Published By: 1World Online
Teaching a small child to be independent is a wonderful thing, but when it could possibly endanger a child’s life it becomes nothing more than bad parenting. The rise of “free-range parenting” is a radical form of caregiving and it is also a blatant example of how progressive thinking in America is corrupting the welfare of our children.
The group, “Empower Kids Maryland” and the free-range parenting movement founder, Lenore Skenazy is asking parents to take their children to parks on May 9th and then let them walk home alone. Skenazy claims that this will teach children independence and encourage them to have some fun and make new friends.
Skenazy also says that she sees nothing wrong with seven and eight-year-olds playing in a park alone and that free-range parenting “Is an old-fashioned idea.”
That’s very free-spirited of Skenazy. Does Skenazy think that by announcing to the pedophiles of America that their small children will be walking home alone on May 9th that she is supplying kids with a valuable lesson about being independent?
And yes, there are pedophiles out there who would love the opportunity to grab one of our children in a park. That’s not being a ‘helicopter’ parent or dwelling on the evils of society like Skenazy says it is; that’s keeping our children safe from society’s most repugnant predators.
Advocates of free-range parenting are quick to point out that most children are abused and victimized inside the home and by family relatives. And the statistics prove that they are right, but is that a logical reason to voluntarily place small children in danger outside the home?
There are other safety issues to consider by letting small kids roam around unsupervised. Small children are easily influenced or distracted by anything around them. Such distractions could also endanger their lives also.
Can a seven or eight-year-old walk across an intersection by themselves with a fair degree of safety? Can they be trusted not to go running off with other children in a park who may lead them into danger?
I raised three children myself and consider myself to be, indeed, old-fashioned, but I never left any of my children alone in parks and wouldn’t think of doing so today with my grandchildren. That’s not being overprotective – that’s called being a responsible caregiver.
When parents teach their children about being independent safety has to be the first concern. Exposing them to possible dangers is not responsible parenting and has nothing to do with teaching them to be independent. There are far safer ways to teach a young child how to be self-sufficient.
Any child that is not big enough to physically protect themselves or ward off an attacker should never be left alone.
Believing that the world is generally a safe place for our small children is wishful thinking, but it’s also a foolish one and not one that it is based in reality or worth risking our child’s safety on.
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.