The Arguments Of Free-Range Parenting

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Free-Range Parenting Typically, the childhood an American kid goes through can be compared to the movie Boyhood, where the boy hangs out with his friends all day and heads home before sundown for dinner. This can be considered a form of “free-range” parenting, which refers to parents that allow their children to do many activities unsupervised, such as going to the park, riding the subway, or going to school by themselves. While this doesn’t mean that parents let their child do everything on their own, the criticism of this style of parenting is that something could happen at any moment without adult supervision, and for that reason it seems to be irresponsible to allow children to walk to school or the park alone. Those opposed to free-range …show more content…
Someone reported seeing unsupervised kids, the police picked them up and then the parents found themselves under investigation for neglect by their local Child Protective Services agency (CPS)” (“What Kind of Parent Are You? The Debate Over ‘Free-Range’ Parenting”). The Meitiv parents explain that “they believe in ‘free range’ parenting. They want to instill self-reliance and independence in their children,” which demonstrates how they don’t truly believe they are putting their children in danger (“What Kind of Parent Are You?”). People growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s “…probably remember going out to play after school and being expected to return home only when the street lights turned on,” so the Meitivs’ attitudes towards free-range parenting can also be attributed to their upbringing (Zamosky). And when it comes to the dangers involved in letting children go to the park by themselves, it turns out that “we’re living in about the safest time in history… But if you pay attention to 24-hour cable news, which brings us the worst stories from around the world, you’ll likely believe otherwise.” (Zamosky). The end result of this case was that CPS ruled out neglect, and the Meitivs were “just relieved to have these cases closed” (George). Clearly, there are some risks associated with …show more content…
For example, Jean Piaget writes that “…early behavior becomes increasingly elaborated and differentiated to the point where the infant acquires sufficient behavioral facility for him to notice the results of his actions” (Piaget, 11). In other words, in early childhood development, infants begin to understand cause and effect through the use of their own actions. Piaget goes on to describe “…a baby presented with a new object successively incorporates it into each of his ‘action schemata’ (shaking it, stroking it, balancing it, etc.), as though he could come to know the object by perceiving how it is used.” (Piaget, 12). This deals with the idea that the child is a scientist, experimenting with the objects of the world, and learning according to the results that the child comes up with. Free-range parenting, in a way, is encouraging the same behavior of children learning how the world works on their own, and making their own conclusions. Furthermore, Piaget explains that “When an infant pulls at the cords causally with the general effect of movement that ensues. He will henceforth use this causal schema in order to activate anything whatever at a distance.” (Piaget, 14). Clearly, infants will learn from their actions, and subsequently be better at experimenting with other objects in their environment. That being said, the connection to later childhood comes in when Piaget

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