Generally speaking, a parent’s top priority is the safety of their children; however, how to go about keeping children safe can be an area of conflicting opinion. Even the child welfare laws that exist to protect children from abuse and neglect are subject to controversy.
Several years ago, the term ‘free-range parenting’ was coined to describe the parenting style of those who believe less supervision and more autonomy is healthy for children. This idea is in stark contrast to the ‘helicopter parents’ who closely supervise their child’s every activity. The problem is that, in some cases, this ‘free-range’ style led to parents being investigated for neglecting their children under child welfare laws. Some argue these laws go too far and deny children opportunities to learn independence – and lawmakers in at least one state agree.
Utah recently became the first state to adopt a law supporting ‘free-range parenting’ provided the children in question were being adequately cared for, clothed and fed. What’s your take on this parenting style? Do you think more states should follow Utah’s example? To learn more, read “Utah’s ‘free-range parenting’ law said to be first in the nation.”