Controversial parenting style ‘free-range parenting’ is now legal in the US state of Utah sparking fears for children’s safety.
The idea of free-range parenting sparks fear in the hearts of many parents.
The idea behind the method is that children are free to do more things on their own.
Kids are allowed to walk to and from school or the local playground unaccompanied, without it being considered ‘neglect’ on the part of their parents.
Free-range parenting wants to see children grow up with limited parental supervision with the goal of instilling independence.
Utah senator, Lincoln Fillmore, said “we have become so over-the-top when ‘protecting’ children that we are refusing to let them learn the lessons of self-reliance and problem-solving that they will need to be successful as adults.”
Advocate and author Lenore Skenazy says it’s about “raising kids in a sort of old-fashioned way.”
“It is the belief that our kids are not in constant danger, so we don’t have to parent them as if they are,” she tells Huffington Post.
People against the idea of free-range parenting say the method is a wild and discipline free way of raising children, while others are simply concerned about how safe their local neighbourhoods are.
Pros: Children learn to use their freedom, be autonomous and manage themselves. They may also be better able to handle mistakes, be more resilient and take responsibility for their actions. It’s also said to lead to happier adults.
Cons: Problems with this style centre on the legal aspects of the approach. In Queensland, it is illegal to leave your child alone for an “unreasonable” time while, in other states, parents must reasonably ensure their child is properly looked after. Queensland’s law does not define “unreasonable” time, but the parent will receive a misdemeanour (up to three years in jail) if they breach the code.
In some states of Australia it is actually illegal to let your child walk to school alone. Find more info on that HERE.
There is also no particular law in Australia that says at what age you can or can’t leave your child home alone. It is very much decided in each state depending on the circumstances. Read more info here.
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