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Don't Punish Parents for Teaching Independence


You might have heard of the term "helicopter parents," which describes adults who constantly hover over their children and make all their decisions for them, lest any harm come to them or any mistakes be made by them. In recent years, however, a backlash movement has grown against parenting with such a tight leash; it's known as "free-range parenting."

Free-range parenting encourages treating children as intelligent and capable, and allowing them to grow by becoming more independent, not encasing them in bubble wrap. It recognizes that "Our kids are not in constant danger," Lenore Skenazy told us; she founder of the movement, author of the book and blog "Free-Range Kids," and star of the new show "World's Worst Mom" on the Discovery Life Channel. "Our children don't need a security detail every time they leave home."

Contrary to popular perception, the country has actually gotten safer, though one may be excused for thinking otherwise, given the prevalence of crime shows on TV and sensationalized media coverage of some of the rare instances where children are abducted and harmed.

Yet, the government is the ultimate helicopter parent when it comes to making life decisions — including parenting one's own children.

And dissent from this philosophy is not to be tolerated. A Silver Spring, Md., couple has found this out the hard way.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are now being investigated for child neglect for the supposed crime of allowing their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter to walk home together from a park one mile away.

In a depressing sense, one supposes it is only natural for an ever-growing and encroaching government that seeks to coddle its subjects from cradle to grave to enforce such coddling parental behavior on its citizens. But the dependency this breeds is antithetical to freedom and the sense of personal pride that comes from such independence.

Parents should not have to fear being locked up or having their children taken away from them for allowing their kids the freedom to explore the world the way our parents did. Children and adult citizens alike should even be afforded the freedom to make mistakes — and to learn from them.




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