Safe Free-Range Parenting? What Experts Say About This Parenting Style

“Free-range parenting” is associated with parents letting their children run amuck without supervision or interference.

In the past few years, free-range children have made headlines for various reasons: left alone at home, permitted to walk to school, allowed to go to a public park alone.

Skenazy, the author of Free-Range Kids and co-founder of Let Grow, a non-profit that helps parents raise independent children, made national news for being “America’s Worst Mom” when she let her 9-year-old ride the subway alone.

Lenore Skenazy defines free-range parenting as “rejecting the idea that children are under constant threat.”

World’s Worst Mom host Skenazy explains that for free-range parenting, you understand the world isn’t as dangerous as others and the media portray it to be.

Skenazy said, “It’s good for kids to have some independence. I think it’s healthy for them to solve some problems independently and see their friends, but not be constantly supervised by you.”

Skenazy isn’t the only parent practicing free-range parenting in their family.

Parents like Stephanie Lips were raised this way, so allowing their children to be independent came naturally.

She shares, “Not a single parent questioned what I was doing.”

Lips said when her son was 7, he ran out the door and knocked on his friends’ doors shortly after breakfast.

There are ways to gradually integrate aspects of free-range parenting into your child-rearing practices, even if helicopter parents or other parenting styles struggle with it.

When Parenting, Consider The Future

When choosing whether to incorporate free-range parenting into your kids’ lives, it’s essential to consider the benefits down the road.

The author, Bethany Cook, said, ”Free-range children often are quite independent, resilient, and good at problem-solving. Children raised in this parenting style are more apt to be successful with the challenges of adulthood.”

Consider The Consequences

Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician, “Free-range parenting isn’t entirely accepted by society, so it’s essential to know your state’s laws and protocols about leaving children unattended.

According to Cook, society’s lack of understanding of free-range parenting might also have psychological consequences.

Get Good Parenting Support

Free-range parenting is easier to implement if you surround yourself with other parents who practice it.

Emery stressed this when raising his kids.

He shares, “Parenting can be tough, and it’s easy for me as a parent to feel like I’m not doing enough or that I’m doing things wrong.”