S2 E11: Let Go & Let Grow

Main idea: Free range parenting is the style we grew up with. So why are people so scadalized by it?

Link to podcast.

From “experiments in independence” to “gross negligence” there are a LOT of ways to see so-called “free range parenting.”

In this article for NPR, a certain mom pushes back against haters by reminding them that numbers of missing children are actually at an all-time low while perceptions of the dangers of kidnapping are elevated.

We’re in an era when being overprotective is what’s expected and fostering freedom is seen as bad parenting. The organization Let Grow was founded with the intention of opening these conversations up for deeper debate.

  • Why do we think the world’s too scary for our kids to navigate?
  • What does it do to kids to curb their freedom?
  • How can parents responsibly “let grow” without risking ridicule or legal persecution?

In what can only be called irony, there are schools setting up “free play clubs” with no supervision or scripted activities. Aren’t those gangs? The NPR article from above mentions this. So …

  • Do we need organized permission to allow our kids to be free?
  • Why do we need consensus, support, or organizational planning for this? Isn’t it intuitive?
  • Are the social shaming or visions of disaster enough to persuade us to subjugate our kids?

According to Let Grow’s interactive map, South Carolina’s laws are actually some of the most supportive of children’s independence.

I love this blog talking about parenting out of habit and saying things we think might be helpful, but mostly just because they were said to us.

  • How many of our rules are about habit?
  • How many of the restrictions we place on our kids are about what’s expected instead of what’s best for them?
  • How many rules are about what we’ve been told is best, not necessarily what’s been proven?

If one more person told me to put Hollie on a schedule when she was a baby I would have decked them. The daycare wanted me to put her down for a nap on Saturdays and Sundays at the same time. Um. No. I ran her until she passed out because I had better things to do than beg her to nap and listen to her cry and deny her time with me playing to maintain some weird ritual.

  • Were you the mom that planned the weekend around the kid’s nap time?
  • Are such things an infringement on their personal freedom?
  • When do you trust them to make the right choice? To use their best judgment?

And finally, 6 pros and cons of Free Range Parenting.

Published by kasiewhitener

Author of After December, host of Write On SC, YouTube channels for both and blogging like it's my job at http://kasiewhitener.com

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