapped him lol.

  16. J.B.Reilly January 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Love the site and found it to bee interesting. I think as a parent we must find a balance giving Independence to our children in today”s world. I grew up with a strict father who was always watching us wherever we went and it hampered me when I became an adult in the way I was ill prepared for the big wide world. Don’t blame him though that’s how he showed his love for us. But as I said its not the same world as we used to live in. Cant even leave our house door unlocked nowadays.

  17. Danielle March 8, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    Hi, I stumbled upon this website after a very long discussion in the middle of the night with my husband. We have a six year old daughter and a 14 month old daughter. We live in Hawaii, and let’s just say the neighborhood we live in is very typical of those you may find in Hawaii..l.but it is also questionable for children in my eyes. There are quite a few kids that live in our neighborhood though. As my daughter has gotten older she has wanted to make friends here. There are many very young girls constantly unsupervised (I rarely see their parents if ever). We have always just met up with these girls at the park to let them play while I watch or sit and read. The unfortunate things are this….there are about 6 pit bulls in our neighborhood sometimes loose and other times just tied to a tree or post. Also, of the girls my daughter wants to play with, both of her parents are addicted to meth. There is a convicted child molestor down the street He is elderly now but yes, still here I am struggling big time because my husband really wants to let our daughter become “free range” so to speak in our neighborhood. I cannot get past all my worry. I don’t know what to do since of course I don’t want her locked up in the house but I cannot get past all the seeming “dangers” just right there. Please help. Any words of advice will help.

  18. David J Pye March 13, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    I’m really glad I came across this site! I am also one of those kids who grew up without my Parents hovering over me. My Mother was simply too busy with housework and such, and my Father was busy working. He also was very typical for the time, which means He was “hands off” unless there was discipline involved. So me and my Borthers & Sisters spent A LOT of unsupervised time just doing whatever. Parents were around, but not like today watching your every move. No one was every worried about us getting abducted, murdered, or anything like that. Now granted, we lived in the suburbs, which (at least way back when) was considered way more safe than living in the city (Chicago to be exact). But anyways, there were a lot more kids out playing and just doing whatever. So now that I’m a Parent myself (2 children almost 4 & 5 years old), I find that the old way still works just fine, and I let my children have the freedom I did. And what concerns my Ex the most (the children live with me, NOT her) is that I let them have that freedom! Our Daughter will be going to Kindergarten in the fall, and my Ex is horrified that I will be letting Her walk to school by herself. “That’s Crazy!” I’m told. My Ex had a helicopter Mother. Gee, I wonder where her attitude comes from?

  19. mdsshop March 18, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    The primary concern I’ve heard from parents who do not want to leave their children unsupervised is not that of criminals, predators, or danger to life and limb…
    … but danger of having them taken away by the police, being called by “well-intentioned” neighbors.
    When you can get arrested for letting your kids play outside just because nosy neighbors thought it was irresponsible, it severely limits your *ability* to let them free-range.
    This is no small concern. Do you have legal advice for those parents who want to give their children freedom and self-reliance, but fear legal action against them or having their children taken away?
    My Site

  20. Brain Carinitine March 26, 2013 at 4:30 am #

    Great read and good information for parents looking for a good approach to parenting especially in these times.

  21. Don Youst March 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    This is a great blog. I can remember doing alot of this with my parents when I was younger.

  22. electric piano March 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Excellent Read. I’m new to parenting and love reading about this kind of stuff. Your parenting tips are insightful and I love your writing style. Thanks.

  23. Pauline April 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    I grew up very free range, and in Europe as well (where this is still, as far as I can tell, more accepted than it is in the US). I grew up in the 80’s in a normal, middle-class suburb in The Netherlands. My parents told me what I needed to know about child abductors and how I should never go with anyone I didn’t know. They told me to roll on the floor if I ever caught fire, or jump in the cold shower (or any water) immediately. They told me how to dial 112 (999 in the US) and what to say. Then they just let me play outside with the neighbourhood kids untill the street lights came on. No cellphones back then either. And I survived.

    Yes, I scraped my knees more times than I care to remember (drove my mum nuts because my jeans needed so many patches), I sprained my ankle, split my lip, once had a huge black eye (because a kid on a bike ran the handlebar into my face), I fell out of trees, I cut myself with my own pocket knife, I burnt my fingers making little campfires. And I still had the BEST childhood ever. Bumps, scrapes, blisters and everything. I learned, I grew, I felt stronger each year, and I became independent through trial&error and through exploring my surroundings a little bit further every time.

    Once I was approached by a creepy guy in the public pool with a friend (we were both 10 and my mum had dropped us off for an afternoon of swimming). He told me my mum asked him to come and collect me. I asked if he knew my mum’s name and where she worked, like my mum had told me. He quickly walked away, and I immediately ran to the pool safety guard and described the man to him. Yes it was scary afterwards (when I fully realised what could have happened), but I also felt very proud that I had done the right thing. My parents had taught me well, and it paid off. I was self-reliant. I was confident. And if I ever have kids of my own, I will want them to feel the same way and learn through experience like I did. Although I will probably give them a cellhone. So they can at least call me if they’re on fire 🙂

  24. Teresa April 24, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    I have a problem with this idea…..My parents also raised me very free range in the 1970s. Nothing ever happened to me that was too bad – a rusted nail incident, some scuffs and fights, etc., but I tended to be quite bold and didn’t put up with bullies. My parents were NOT helicopter parents – they let me do pretty much whatever I wanted to do. So now I have no close relationship with them. They just let me get cavities, eat tons of sweets with my friends when they weren’t looking, make my own decisions, pick my own terrible friends, do or not do my homework and so on. I never developed a bond with them like kids who grow up with parents that care for them more closely, share their problems and try to help them work it out, I grew up clueless in another way: I had no idea about so many things because no one gave me guidance or advice. I grew up alone, with a group of kids who also grew up alone, lord of the flies style. There is a middle point between the philosophy on this site and extreme helicopter parenting. There is love, warmth, advice, babying when needed (adults need babying sometimes too). I think my parents were just lazy, honestly, They brought kids into the world but wanted to be watching TV, shopping or chatting with their friends or planning parties. They didn’t want to take care of kids. The helicopter model is a reaction to this type of parenting. I had no carseat. Is that a good thing? Of course kids will SURVIVE, but I really want my kids to do more than survive. And, I’m glad to be a parent and okay with mixing it up: sometimes I spend lots of time doting on my kids and sometimes I get me time. Anyway, they will be all grown up and gone soon. Parents in the U.S. usually turn their kids bedrooms into a TV room or second living room then. Why the lack of emotional attachment? Why the hurry to throw them out? This should be examined.

  25. April May 7, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    I was a free-range child. I grew up in the late 80s early 90s. I lived in small towns and suburbs. From the time my three brothers and I were maybe 7 or so, we spent nearly every day of our summers and after school hours outside. We climbed trees, rode our bikes to friends’ houses, roller-bladed, waded in streams, built forts, made make-shift bows and arrows. My mom would kick us out the door in the morning and we weren’t even allowed to come in for lunch, we’d eat that outside in the sunshine at a picnic table. All the kids in my neighborhoods were treated like this. We roamed around in little packs. We had boundaries, the busy road at the edge of our neighborhood, for example. But very few. The worse things that happened to me: I cut myself whittling arrows and needed stitches. I drank water straight from a stream and got sick. I fell out of a tree and sprained my ankle. It was our time to explore (and stay our of Mom’s hair) so she could accomplish things. We’d come home filthy with sap-sticky hands and be marched off to shower before allowing to engage in indoor activities. We got plenty of exercise, fresh air and vitamin D. I see the way kids are raised today with schedules as busy as my adult one and I wonder whether their imaginations are intact. Whether they are given moments to day dream, to play house and or pretend to be Indians or adventures. You are are doing a wonderful thing. I don’t have children yet, but I can’t imagine raising them any other way.

  26. Angelo Bambini May 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    As a child I can remember riding my bike miles away from my house, with no worries. I would show up at dark from dinner and do it again the next day. Times have changed, but I commend you on educating your child. You are the last of a dying breed.

  27. Darren Smith May 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    I think the problem with kids these days is way too much video games and TV. I myself like to do a “TV free Saturday” and make sure my kids are out of the house. Biking and just playing with each other OUTSIDE is the key to a self-reliant kid. You learn so much when you are on your own, regardless of age.

  28. Joseph McKee May 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    There are probably a few things I could even learn from your book, but I agree, for the most part many parents don’t take the time to show, and then allow them to show us how they can do things on their own. From an early age I’ve tried to teach my boys that “chicks dig scars”, and they shouldn’t be afraid of pain or falling down. And I try not to monopolize all their time and allow them to ask me to go do things.

  29. mary May 16, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    we have so called free rangers in our neighborhood. rude, inconsiderate, etc.-their parents do not have a clue where they are or how they act. neither do they care. maybe they got their lazy parenting ideas from your lovely book. hopefully none of your kids will wind up in the hands of predators-how sad that you excuse lazy parenting.

  30. Laura May 17, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    So sad how people confuse free ranging with laziness. Free ranging is about making the effort to teach your kids how to look after themselves, what to do in an emergency, how to explore and adventure safely.

    I fear for my neice. She is only 18 months but has never been allowed out to play if there’s even a slight breeze. We went on a family holiday to the coast and she wasn’t allowed to go to the beach….you catch colds from the cold air and the sea air, dontcha know?! And her mum is a nurse!!! They took her to the park, but her mum hovered half way down the slide ‘just in case’…

    I had a mostly free range childhood…i had stricter boundaries than my friends, the end of the street rather than the park, 8pm rather than 9…but I loved it all. I fell out of trees, came off my bike, skinned my knees and elbows rollerblading. Wouldnt change it for the world.

    My neice has even been pulled out of nursery…too many germs, she was always ill. Also, she isnt allowed to wander her nans house without holding her mums hand. They have a 1inch slate hearth round their fire, she might fall, crack her head open and die!!!!

  31. Claire May 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Oh my goodness. Free-range parenting is NOT about being lazy! Just the opposite, actually. It take more work to teach your child how to be independent than it does to be a helicopter parent. Free-range parents have to put in so much effort on the front-end to make sure their kids know how to take care of themselves in age-appropriate ways. It means the parents can’t just take the lazy, fearful path of doing everything for your kids, so that they never have to make a decision or encounter anything bad.

    If we, as parents, don’t teach our kids how to do things for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and lead independent lives, we will be raising a generation of losers. My kid is 9, and he’s allowed to ride his bike on busy streets, take public transportation, go places by himself, attend sleepover parties, and use the stove when I’m not home. But obviously, there are rules and limits! There are areas of the city he’s not allowed to go, he has to wear his bike helmet, I have to know the parents of the kids he plays with, I’ve taught him how to use the oven, the iron, the washer and dryer, etc. He does laundry, fixes himself lunch, and is a straight A student.

    Let your kids surprise you with what they are capable of doing. Tell them how to take care of themselves and research the best methods for teaching kids how to stay safe. Trust me, it’s worth it.

  32. Reina Neally June 12, 2013 at 5:33 am #

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  33. Rachel July 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    I can’t believe this style of parenting actually has a name, a movement, a theology! My mom emailed me this article simply for interest sake (we often reminisce about how kids used to play freely in the neighbourhood and wonder about where all of the children have gone from the playgrounds). Since my son was born 5 glorious years ago, I have taken a sort of “hands off” approach; in most situatuons, I discuss with him what the potential dangers are, what to look out for or avoid, ask him what he thinks he should or shouldn’t do in case of the what ifs and then encourage him to get out there. I’m a huge believer in the power of natural consequences; what better way to learn some of life’s most important lessons! If you don’t eat your dinner, you’ll be hungry. If you don’t pick up your stuff, it’ll get broken or lost or stolen or vacuumed up. If you don’t clean up your room, you’ll stub your toe or trip on something. Some people say its mean or too harsh, but I want my son to understand how the real world works. I can’t even count the number of times another parent has come to “warn” me about the danger my son is in and 99% of the time I’m fully aware, keeping him in the corner of my eye, and fully sure that he is competent enough to tackle whatever he’s attempting. I’ve seen him do amazing things! I’ve even encouraged him to go a little farther, climb a little higher, try it one more time, look at it from a different angle. Our kids are capable of so much more than the world gives them credit for! Now that I have two kids, I usually let them work out their own battles- sometimes by making them responsible for one another and for keeping peace between them. Hopefully if more and more parents stay a few steps behind their kids, we can bring back neighbourhoods where kids play outside until the streetlights come on, where everyone’s mom has a turn keeping an eye on the lot and where playgrounds are filled with an assortment of new friends to meet.

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  35. Pressure W August 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    I think one of the best parts of the article is the shift in attitude from yesterday to today with allowing are children to do different things. Back in the 1970s I was a 13 year old construction worker handling a 3000 PSI pressure washer and no one said a word. Now people would send an employer to jail for that sort of thing. I’m not sure if it is better or worse, but times seem like they used to be better.

  36. Kathy Schultz August 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Dear Ms. Lenore Skenazy,

    As a mom of two young children, I am always amazed by how quickly they outgrow clothing and become “too old” for the cute items I have purchased to decorate their rooms. While I happily pass along many of these items to friends and charities, I have been at a loss when it comes to the monogrammed apparel and other items personalized with their names or initials. In speaking with friends and other parents, I quickly realized I wasn’t alone.

    I wanted to offer a solution to all the moms and dads out there experiencing this dilemma and that’s why I decided to launch LollyDaisy.com, a new online shopping destination that will offer parents a seamless way to sell their children’s very gently-used monogrammed apparel, accessories and home décor, and a more cost-conscious way to purchase these adorable personalized items. LollyDaisy.com makes it easy for buyers to search by name and initials to find a match! Sellers may begin uploading items now, and in celebration of our launch we are hosting a “Cute Kid Contest” with a chance to win a $250 American Express gift card!

    The following press release offers details about LollyDaisy.com and upcoming launch. I am also happy to speak with you to answer any questions you may have about LollyDaisy.com and my inspiration for launching a secondhand monogram business for parents and other sellers of these precious children’s products.

    High-resolution images of the website for print and web are available upon request.

    Warm regards,

    Kathy Schultz

    Founder, Lolly Daisy




    NEW WEBSITE LollyDaisy.com Connects Parents Who Wish

    To Buy and Sell Gently-Used Monogrammed Children’s Apparel,

    Accessories and Home Décor

    ST. LOUIS (8/8/13) – A new online shopping destination will connect buyers and sellers of very gently-used, overstocked and custom monogrammed and personalized children’s apparel, accessories and home décor. LollyDaisy.com, created by parent and businesswoman Kathy Schultz, will debut in October 2013 for United States-based consumers, and sellers may begin posting items for sale now.

    “As a mom of two young children I am always amazed by how quickly they outgrow clothing and become ‘too old’ for those cute items I bought to decorate their rooms,” said Schultz. “While I happily pass along many of these items to friends and charities, I was at a loss when it came to the precious monogrammed apparel and other items personalized with their names and initials. I quickly realized I wasn’t alone. Many of my friends and other parents I spoke with said they were experiencing a similar dilemma.”

    Schultz’s solution, LollyDaisy.com, is an e-commerce site where sellers may post very gently used monogrammed and personalized children’s items and give them a sale price. Potential buyers can search by name or initials to find the personalized item they seek. They may also search by size, color, brand and a variety of other specifications. Visitors to the site can also create an account to be notified by email when new items are posted that meet their search criteria.

    Beginning in August 2013, sellers may begin uploading their items to LollyDaisy.com in preparation for the October 2013 launch. “Clothing, diaper bags, wall letters, dishware, towels, backpacks, jewelry, bedding, if it’s personalized and in great condition we will take it and help users sell and market their merchandise to consumers,” explained Schultz.

    In addition, LollyDaisy.com will sell at a discounted price a wide array of overstock and floor sample items from wholesale vendors.

    “New monogrammed and personalized children’s merchandise is often pricey, but LollyDaisy.com offers parents and gift givers a more cost-conscious, guiltless way of buying these highly sought after clothing and accessories,” said Schultz.

    If consumers are unable to locate a specific monogrammed or personalized item, they may search LollyDaisy.com for custom-made apparel, accessories and home décor.

    LollyDaisy.com charges no membership or listing fee and only requires a minimal seller’s fee.

    As part of LollyDaisy.com’s launch, the Company is hosting a “Cute Kid Contest”. The winner of the contest will receive a $250 USD American Express gift card. Contest details are available on http://facebook.com/LollyDaisy


    Based in St. Louis, MO, LollyDaisy.com is an online shopping destination for buyers and sellers of very gently used, overstocked and custom monogrammed and personalized children’s apparel, accessories and home décor. LollyDaisy.com was created by parent and businesswoman Kathy Schultz. The website is slated to launch in October 2013. Sellers may begin posting items for sale in August 2013.

  37. KK September 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Thank you for your work and courage presenting these ideas. This culture does not welcome that which rocks it’s economic boat.
    My own thoughts around childrearing was catalyzed with my volunteer work with a group 10-15 children in an orphanage in India. Their ages ranged from 3-15. They had very little in the way material goods or adult direction. They had food, shelter, clothes and went to public schools. There primary socialization, and caring came from one another. How they were with me and with each other was different enough, in a positive way, that I began questioning my personal and cultural assumptions about children and childrearing. Having had a son I’d been through a childrearing process of my own and had done some reading and thinking about the subject previously. A particular idea that had been always in the background of my thinking came to the foreground and other articles supporting and connected to it started coming to me recently including now your work.
    I produce soem statistic i’ve found below.
    More than 90% of all sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator. Almost 50% of the offenders are household members and 38% are already acquaintances of the victims.
    Source: US Department of Justice. (1997) and Finkelhor and Ormond. (2001).
    According to the U.S. Department of Justice, victims of rape and sexual assault report that in nearly 3 out of 4 incidents, the offender was not a stranger. Based on police-recorded incident data, in 90% of the rapes of children younger than 12, the child knew the offender.
    Source: Greenfield, et al, 1997. Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rae and Sexual Assault. United States Department of Justice.

    According to the U.S. Department of Justice, victims of rape and sexual assault report that in nearly 3 out of 4 incidents, the offender was not a stranger. Based on police-recorded incident data, in 90% of the rapes of children younger than 12, the child knew the offender.
    Source: Greenfield, et al, 1997. Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rae and Sexual Assault. United States Department of Justice.

    Like rape, child molestation is one of the most underreported crimes: only 1-10% are ever disclosed.

    Source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
    Reading between the lines should point at who the more provable dangerous people to children are, which we are in denial about.


  38. Sarah September 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Etan Patz

  39. Karcher November 13, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    Hi Lenore–Funny I just came upon this faq for Free Range Kids. Recently in my town in Cloverdale near Vancouver in Canada they banned kids playing tag and that sort of thing because it had them “touching” each other and like you say thats a big no-no these days.

    It’s really a joke and the kids will grow up so sheltered and they won’t be able to read a map like yours… Great job and I like the movement.

  40. Jessica Taylor November 13, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Children’s education is like a systems engineering.

  41. Adrienne November 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi Lenore;

    As a new parent (I have a 10 month old son and another baby on the way in 4 months) I have to applaud your stance on the “dangers” of raising kids. I’m only 35 but vividly remember walking 1.5km to school in the morning alone- at age FIVE. This wasn’t an everyday occurrence, but when my single mother had a doctor’s appt with my older sister or my little brother, sometimes I walked by myself and GASP, have lived to tell about it. Can you even begin to imagine the grief parents would get today if they allowed that to happen? They’d probably be run out of town….
    I whole-heartedly agree with you that the news media sells a lot more stories by digging up and highlighting the truly devious acts nowadays, and this has 90% contributed to the “worst-first” mentality. The other 10% being that with our ability to get information NOW age, parents don’t know how to turn off the smartphone, laptop, Facebook feed, etc. and think for themselves (ps the best and worst thing about the internet is that you can ALWAYS find what you’re looking for). I hear a lot of friends saying “I’m scared about bringing a child into this world”….I will certainly be passing along the link to your site to them in the hopes that some of the edge can be taken off. Having a child has been far and away the most significant and beautiful thing that has ever happened in my life and I shudder to think that there are some out there who may choose to allow the “big scary world” to keep them from experiencing such joy.

    Thank you again, and all the very best to you 🙂

    Adrienne Betts

  42. Ricardo January 19, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    As a piano teacher, you’d think I wouldn’t have to deal with helicopter parents. I teach piano out of my home and typically have parents sit in the next room while I give their child a lesson. This works well most of the time. However, I have had to ask several parents NOT to be in the house as I give a lesson. They are simply too overbearing. I’ve had parents yell at their kids from the next room over simply because they missed a note in one of the pieces they’ve been practicing all week.

  43. Edward January 22, 2014 at 12:54 am #

    Excellent points! Even though kids a while away for me for now these are interesting points to consider.

  44. Heidi May 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    I like how this article is challenging me. I know that as my 18 month old daughter grows, she will benefit from increasing freedoms, I just hope I can pull my head out of a pillow while she’s out and about. It may be irrational but I don’t want her free ranging without other children out and about as well. I also feel that I would do almost anything to prevent her from ever experiencing certain horrors. Horrors that aren’t so uncommon. Statistically the numbers of people molested is like 25%. That may be mostly by people they know, but this fills me with dred. I will support my daughter’s independence and teach her to protect herself, but only to a point. I do let her stand in the shopping cart, despite others disapproval. She loves it and it’s only mildly dangerous. 🙂

  45. Heidi May 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    I mean I’ll teach her to protect herself to no end, but discern what freedoms will be beneficial enough to allow.

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  47. sharon July 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    I like the site alot but I do propose that outside the helicoptering or not, some kids are just not mature enough to be as free range in certain ways than others, not owing to the threat of abduction. Some kids are wildly thrill seeking and its more intrinsic and less subject to parental molding and exercising caution is not a bad thing. This site almost suggests if you DON’T let your 9 year old take the subway home you’re a bad person. I knew my 8 year old daughter was mature enough to cross the street but I didn’t let my kids do it till they were ten, I was more comfortable with this. I let my kids run amuck at the playground but I feel very uncomfortable seeing a kid do something above and beyond the actual playground activity, maybe because the playgrounds aren’t challenging anymore but no, I can’t say I feel I am being overprotective not liking a kid trying to balance himself on a tall uneven structure not intended to have anyone there to begin with. I think there’s a happy medium to be had here no?

  48. Jennifer Martinez July 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

    I have stumbled across your website from a link in a Slate article about the woman who got arrested for letting her daughter go to the park by herself. I am so in agreement with you about the bombardment of negativity in the media, leading to a culture of fear. I have to say that it has been a struggle for me to disentangle myself from this culture, but I’m making progress, and I think your book might help.
    You see, I was a child of the 70’s and 80’s, who was raised by what we now call a “helicopter parent”. I lived at the end of a cul-de-sac, in a row of townhouses, but still could not go further than one house to my right and 4 houses to my left. I wasn’t allowed to play with other kids who were playing baseball/basketball, etc. at the end of our cul-de-sac, because they were in the street. I wasn’t allowed in the street. When Adam Walsh got beheaded, I was repeatedly told that it happened, “because he was not with his parents” (not because there are sick people in this world). Of course I don’t believe that Adam’s death was his fault or the fault of his upbringing, and I could go on and on about how I was raised, but you get the picture.
    Now, I am a mother of an 8 year-old girl, and over the past few months, as I’ve been working through my own insecurity and anxiety issues with professional help, I’ve grown to realize that I am sheltering my daughter way too much, even though, comparative to my childhood, she’s almost “free-range”. Thank you for putting yourself out there regarding this issue. For all the flack you receive, please know, there are those of us who support your movement. For me, it is therapeutic. 🙂

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  50. Nadia Ahlsten July 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    What can we do to liberate our kids without getting criminally charged for child abandonment? I consider my kids to be pretty smart but how do you teach them independence if you are worried about informants (or good samaritans) turning you in?

  51. Korky Day August 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    I’m 99% with you.
    You do err, though, in thinking that bottlefeeding is acceptable. Actually, it’s very much like the other high-tech absurdities you rail against.
    It does kill 1.5 million children a year in all countries.
    It does make children less confident, as well as the well-known less healthy.
    Those mothers who ‘can’t’ breastfeed?
    Just like the mothers who ‘can’t’ let their children ride the train. Fear and ignorance.
    Based on misconceptions vital to the profits of the breastmilk substitute racket.
    Their brain-washed doctors tell mothers they can’t breastfeed and the mothers believe. A crime.
    She should consult a lactation consultant and La Leche League, full of mothers who have succeeded in spite of the doctors’ lies.
    Of course, our entire society and culture puts many more blocks against this old-fashioned way to raise children, which I won’t detail here.

  52. Jen August 20, 2014 at 6:27 pm #


    I was really startled by the story about the woman who left her kid at the park alone… because she got arrested. I imagine race/social status has something to do with what you “can” and “can’t” do because “child endangerment” seems like a really subjective thing to enforce, but have you researched what is actually “illegal”, and what sorts of free-range things could get you arrested or could cause the government to take your child away? Honestly, that’s the primary thing I fear, not abductions or otherwise. Could you please provide some advice and guidance on the legal limits for free range raising, and the legal rights the parents have? Thanks!


  53. Laurel August 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    This was an awesome post, Gabriel age 7 positively loves your sense of humor! We discovered this in looking at home school options, for mom(Laurel) this article solidified my choice! If your child was homeschooled you probably had the problem of him/her getting punished by grandma for walking alone to her house a couple blocks away! LOL (Gabriel) there are more and more of us parents recognizing the plight of our children when exposed to public schools which also perpetuate these unproductive fears! Thanks for defending all of us publicly!!
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  56. Tom Hoffman September 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Just when you think you’ve heard everything:

    My neighbor drives to the bottom of our common driveway every day to pick up his son from the school bus. The boy appears to be about 7 or 8. I count steps for health reasons, and I’d guess the walk from the bus stop to the boy’s front door to be less than 200 steps. The driveway does serve several other homes, but there is next to no traffic on it. It’s a driveway, not a public road.

    You often read stories about college graduates who “fail to launch” and continue to live at home. For sure, some of this is due to the job situation and student loan debt.

    But what do parents like this expect? That they can wave a magic wand when a certain calendar date arrives (the child’s 18th birthday or college graduation), and the son or daughter will be miraculously transformed from a helpless, overprotected child to a mature, self-confident adult?

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  58. Beth January 17, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    I was free ranged, turned out just fine. Hell, I’ve got a funny for you I was in the hospital to deliver my son and because I had a cat scratch on my belly they called in child family services and wouldn’t let me take my son home until they inspected my very neat and tidy home. I couldn’t help it that my cat thought I was carrying his kitten and insisted on affectionately kneading my belly every time he got the chance. There was no harm done, but you could have swore that I held a loaded gun to my stomach.

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  60. robin adams March 2, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    This is interesting as back in the , late 60s and early 70s we were more independent at a younger age. I would travel from my home town to central London at the age of 11 to watch soccer. That is like a child today going to LA from san diego on their own.
    At 9 we would travel to our nearby towns on our own and on the weekends our parents wouldnt see us most of the time as we were out.
    It was a lot more dangerous then as people were not as aware of the perils, unlike today everyone is always on the watch.

  61. Leckey March 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    Awesome! I was a Free Range Kid for almost, now that I think about it many years. Partly because my parents tuned out. Partly because where I grew up, the neighborhood raised the child. We were in and out of houses on either side of us and across the street.

    This reminds me of the book, “The Last Child in the Woods.”

    As for overprotecting, I think it’s a waste of time and energy. Its fear based. Kids need to learn to own their lives. Trauma is going to happen in life (thats my field), and kids who own are more resilient.

  62. G Mason March 3, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

    This website and what it promotes is irresponsible and lazy parenting. Children deciding when they want to be independent is the measuring stick advocated here as if children have the capacity to make the best parenting decisions for themselves. This website is at very least dangerous.

  63. mel March 5, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    This is a refreshing outlook on parenting. As for G Mason’s recent post about how this is dangerous because he/she doesn’t like “Children deciding when they want to be independent…”, well, the key word there is WANT. If your 3 year old decides they want to walk to the park. obviously the answer is no. If your irresponsible, careless 12 year old wants to ride his bike on the street to a friend’s house, the answer may also be no. If your 9 year old wants to meet a friend half a block away to play outside? Well, it all depends on the kid, the parents, and the neighborhood. Don’t assume that freedom is automatically “dangerous”.

    I sincerely wonder how much of the popular coddling/helicopter parenting is related to the increased focus on the effects of bullying. Yes, the bullying should stop – and the kids (and more importantly the PARENTS) should be held accountable. At the same time, bullying/teasing/taunting/excluding/you name it has always existed in some form, and it seems that suicides by young adolescents were not present until recently. (Or maybe they just weren’t publicized – I don’t know for sure.) Providing kids with the tools and *confidence* to do reasonable things on their own (and to ask for help!) prepares them for real life – be it organizational skills, physical activity, or emotional health.

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  65. Medium March 28, 2015 at 3:58 am #

    Where does it start and stop? hard to say. I think kids these days are much more well informed due to internet but much less equipped to deal with “situations” because they get out less…

    Great article.

  66. Josiah Patton March 30, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    Thank you for this website. It is very helpful to see the other side of things

  67. kaylee April 9, 2015 at 1:02 am #

    hi I’m a teenager but I just wanna say I agree with you. When my mom was pregnant with me she was visiting her parents far away and then she had me, so for the first five years of my life I lived with my grandparents. I don’t have many memories but I know I had a lot of fun and was free-range as you call it. When I was only 4 I could walk to my friends house down the street and I would go from yard to yard playing with friends, or on my own exploring the world completely unsupervised. It’s funny how this worked but when it was time for a meal grandma (or maybe mom) would just yell “lunchtime!” And I’d come running. I learned a lot on my own and it was so carefree too. I would literally play outside till the streetlights came on most of the time, and I never got tired. Then of course I had to go back to my real mom and dads house eventually and things went downhill from their sadly #HelicopterDaddy R.I.P my short lived carefree free range childhood 2000-2005

  68. kaylee April 9, 2015 at 1:05 am #

    Oh, yeah and I’m gonna give my kids that when I grow up, if the government dosnt jail me for it or something.

  69. Rearing intelligent kids April 13, 2015 at 12:24 am #

    It is not freedom that I fear in child rearing, but corrupt democrat party philosophy that teaches our children to rely on government handouts to coddle them cradle to grave. A free range parent, who also votes for Hillary Clinton is two faced, and hypocritical. It is impossible to teach a child responsibility and self reliance and then turn around and vote for the corrupt elitist democrat party.

  70. Darin Ganitch April 13, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    I wanted to provide some statistics for people to review and confirm.

    I think that people have a skewed idea of how dangerous the US is. If you were to only watch the news you would think we lived in mortal terror everyday. The news really only reports bad things that happen, rarely do they report good news.

    Reality check; walk around your city and neighborhood and then decide what the true reality is. Its safer than when I was a kid in the 60″s. And my parents basically told me go out and play and come back for dinner back then.

    Kids need to have a level of independence or they will not be able to function in society.

    If government decides what is right for us then we don’t have a government of the people. I looked at a poll about this the most recent harassment http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/apr/13/free-range-parents-under-fire-again/ and 69% of people say they think its ok.

    Here are the stats.

    According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), every year, more than 200,000 children are abducted by family members. An additional 58,000 are taken by nonrelatives with primarily sexual motives. However, only 115 reported abductions represent cases in which strangers abduct and kill children, hold them for ransom, or take them with the intention to keep.
    source: The FBI – Crimes Against Children Spotlight

    That’s a total of 258,115 child abductions per year, or a little over 700 per day average. Nearly four out of five are abductions by family members, usually over some disagreement about custody, and less than 1/20th of 1% of child abductions are the kind of criminal stranger abductions people most worry about. Anderson Cooper’s analysis says that there are a total of 800,000 missing persons per year (more than 2,000 per day), with the other 540,000 being runaways and people kicked out of their homes by their families.

    It’s also worth noting that “About 99 percent were found within hours or days by usual law enforcement response.” and “More than 7,000 children nationwide were missing for prolonged periods.” – source – That means something like 20 US kids are kidnapped per day for prolonged periods.

    Here’s the age and sex breakdown of kidnapping victims:

    source: DoJ via Project America

    This national ranking of kidnapping rates doesn’t include the United States. I suspect there’s some fundamental difference in how the United States defines kidnapping compared to other nations. 258,115 kidnappings out of 311.6 million people would give the United States a score on that chart of 82.8 per 100,000 — more than the top 11 nations on that list combined. That defies all expectations. If the United States includes custody dispute kidnappings in their tally and other nations do not, that would mean the proper calculation comes from dividing 58,115 by the 311.6 million population to give the USA a score of 18.65 — still top of the list by a significant margin, but at least somewhat plausible. If only those 7,000+ “prolonged periods” kidnappings are counted, the USA’s rate would be 2.24 per 100,000 (about midway between France and Ireland on the list). If only stranger-perpetrated criminal abductions are counted, the US rate drops to 115 out of 311.6 million, or 0.037 per 100,000 (near the bottom of the list, between Mongolia and the Philippians). Until I find some scholarly discussion about how these other nations count kidnappings compared to how the USA does, I can’t be confident any of these national comparisons are fair or methodologically meaningful.

  71. Howard Brooking April 13, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    I did not know this was “a thing.” We have been raising our children to be independent of this absurd nanny state mentality brought about by media sickness. We thought we were alone.

    When I think of it, It is funny that people have applied the term nanny state to things most people would agree are prudent precautions (safety glass anyone?), but many completely support turning our kids into helpless co-dependents because they simply cannot turn off cable news.

    Now people are going to be afraid to let their children explore not because of the creeps of the periphery of the system, but because of the well-meaning but misguided creeps within it. Strange days indeed.

  72. Alan April 14, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    I remember when I was stationed in Okinawa in 96-98. I was walking home at 2am (totally sober I assure you…ok, not even close) and there was a kid who started walking with me. I would have guessed that she was maybe 5-7 years old. My Japanese was decent at the time, and I was a little concerned, because it was 2am. I asked her where she was going, and after her surprise that I could speak Japanese, she said she was going to her grandma’s. I asked her where that was, and she indicated that it was about a half mile away, thru a bar heavy area of town. I offered to walk her home, and she replied in a very matter of fact way, “no thanks, I do this all the time.”

    I later ran into their parents, who owned a restaurant that catered to Marines. They said this is typical not only for their family, but for many in Okinawa.

    I’m trying now to let my daughter get out there and explore…. I’ll be the first to admit, that the fear of evil bad things happening, is much higher than the actual instances of anything happening……

  73. Lynn April 16, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    I think there is another element that leads to our insane idea that children require 24/7 supervision. Our laws. I grew up in Britain. I was a baby-sitter at 11 years of age, walking home at 11:30 PM, staying full weekends looking after 4 children, etc. In America, it is I who would have needed a baby-sitter.

    We played all over our villages/towns without the presence of a supervisory grown up. No one felt our parents were negligent. Nor did childhood accidents (falling off the swing/tree/wall/fence and breaking an arm/leg) result in suing the owner of the swing/tree/wall/fence). Of course, we had the NHS so no one worried about medical bills – and certainly, no one felt they deserved thousands in compensation. If any adult saw dangerous play, they stepped up and said something and you knew their next call would be to your parents.

    Today’s American parent is rendered legally negligent if anything happens to the child; and forfend it should happen while they were unsupervised. As is often the case, we have decided to put all our law-abiding citizens and their children in jail so they are protected from free-range criminal – and then act surprised when our children are self-centered, naive, inexperienced, and irresponsible adults. Really?

  74. Samuel April 18, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    I was raised in West Allis Wisconsin a block from a railroad track. My school was on the other side of the tracks and I would walk the 5 blocks to school some times with my 7 year old brother, some times alone. On the way home I would daily pass through the local hardware store and marvel at everything there from nuts and bolts to toy trains.
    My Dad took me on one of my first excursions “across the tracks” and on the way the regular scheduled Milwaukee Road train was passing by. Holding his hand and standing within a few feet of the tracks the huge steam locomotive chugged by pulling a long line of cars, shaking the ground and blowing steam and soot high into the air. I asked my Dad: “Who makes steam engines.”. “Engineers” said my Dad.

    Later in life thanks much to my Dad, I became a top Turbo Machinery Engineer and an expert in all forms of rotating equipment, particularly steam turbines and engines.

    Thank God I was raised a Free Range Kid.

  75. Kyrie Smith April 19, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    Hmmm… the opinions above lack any sort of common sense. Formula is considered bad for good reason. Just because people before us were raised a certain way doesn’t mean it was a good or healthy way. We reduced doing those things for good reason. I don’t see people running around wearing lead laced hats, bathing only once a year, beating their spouses legally in public, or marrying siblings. That being said, I’m all for “safe” free range parenting. Kids need freedom, but they also need safety. My mother gave me absolutely no supervision as a kid. I nearly drowned twice, got hit by a car, had an endless number of men try to grab me/ solicit me (one called himself a police officer), I was offered drugs and liquor and even once had someone give me crack (had no idea what it was until my mom told me when she saw the baggie), etc. There would be a whole jail black devoted to adults who broke the law with me had any legally minded adult been watching.The world is not a joke. It’s sheer luck that I didn’t end up dead. My kids have much more experience in self defense than I do (competitive taekwondo), but I still am very wary about how they go about being away from adults. As a kid I noticed that large groups of kids that include males tend to be safe from adult attention as long as they stick together and stay away from dangerous situations. implying the world is safe so let your guard down is a joke though. If you don’t want to be bothered with parenting then don’t have kids.

  76. shaina April 20, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    This is the most irresposible parenting that I have ever heard of. Iti s as if you want your kids to grow up once they are out if the womb. G-d gave you these precious children to nurture and protect. Only at the right time to you give them the freedom to be independent. I am happy the police took these children .Parents who are crazy enough to let young children walk alone do mot deserve to have them

  77. shaina April 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    This is the most irresposible parenting that I have ever heard of. Iti s as if you want your kids to grow up once they are out if the womb. G-d gave you these precious children to nurture and protect. Only at the right time when a child is old enough to be independent then we give them that freedom. I am happy the police took these children .Parents who are crazy enough to let young children walk alone do not deserve to have them

  78. shaina April 20, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

    This is insane these kind of parents should be arrested and have their children placed in homes were they will be taken care of in the proper way. Don’t have kids if you can’t be responsible.

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  80. Warren April 27, 2015 at 10:40 pm #


    Before you comment you should actually educate yourself on the issue. It is overly emotional people like you that are the problem.

    Your job is not to raise safe kids. Your job is to raise responsible, capable adults.

  81. Lisa April 27, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    I just last week let my 11 year old daughter get off the bus and come home alone and wait for me for 1 hour. I put the house key on a piece of leather and tied it around her neck. I had a doctors appointment and could not get in for a different time unless it was 6 months from now. I became a latch- key kid at the age of 8 years old. Guess what? My daughter was fine. Much more so than if I had not gotten my meds from my doctor.

    Good Job!!!

  82. Valerie Parkhurst May 1, 2015 at 7:13 am #

    Why is there a disclaimer at the end of your show stating “No children were left alone or endangered” during the filming of this episode? I wouldn’t be bothered so much by your public message if you also were not a HUGE proponent of abolishing the registry and attempting to allow truly dangerous sex offenders a more anonymous presence near our families by propagandizing that the “bulk” of registrants were just a bunch of teenage kids with high hormone levels?? Your dangerous and the fact your largest group of supporters have some of the most heinous crimes under their belts .

  83. Warren May 1, 2015 at 8:57 am #


    First, the disclaimer at the end of the show is at the demand of the network attorneys, not Lenore. That disclaimer is no different than any other disclaimer used by media. You know the “The views expressed in this program do not reflect…………..”. It has nothing to do with Free Range Kids or Lenore, and everything to do with lawyers and insurance companies covering their asses.

    As for the Sex Offender Registry, anyone with any logic and common sense can see that it is nothing more than optics. Nothing about the registry actually keeps anyone safe. All it does is allow paranoid people like you something to look up on the computer, and then falsely believe that it actually is a tool you can use to protect anyone. The supporters you speak of are not criminals, we are parents and grandparents trying our best to reclaim childhood for kids, from the paranoid people like you that try to dictate how we raise kids. Now go learn things.

  84. Sarah Nelson May 8, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    I believe in raising self-reliant children, absolutely. But the stats you keep quoting are incorrect. Yes, child mortality has dropped, but during that same time death by violence have increased. During 1950-1993, the overall annual death rate for U.S. children aged less than 15 years declined substantially (1), primarily reflecting decreases in deaths associated with unintentional injuries, pneumonia, influenza, cancer, and congenital anomalies. However, during the same period, childhood homicide rates tripled, and suicide rates quadrupled. This info is from the CDC. So, in fact, children ARE more likely to die by violence these days, so even if kids aren’t being snatched left and right, they ARE still in more danger. If you’re going to be a spokesperson, you need to use the right statistics. Just because you want it to be a certain way, doesn’t make it so.

  85. Sarah May 8, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    I find all of this interesting. I think it would be good, and may be on your sight somewhere to give organizations that do teach effective skills to children regarding safety and empowerment. One organization is Kidpower.org. Tons and tons of things for parents to utilize, role plays etc.

    The statistics are low, yes that kids will be abducted but they are there. I teach children’s self-defense and one of my young students, about age 6-7 now faced an attempted abduction at a playground. As she did in her role plays was to run and go to help (her father on the field over). My sister a teacher was in an area of her school where two of the young kids walking home were attempted to be taken. So helping kids be prepared and empowered is part of the Free-Range and just plain parenting is important.

    I love the idea of free-range but I also feel there is a romanticizing of a different era. We were pretty free-range but like others it bordered on neglect. Kids off on their own is good, parent absenteeism is not. Many of our parents had no clue what we were doing and who we were doing it to. It was brutal. So everything should be given with balance.

  86. Sandy May 9, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    Yeah, not a good idea in poor, dangerous neighborhoods. It’s not just “creeps” that are the problem. Naive.

  87. Wow... May 9, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    @Sandy: Free-range is all about knowing what is dangerous and what isn’t. There are lots of little publicized dangers that are more dangerous than well-known very rare dangers. And take reasonable precautions by all means. (Helmets, seatbelts, whatever)

    But if it genuinely is dangerous in your neighbourhood for children to walk alone…don’t let them? That isn’t anti free-range, it’s common sense. After a certain age, there is a point where … frankly, the neighbourhood is the problem.

    Example: An 8 y/o should be able to cross some roads independently and safely. If they can’t, likely neither can adults which comes back to the ‘neighbourhood’ idea.

  88. I wish to remain anonymous May 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    how do I hire you?! (Half kidding about that) my point is, I have a ten year old friend who cannot even leave her driveway unsupervised. She can’t go biking or walk down the road to my house. We went on a picnic and biked there and her mom felt she “had” to come with us to supervise us and was constantly reminding us to bike on the side of the road don’t forget our helmets ect… (I have nothing against helmets but I’m 14 and she’s ten we both don’t need to be reminded!!!) also my brother came and saw us and he’s 8 and he asked to use my friends bike and he was allowed to “use” it-and by that I mean sit there while my friends mom held the bike and talked in a baby voice saying “don’t worry I won’t let go” and “isn’t this fun?” Cause, well if he actually rode it he could get hurt she said, and yes he had a helmet. Also my friend cannot invite boys to her sleepovers. I’ve been to one of her sleepovers and the whole thing was organized activities by her mom which also made us all go to bed at ten (ok well,, I guess it’s a SLEEPover heh heh…) and I think she’s helicoptered to much, and I’m not sure how to convince her mom how to let her do more things like biking up the road rather than the driveway at least without supervision.

  89. I wish to remain anonymous May 11, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    Oh, and we live in a small tight knit community in a very quiet neighborhood were it’s PERFECTLY SAFE. oh, it’s also on a lake

  90. I wish to remain anonymous May 13, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    lol sorry Lenore I told my Auntie about you and she thinks your nuts. I was thinking of saying “what kind, almonds maybe?, anyhow nuts are pretty healthy!”

  91. I wish to remain anonymous May 13, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

    how would you respond to “I know kidnappings are rare, and I did these things a kid, but.. Why in the world would you risk it!” That’s what my auntie said I don’t even want to think about what my friends mom would say, she’s wayyy more cautious.

  92. I wish to remain anonymous May 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    *sigh* I’m trying to convince my aunt that my 8 year old brother can cook his own food (not that he has to but he CAN) go off on his own (at leaaaast on the street) and other stuff. And don’t even get me started on my friend (let’s call her Jen) WhAt Is ThE mAtTeR wItH pEoPlE oN mY sTrEeT!!??

  93. Rick Tornello June 6, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    I wrote a short Childrens’ book for adults called GLORIA THE CHIPMUNK and deals with just this sort of situation. I took a lot from my youth and being pretty much Mr. Mom for my daughter. I gave her lots of freedom in all aspects of her growing up. Being able to think on her feet was an important aspect of her general education. WE were not helicopter parents as were so many in our Bethesda neighborhood

    I think you’ll find GLORIA THE CHIPMUNK very timely and I’d be glad to mail you a copy. It is on Amazon.

    A friend of my, a retired engineer suggested I get in touch with someone in this “movement”. She read my book and as I mention suggested I get in touch with someone.

    Rick Tornello
    Chantilly VA

  94. Jacob June 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    This is great stuff, seriously my parents let me explore my surrounds and learn through my own experiences, this helped them show that they trusted me also. Hence I never had the urge to rebel against them and had a super fun childhood! Good read.

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  97. Tara June 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    We have just bought our 15 year old son a cell phone. We have looked at many social media and phone usage contracts between children and parents. I’m curious to hear how a free range parent would handle the issues of social media and cell phones with their teens.

  98. Warren June 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm #


    Like any other part of life. By the time they are 15, you have given them the tools and teachings to handle life. Why should the phone have it’s on set of rules and restrictions. Either you trust your kid to manage their phone properly or you don’t. If you don’t, you shouldn’t have got the phone. If you do trust them, don’t worry.

  99. Tara July 1, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Warren gave an appropriately simplistic response to my inappropriately simplistic question. Let me address trust and add a little more thought to my question.

    I trust my son. I also trust that he will mess up. I trust that he will suffer the consequences we have put in place and that he will change for a time and will mess up again. I trust failure will not be a measure of his self worth and I trust that we will continue to love and respect each other in spite of and because of our mistakes. Perfection is not my goal, but neither is naivete.

    There are some things that I like about the contract. One being that it is a sort of check list to help me know the things that I should go over with my child that I might otherwise forget. Another is that I know my child knows what his father and I expect of him. I guess I look at it much like going over the things a child needs to know and look out for when crossing the street or riding the subway.

    Where I begin to veer away from the contract is when they talk about reading texts and always knowing your child’s password. One of the freedoms I hope to instill in my children is their right to privacy. Our country loves to infringe on the rights and privacy of willing participants .

    What have other parents done in this area of parenting?

  100. James Pollock July 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    “Where I begin to veer away from the contract is when they talk about reading texts and always knowing your child’s password. One of the freedoms I hope to instill in my children is their right to privacy. Our country loves to infringe on the rights and privacy of willing participants .”

    Always having the password is not the same as always (or ever) using the password. “I trust you, but I reserve the right to act to protect you if I feel a need. Don’t make me feel a need.”
    The goal of parenthood, at that late stage of the game, is not to be giving detailed advice about what to do and how to do it. You’re supposed to have prepared him for self-determination by that point. You’ve had 15 years to instill your values, and you’ve either succeeded or failed at that. Your job now is to provide wisdom… to provide the benefit of someone else’s mistakes instead of having to learn them all first-hand. Your child should not make the same mistakes you did… they should make new, and different mistakes.
    If you’ve raised the sort of person who doesn’t need mom and dad checking his phone every day, don’t check his phone every day… that’s the job of his soon to be ex. If you’ve raised the sort of person who DOES need mom and dad checking his phone every day, don’t check his phone every day. By that age, you probably aren’t keeping him from actually DOING something stupid, you just teach him to delete all the texts about it. But DO retain the right to take possession of, and to inspect the contents of, his phone.

  101. Nicole July 10, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

    We should fight to create a law stating, “Children can play out side for a period of time, without a parent getting arrested.” My kids are 12 and 8 and I’m afraid. Last year I got a warning from a police officer because they were playing outside near my house.):

  102. Denise August 6, 2015 at 1:08 am #

    Hello Lenore,

    I’m so happy to have found your site. 3 years ago I had a neighbor (I never even spoke to before), call the police on me for letting my 6 year old check the mailbox 5 feet in front of my house while I watched from the window. She told the police a 3 year old was alone in the street and that he ran out in front of her car. She claims she was concerned but how could she be concerned when she yelled at him “where is your mother!” then walked up to my door cursing me and telling me I was a bad mother and she was going to call the police? She dropped the f bomb while her two boys stared from the backseat of her car. She’s a single mother of 2 boys and had the nerve to do this to another mother. The officer realized how ridiculous the claim was and left. I couldn’t sleep for a week because I was so mad.

    Recently I left my 3 children alone in the car on a nice day, with the doors locked, while I ran into the post office to ask a question about renewing passports. My 2 year old had fallen asleep so this was easier. Immediately after I entered a man rushed in behind me announcing someone had left an infant alone in a car. I told him there was no infant in the car, my children are fine, and that I would be a minute! A friend later warned me not to take the risk and shared a story of her friend who had been arrested for something similar.

    I admit, I did have the fear of letting my boys go to public bathrooms alone until age 6. I usually send them together. I remember not always feeling safe when I entered a public bathroom alone as a child, so I have learned to relax if they say they are comfortable going alone, as long as I’m there waiting by the door.

    I find it very challenging to raise free range kids because it seems when you do let them have some freedom others are there to sabotage it in some way.

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  129. Roger Waldens September 16, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    Being a parent myself I can agree with what you are saying that today’s kids are being bubble wrapped and kept, but then the dangers are also so much more. If it was up to me, I would like my children roam and explore all day, wherever they wanted to go. To experience nature and freedom, like I think I had at some point in my childhood… but then I think of all the horror stories of what is lurking out there, and suddenly its not worth it.

  130. candice russell October 16, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    very sound and practical information that makes me nostalgic for my own free-range childhood in the 1950s of bike-riding, walking to school alone (even for miles) and going on camping trips w/ Girl Scouts! Amazing — how we all survived. Thank you for your philosophy and thoughts.

  131. Andrew D. Roper December 6, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    1. Defects in social relations:

    Children with autism are very limited in social communication. For example in communication, the children with autism cannot communicate with the naked eye, there is the “non-verbal” communication by the gestures of the body. The sentiment is very limited even with parents and relatives of the family. Do not share the sad feelings, not interested in the activities around the child.
    2. Cause defects on the use of language in communication:
    Delay said or is saying it is not clear what its soy sauce. Have the child talk but only few sentences such as “she”, “mom” … the rest is silence, the young do not know how to express the aspirations in the language.
    3. Fantasy Games:
    Children with autism often do not like to play with friends that just love to play alone. No variety in selecting games, just playing or hold a toy. Skill games limited, repeating an action. Play the unusual objects such as wires, trees, control the television, telephone …. Almost 100% of children with autism see too many advertisements on television, or limbs may dance, or walk around with no purpose.

    -Currently the world people are still researching the causes of autism. But we can say that people put out 3 basic causes:

    4. Brain damage:
    May occur before birth, for example there are mothers infected with the viral infection in the first three months of pregnancy and the other diseases in pregnancy. Or occurred while born premature babies such as asphyxiation, or jaundice. Or older after birth as: Older respiratory breathing air, breathing oxygen. This causes quite a large proportion.

    5. Genetics (genes):
    Research through the treatment patients have found that the genetic factor is also one of the causes of autism. There have been cases of 2 older autistic syndrome in the same family. Or have a family, she also, aunt nephew, suicide was all gut. Families then 6 the man in the House not talking to each other, the wrong lÅ©i like the shadow and has a grandchild with autism, …

    6. The environment:
    This is also the cause leading to convergence. May be caused by environmental pollution such as smoke, dust, chemicals … Some families too modern lifestyle such as: lack of interest of the parents, the child must stay with the majority of time during the day, children are not being delivered to outside that just stay at home watching tv … There is pollution of lifestyle.

    -Consequences of the syndrome of autism are very serious: It affects not only the child, the family that also affect society. A child with autism if the detection and early intervention the chances off completely will be very high (ideal is under 3 years) the child will develop good young can communicate verbally, conscious behavior and independence in life. Also children with autism is not detected early, or early detection but the family does not accept intervention and severe slowdown, accompanied by intellectual retardation, the latter would lead to the condition of mental disorder. Review on the classification of diseases of the World Health Organization so can children with autism will become mental patients.

  132. Eric Jones December 22, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

    I don’t understand the fuss in the states about Free Range kids. I, my brother, friends and every other kid grew up Free Range in Los Angeles. Free Range is the normal state for kids growing up because they don’t want to hang with the parents they want to do their thing. Here in Japan, I’m sure I’m not the only one to point this out, kids are Free Range from Kindergarten/Fist Grade on up. You see 7/8 year olds on the train, on the bus, walking to school etc..Our daughter officially became free range last week walking to the train station to meet Mom and, should she behave herself, will be serious Free Ranging on a flight to Osaka to meet stay with her Grandparents and other relatives. Please behave so we can get a break. :^)

    Sure kids are loud, and annoying when parents aren’t around but we all were. Some of us never stopped… :^)


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  134. Faaria March 6, 2016 at 2:37 am #

    So, I feel like I may need to read your book. I was born in 1984 and most of my childhood was in the 90’s. I had helicopter parents. First time I went anywhere where they did not drop me off was college night class at the age of 17. I know they just thought they where protecting me, but in hindsight it was a little crazy. Now I have a four year old and I realize I have no sense of what a 4 year old should be able to do on his own because I was not allowed to do any thing on my own. He decided at the last minute that he wanted a different toy at the store, do I let him walk back to the toy ail and pick out a new one by him self? Is that appropriate of a 4 year old? I would not have been allowed to do that till I was 14, but that seems silly. I know that he is not in danger, I am far more scared that someone will stop him or “take him” because he is a small child without an obvious parent and so he need “protecting” then try to hurt him. As a teacher any charges, even those that are dropped, could lose me my job. I want my child to be able to have the experiences I read about it book (“Swallows and the Amazons” or any of the Winnie the Pooh Stories). Or like my husband (who went to play in the woods behind his house at the age of 8). I just don’t have a compass to judge it by and I am worried how it will look to outsides that may report me. I fear that many people of my generation and younger who are starting to raise children will be in the same boat. Not knowing any other way to parent.

  135. Anna March 15, 2016 at 12:04 am #

    I am from Russia and many parents there, especially in rural areas, would consider American free-range parents as overly helicopter parents. That’s how big the difference is. My parents left me alone at home since I was 4-5, when I got older I spent all my time outdoors with my friends (parents were at work, no cell phones). Not a single bad thing happened to me, although I lived in a big city.
    I am sad as I don’t think I will be able to give even remotely some of the freedom and independence to my kids that I had as a child. Because of “good samaritans” everywhere. Maybe I am unlucky, but it seems that every time my child is accidentally several feet from me, somebody shows concern (he is 5 now). It makes me so mad – a kid should be chained to his caregiver??? I’m afraid to think what happens if I let him wonder around (of course when he is older). I admire the courage of the free-range parents in America, not because their views, but because views and laws of the society.

  136. Michael April 2, 2016 at 1:35 am #

    How do you find information- scientific research and documentaries about what is not necessary to protect infants against? My wife is overprotective but its just because she is misguided. I have found zero evidence out there so naturally a lot of people think that you need to protect infants from very slight contacts with surfaces and tiny amounts of dirt. If you take the natural logical path- infants are fragile and we are here to protect them then you should keep infants in sterile padded cells.

  137. Pat Cleveland April 23, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    Do you have a facebook group or page? I’m not a parent, but I love your “bill of rights”, read about your organization In Reader’s Digest!

  138. Art Weber April 24, 2016 at 12:26 am #

    You might enjoy an old 1953 film Little Fugitive about a boy who runs away from home briefly and has a great time exploring Coney Island all on his own. Here’s a URL It has Spanish subtitles.

    I grew up in Chicago (1930s 1940s) and had a great time inspecting all the locomotive engines and railway stations and my parents never demanded a full report on how I’d spent my time. And lots of bridges across the Chicago River.


  139. Curious Father May 1, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    Should I pay ticket online or go to court for leaving my 5yo in car at 9pm in Walmart parkinglot

  140. Steve August 19, 2016 at 7:50 am #

    “America’s worst mother”? Probably not. In many American countries, kids enjoy a lot of freedom. There might be problems in the US and maybe Canada though.

    Btw. why not a bit more about Europe? You refer to the UK sometimes but how about French, German, Dutch, Spanish kids etc…?

  141. Top American August 31, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    What a beautiful concept, pity that the times have become so fraught with lurking dangers that we cannot let our kids become free rangers, no matter how much we’d like to. The joys and wonders of letting kids free range, unfortunately are miniscule when compared to the dangers that could befall them… no matter how much I would want to let them grow up free and independent, I cannot take the risk… I wish I had a way out of this…

  142. Rambling On September 30, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    I grew up along Route 66 in the 60s and 70s in New Mexico. I had city and mesa to roam free in and I did. Just about everyday I was somewhere exploring and my parents had no idea where I was. I found many wonderful things and people and a few not so wonderful. Got myself in a few scraps too! I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity. I have a 12 year old son now. My wife and I differ greatly on the idea of him getting around on his own. When I point out that I roamed and grew into a responsible adult my wife retorts that I was actually abused as a child because of my irresponsible parents. In fact many of the adults I meet today look at me in wonder and amazement when I tell them of the freedom I enjoyed as a youngster. There are some kindred spirits but they are by far in the minority. I stumbled across this website and have found confirmation and a feeling of contentment for all the “abuse” I was subjected to as a kid. I will continue to encourage my son to explore the world around him and seek out opportunities for him to do so. Thanks Free Range Kids.

  143. Georgie October 24, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    I’m 42 so I don’t think free-range was even a coined term when I was a kid. The term used for kids like me was “latch key kid.” I grew up in Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Casa Grande and Flagstaff. Both parents worked, so we were on our own until they got home. Flash flooding once forced us to stay with a neighbor because they couldn’t get home. I remember riding my bike everywhere, without a helmet. We climbed trees, played in the desert or woods, or played outside in dark in the neighborhood with zero supervision. I tried lots of times to get lost in the forest, but sadly I always found my way. Sometimes it was a really long way back, but whatever. I often explored alone too. I don’t recall my parents ever questioning me about it. My mom said she knew I’d go way out in the forest but I had a good sense of direction and always came back when I said I would.

    I recall that when I turned 18, I left home for the Navy. I had zero anxiety or fear over adulthood. It worries me that today’s teens and adults have such anxiety. I believe it’s from their parents instilling the fear of the world in them, rather than embracing it. I know of one friend who returned a puppy they adopted because it bit/scratched their kids. They were scared for their kids safety. That’s very extreme thinking for such a minor owie and a sniffle. Blown completely out of proportion. They protect their children from every negative thing. They go running if their kids fall. I’ve noticed the kids cry about everything. They’re also always sick. It’s a clear sign the parents aren’t making them into resilient kids. They may end up very smart, but what good is intelligence if they can’t function in a real environment? To me, this is coddling and their kids will be scared adults who will struggle with the typical turmoil of life. The odds are against these kids in becoming resilient confident adults. What gets into parents heads that makes them decide to go to this extreme? If you weren’t raised like that, then why raise your kids like that? I was a latch key kid and it worked for me so I’m not changing a damn thing.

    Do I worry that my kid is going to get hit on the street by a distracted texting driver, while he’s riding along the street? Yep, so I tell my kid to always think that all drivers are morons and they don’t see you. Ride your bike on the right side and pay attention. Being aware and cautious is all we can do. I heavily encourage my son to go do something, just take a bike lock, his wallet and cell phone. He once called to tell me he had a flat. I’m like, and what do you want me to do about it? Come get me. I told him no, and to walk home. It sucks to be you. Next time you should take a spare tube and repair kit. Now my son can change a flat in 10 minutes. The lessons were self reliance, responsibility, skill building, and confidence. I wasn’t being an ass because I was too lazy to get him. I was teaching him to troubleshoot and overcome a problem. I was teaching him the importance of being prepared. I’ve given the same lesson when he’s forgotten his school lunch. Going a little hungry is not going to hurt a child. They’ll be smarter about it next time, or they’ll just continue to have a growling stomach. My kid no longer gripes to me when he forgets his lunch. He knows I’m not sympathetic to poor judgment and piss poor planning.

    My son has been flying by himself since he was 6. He’s been changing planes and navigating airports alone since he was 12. At the beginning, I trained him twice a year on how to navigate airports. I haven’t been inside the terminal since he was 12 since I don’t have to sign unaccompanied minor papers anymore. He’s used the light rail train and has made mistakes then have to change directions. Some friends question these choices. I just tell them, he had to grow up some time, but waiting until their 18 is a mistake. My family has never ever questioned my child rearing skills.

    I want my son to be independent and confident. I also want him out of my house. I don’t want to care for a grown ass man. One day, I won’t be there to protect him. I don’t want a wimpy depressed and anxious kid who comes running back to me when life throws him a curve ball. I’ve seen it with other kids and young adults. Watching these other kids and people has assured me I’m doing right by my son in raising him the way I was raised. My son is 14 right now and he’s happy, healthy, independent and confident. The only thing I worry about these days is how not to choke him out when he decides he wants to learn to drive. I heard that teaching kids to drive is scary…..for the parent, lol!

  144. Sandi Smith October 25, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    My name is Sandi Smith and I am a middle school teacher and a mother of four wonderful little ones. We live in Colorado. So, my daughter is 8, is small for her age, but is extremely mature being the oldest. Some adults say it is like speaking with an adult when talking with my daughter. Recently, we have started allowing her and her brother to go to the park down the street from us, which my husband helped build. Yesterday, we had a police officer at our door with my daughter threatening child abuse charges if we send her to the park by herself again. She is not allowed to do that until middle school! They said it is because of gang bangers and sexual predators! This just seems crazy to me! How are they supposed to form any sense of being able to do anything on their own???? My husband and I are extremely interested in your movement and would love to get involved! Please contact me if possible!

  145. Roonie January 4, 2017 at 3:56 am #

    I think the problem with kids these days is way too much video games and TV. we can get smart router these days to block access to internet before bedtime. very useful. Biking and just playing with each other OUTSIDE is the key to a self-reliant kid. only con is bad friends.:) You learn so much when you are on your own, regardless of age.

  146. name January 27, 2017 at 5:55 pm #


  147. Laura D April 2, 2017 at 2:26 am #

    Found you after having an infuriating conversation with a friend about kids being allowed to go to the park and play by themselves.

    I grew up in the 80s and 90s. Born in ’84, so after Etan Patz and Adam Walsh. She is several years older than me. Both of us remember being allowed to play outside unsupervised, walking to school alone, going to the mall alone as young teenagers and yet she can’t imagine letting kids today do the same.

    The world has changed; nothing’s been the same after Adam Walsh, she says.

    Yes, it’s changed: Crime is down, abductions are rare. All that’s changed is that we talk about it more now. Kids today are safer than we were!

    Neither of us have children, but I can’t imagine trying to raise kids who aren’t allowed to walk to the bus stop by themselves. How can we raise kids who are capable of going out into the world if we never teach them the tools to do it?

  148. Cherie H. Ninomiya April 17, 2017 at 11:56 pm #

    Good for you, Lenore! Thanks for doing this work:) I have raised amazing free-rangers in Japan. It’s pretty trippy to have first graders walking long distances alone to and from school, but that is how it’s done and shizz very rarely happens here. I agree that kids raised to speak to strangers, with and without parents present, are better off in general. They don’t have to be extroverted kids to do little things as soon as they’re capable. It’s the sheltered little punkins who are more at risk and may be more prone to social anxiety in later years. They actually have a popular reality tv theme where pre-school kids are given shopping lists and money and sent out on their own. Of course, cameras are following, but peeps love those shows. The opposite of outrage.

  149. Kristine April 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone. I’m currently undergoing a cps ‘investigation’ for letting me 7.5 year old stay home for about 4 hours. He had a card with my cell and work number and knows emergency numbers. And several parts of my house have security cameras so I can check in if I’d felt the need. He’d been begging to ‘have the chance’ for a long while. So we talked about the rules and all the risks. He even had a list of chores. And called a few times to confirm if he could get a few extra snacks. He did great. He was super excited and bragged to a teacher. Unfortunately the teacher thought this highly inappropriate for his age. Now I’m arguing that my son is fully capable of walking a mile to school and being home alone for short planned times and that I did these things with the same guidance he’s getting.

  150. Sandra Hazen May 16, 2017 at 1:34 am #

    My two sisters, my brother and I grew up in NYC and later Nassau county as what you would term upper middle class free range kids. At the age of 9 my sister was sexually assaulted when she freely walked to the market on the upper westside. I was abducted from a swimming pool and sexually assaulted by a stranger who must have been looking for an easy mark. Two out of four. I wonder how you would/will feel if or when the odds might go bad for your children.

    I profoundly disagree with your premise. These aren’t risks I am willing to take with my children- yet I am not a helicopter parent- more aptly, I’m a realist.

  151. Yvette Rice September 12, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    So great that there are parents who let the kids be kids. I find it a little sttange that a 10 year old girl not be aloud to walk 4 houses down the street to go to her friends house. Mom looked until the girl was in the house and then she had to call that she is safely in the house. Before she comes back she has to call, so her mother can wait for her safety return.
    I am from Germany and i live in Viera, Fl. My son was always outside and played. Viera is a small town. Every summer we went to Germany, where my son when he was six walked alone to the playground downton Bremen. Bremen is a bigger city. He always was proud to do this himself. He found friends over there and he is still in contact with his friends from over there. He is now 25, a new dad and i hope he will be not a helicopter parent.

  152. Michelle September 24, 2017 at 2:23 am #

    I have an 11 yr old with mild learning disabilities, he loves nothing more than playing out with his friends. The street we live in is full of kids all playing out together. He does get hurt sometimes and kids can be mean of course but he deals with it , I was never in at his age and I want the same for him we spent so much time teaching him about checking traffic and people careful with people you don’t know be friendly but don’t go off with anyone and if he leaves the street to go to the park just to let us know and he does have to be in for dinner but other than that he has a lot of freedom outside playing tramping about in woods just like I did. It will build his confidence help him with conflict resolution and help him with his independence. Sure sometimes he needs extra help because of his very beautifully wired brain but I want him to become as independent as he possibly can. I love what your doing bringing your children up the way you were. Thars what I call parenting

  153. William November 28, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

    Wow, could not have said it better. I have to agree with you 🙂 Good luck to you.

  154. Nonni January 20, 2018 at 5:57 pm #

    My grandchildren are being raised free range. As far as I can tell they are growing up without manners, the veneer of civility or any other social graces. They are very independent, but just grab what they want when they want it, are very bold and unfeeling in what they say, have little respect for authority, and an extreme “me first” attitude. Their grades are terrible, they are behind a grade or two in school, and are just so rough and unmannerly they don’t have many friends other than the pack of equally free range kids they run with. When they eat like pigs, push people out of their way, and talk like gangsters, I worry that they aren’t going to be accepted in the society where they will one day hopefully seek employment. All this because no one has ever spent time with them to teach them anything. Their parents are unconcerned, believing they will “work it out” themselves eventually.

  155. Nancy April 17, 2018 at 7:25 pm #

    Thank you for instilling some common sense in parenting. My husband (67) and myself (62) are appalled at how dependent children are upon their parents. In our day, our parents would say, “go play outside” and we and the neighborhood kids in a tiny rural town would ride our bikes to the swimming hole at the river, go fishing, build cabins in the woods, play ball, go sledding, skating on the river….etc…all without parental supervision. We were responsible for looking out for our younger siblings. And we grew up to be responsible adults with a healthy sense of independence and a strong work ethic. Our parents wouldn’t have dreamed of “helping us with out homework”.

  156. lily May 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm #

    I just had two customer service employees at a grocery store threaten to call the police on me because I left my nine year old in a parked car. The car was locked, he had access to a cell phone, and was playing happily on his tablet. Apparently, other customers had seen him and decided he was in grave danger and I was a terrible mother. I left because, even though I knew I was not doing anything wrong, I didn’t want to possibly be arrested and have my son go through that. It was a humiliating experience, made worse by the fact that I did nothing wrong.

  157. Angie May 7, 2018 at 4:30 am #

    My sister and I were given freedom to play and explore as children without any adult supervision. My sister and I were out exploring and she was killed in an accident. The number one cause of death among children is accidental death. That means it is preventable! Although I valued having freedom, I also value safety. I believe there has to be a balance with boundaries. My parents would leave me at home with a friend unsupervised and we did stupid things like play with matches and get into my dads gun case! Sometimes we would sneak alcohol and cigarettes. I was once exploring in a neighbor pasture that had a bull roaming free. Although I didn’t get hurt, I am certainly so fortunate that I didn’t. Being unsupervised also opened the door for sexual abuse! Although I agree that overprotecting children is crippling, boundaries need to be in place to protect.

  158. Brian Griswold May 10, 2018 at 12:19 am #

    You have got to be kidding me. How is this even an issue?? This is how I grew up (in New Jersey) Without that kind of freedom, I would *not* be who I am today (somebody I’m pretty happy with, BTW 🙂
    I am *so* happy my parents didn’t take the lazy route and use the TV babysitter and lock us in the house all day. Instead, they taught us and let us learn to fly. And yep, even when I was in middle school sometimes we hopped onto freight trains and rode all the way to New York (and then had to try to figure out how to get home before we were so late that we’d get in trouble 😉 – some of my best childhood memories and adventures.
    At the same time when I was in middle school, I saw a kid get hit by a car on his way to the school bus and saw my first crush die of leukemia Bad things can happen to anyone, anytime. Locking kids in a box or punishing parents that don’t is *not* the answer.

  159. Brian Griswold May 10, 2018 at 1:18 am #

    Also wanted to add: seems like a number of you are confusing ‘free-range’ parenting with ‘absent’ parenting – my parents disciplined me, taught me everything I needed to know (common sense, manners, ethics, how to learn new things myself, etc) by instruction *and* example. They were always around if I needed them, but gave me all the freedom in the world the rest of the time.

    I think most of the problems today are caused by the parents, not the predators (and yes, I encountered a couple of those in my childhood – that’s nothing new, people). Start paying attention to your kids and teaching them yourself like my parents did and stop relying on some ‘government agency’ or the TV to do your job for you.

    Thank you Mom & Dad for giving me the tools and training and freedom I needed!!! 🙂 🙂

  160. Jinglebob Smith May 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm #

    What you describe Nonni, isn’t free range, it’s just horrible parenting. Their parents are doing your grandchildren a terrible injustice, but that has absolutely nothing to do with Free Range.

  161. Gredge May 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm #

    This site is hilarious. Parents who think they have reinvented the wheel. And who have VERY romanced souvenirs of their childhood. lol

  162. momofboys June 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

    What do I do if someone else’s free range child is taking advantage and won’t leave my house? Which includes damaging things that are my own children’s toys and being abusive verbally to me? In some cases it is hard to even find a parent to try and talk to them. My own children cannot even play outside at my home when they are around.

  163. IGNOU Portal August 13, 2018 at 4:23 pm #

    How to handle the children who keep holding my kid back from being free?

  164. Medium September 23, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

    Kids this day are obsessed with the internet. Ask them how to navigate in google map, they know no better! But does not even have an idea about real life duties. This is a fault of us, seniors, too. We should be more engaging with them.

  165. Home Arise December 18, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    Awesome article! Thank you!

  166. NoOneImportant February 23, 2019 at 1:47 pm #

    There’s nothing healthy about making children feel completely helpless without parental supervision. It’s probably the worst manipulation they’ll ever experience and they’ll resent everything you did for them despite best intentions. Especially when you push them off a financial cliff telling them to take on student loans. Teach them independent thought instead of your fractured ideals.

  167. Cesar April 2, 2019 at 11:25 pm #

    All these people in this website are morons if a parent is not there as a guardian what’s the purpose of having a kid. All these people are dumb and just want a way out of taking care of there kids , free range my ass , drop yo kids in the ghetto see what happens dam world is not fun and games . There’s potential danger everywhere that’s what parent are for even in the wild mother’s look after the young ones , there’s a balance in life just cause the author didn’t have anything happen to her kids by using this “method” doesn’t mean your kids have the same odds quit trying to find ways of getting away from being there with your kids we are protectors. I was a free range kid and i was doing drugs and selling by 12 years old .

  168. presse plieuse CNC May 6, 2019 at 8:48 pm #

    fantastic points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  169. Gus May 13, 2019 at 2:39 pm #

    There’s a difference between letting your kids be free range and not giving a damn what they do when their not with you. Life’s not fair. Never has been ! Never will be !

  170. Chad Johnson September 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm #

    Bro, if your kid gets kidnapped,what the heck are you gonna do?

  171. James Guth December 22, 2019 at 11:50 am #

    I love this series

  172. Brian Luis December 22, 2019 at 10:22 pm #

    I worry that they aren’t going to be accepted in the society where they will one day hopefully seek employment.

  173. Water Filter February 13, 2020 at 4:42 am #

    I think its not good guides for kid

  174. Hamington February 22, 2020 at 6:47 am #

    In order to let kids develop moral values, we need to get them touched with nature. That is why, I love farm life where my kids can grow perfectly.

  175. James Martin November 18, 2021 at 8:22 pm #

    Hi Lenore,
    I am a regular reader of your blog. continue I learn here many kid’s informative information.
    Thank you so much.

  176. kathleen L December 1, 2021 at 12:48 pm #

    As someone said above, there is a big difference betwee free-range and absent parenting. As a parent you need to be present in your kids life, teach them important life skills.