The Current

Free Range Parenting: Let kids walk home from school alone

A Maryland couple is under investigation for negligence after letting their kids walk home alone from a neighbourhood park. They prefer to call it "free range" parenting. We take a look at the debate surrounding the decidedly anti-helicopter parenting trend....
A Maryland couple is under investigation for negligence after letting their kids walk home alone from a neighbourhood park. They prefer to call it "free range" parenting. We take a look at the debate surrounding the decidedly anti-helicopter parenting trend.

It was supposed to be an exercise in childhood independence. Danielle Meitiv decided to let her kids -- aged 10 and 6 -- walk home alone from a park in their Silver Spring, Maryland neighbourhood last week. But that walk from the park turned into a nightmare.

It wasn't that any real tragedy befell the kids, mind you. But they were picked up by police for being unattended. Now, Daniellle and her husband Alexander Meitiv are under investigation for negligence.


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Flickr/Sarah ji

The case of the Meitiv family has certainly struck a chord in parenting circles. Similar cases, like a South Carolina woman who was arrested last summer for leaving her 9-year-old alone in the park while she went to work, have raised similar questions about whether we're in danger of being overprotective of children today.

Lenore Skenazy coined the term "free range" when it comes to kids and parenting. She's the author of Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children Without Going Nuts With Worry. We reached her in New York

We continued the discussion with a parenting panel:

We want to hear from you. Are you more of a helicopter parent, or a free-range parent? Would you let your children walk home from the park alone?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Julian Uzielli.

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