The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Free-Range Parenting and Us

Go to Google News, enter "free-range" in the search box and hit Enter; when I did that this morning at 8 AM, it said "about 2,540,000 results (0.31 seconds)." Interestingly, there were no references to anything about this situation on the main Google news page.

In the unlikely case that you know nothing about this, let me summarise it for you:

A group of parents follow a "free-range" parenting philosophy (basically how I grew up).

When I was 5 years old, I would go out to play and not come home for many hours. Not all the time but often. Granted, I lived in a small town. The town might have boasted some 4000-5000 people at the time I lived there (I tried to get population figures for the early 1950's but was unsuccessful). I would play in the woods near my home (about a block away) or wander into town, or play down by the railroad tracks. I was never required to get permission to go anywhere nor was I required to have an older sister or adult accompany me. Strangely, I survived that childhood and so did the kids I knew at the time. At least I never heard of any of them dying or being abducted but I suppose it is possible.

After my family moved to south Florida (to a small city of ~15000), I roamed quite widely still. Mostly to the park nearby (Greynolds Park) or around town at first. But, by the time I turned 14, I was hitchhiking all over the area; from the beaches to Miami to the south and as far as Ft. lauderdale to the north. After I began driving, there were virtually no limits where I could, or would, go.

Granted, these were earlier, and presumably safer, times... mostly deemed safer because we did not have 24 hour news channels eager to report news of even the most obscure events from all over the country.

We rode bicycles without helmets (our biggest problem was getting our right pantleg caught in the chain), climbed just about every tree that had reasonably low branches (fell out of a few, too), got into rock fights and BB gun fights, swam in ponds and "rockpits" (post quarry lakes), and just generally were unsupervised and took risks accordingly.

So now we have parents being vilified (and even suspected of child neglect and endangerment) because they allow their children to do what was once the norm.


NotesFromAbroad said...

I grew up in North Carolina. My grandfather owned much of the area where we lived, and the homes that he built were where my friends lived.
His lake where he fished was off limits but other than that, we were all wild and free..
Today when I see how careful we all have to be with our babies, the truly sick people there are out there who would harm those babies, I want to lock them in a room and keep them safe until they grow up.
But we can't. We have to teach them to be careful and bite our tongues when they go out into the world .. brave little souls .. full of anticipation and adventure.
I find Some People have too much time on their hands and spend it minding other peoples business.
My reaction to that is to ignore them and be glad they have no say in what I do.
I also quit listening to the local news at night.
I would be afraid to go out of the house if I did !

Douglas said...

Notes, perhaps we live in more dangerous time or perhaps we just think we do. The local news is usually not too bad but the national? Often horrendous and full of tales of evil doers and the evil they do. Then I remember there are 330 million+ people in this country and these reports come from all over and I relax a bit. My son called me at work one time when he was 11 and wanted to know if he could take his bike about 10 miles away. I told him "No" but he went anyway and got his bike seat and pedals stolen; lesson learned. I think the parents of the two children in the story should sue the city for false imprisonment of the kids and lack of notification that they had them.