What seems clear and wonderful from most of the e-mail response is that Free Range parents are eager to raise Free Range kids. But they often come up against a couple of barriers.
First and foremost is the fact that other parents (and, sometimes, spouses) think there is no difference between “Free Range” and “criminally negligent” parenting. I’m wondering how to start bringing those folks around. Devote a PTA meeting to the issue? (Which could, of course, horribly backfire. People LOVE to worry and sound self-righteous.) So, maybe we should all carry around child safety statistics that prove most kids aren’t being snatched and killed? Or organize an all-neighborhood walk-to-school week? Or have a big “Bring Your Kids to The Park Day” —
And then leave them there?
That would get some local press, I’d bet.
Anyway, have any of you tried anything like this? Or do you have any other ideas? If so, please post them on the newest Free Range tab we’ve added: IDEAS.
The other obstacle seems to be suburbia itself: It is hard to let kids get places on their own when the distances require a car. (Or maybe we just think they require a car.) Any thoughts on how to deal with this biggie would also be appreciated.
I do worry that principals, school organizations and even police departments are so focused on uber-safety (and not getting sued), that it might not hard, in most places, to “work within the system.”
Love to hear your thoughts, ideas and experiences. — Lenore