“Free Range Kids”
I’ve never heard of Free Range Kids until just a few minutes ago. Growing up as a kid, I pretty much fit the criteria of what a free range kid is, because I was allowed to ride my bike pretty much wherever I wanted, or play in the woods any time I wanted. Of course, I grew up in an area where the traffic on my road consisted of a tractor, and maybe a handful of cars every day – including the mailman.
This post talks about how to deal with people who basically raise their kids in fear – not letting them out of their sight. Ever. While I also think that is a bit extreme, I’m not sure I’d be as extreme as some parents are either as far as letting a kid ride the subway alone or something like that. The poster said she quotes stats such as kids being 40 times more likely to die in a car crash than to be abducted. That may be the case, but my argument would be that a lot of criminals commit crimes of opportunity. If a kid isn’t out on the street alone to be abducted, he won’t be abducted. If he is, there is always the chance. I’m not saying never let that kid out of your sight necessarily, but use some common sense. If there are more kids out on the streets alone, there are more opportunities for kidnappers to abduct them.
Aside from that type of argument by ‘free rangers’, I totally agree with the idea of letting a kid be a kid, experiencing things (within reason – don’t let them start getting into trouble like getting into gangs or some such garbage) and learning as they go. I did a lot of that myself growing up, and I survived just fine.
As for common sense, here’s some for you. If a criminal/thug believes he is alone (i.e., won’t get caught) and sees an opportunity to satisfy whatever impulse he might have, be it stealing something, or kidnapping a little girl, he’ll do it. I own a motorcycle, and had it sitting at the end of my house in plain sight, just as I had done for a couple of years. My wife and I were gone for the evening, and upon our return found the motorcycle missing. If the opportunity presents itself as easy prey, a criminal will take advantage of it in a heartbeat. So again, while I’m all for not hovering over your kid 24/7, use some common sense, people!