Front Page Treatment

Hi Folks — Here’s a link to a nice Free-Range story on the front page of today’s Arizona Daily Star, in Tucson. (Where I had my first newspaper internship many moons — and suns, and probably a comet — ago.) What’s nice is so many of the comments are positive! — L.

9 Responses

  1. Sounds like a ringing endorsement for Take Your Kid to the Park Day!

  2. Thanks for sharing Lenore. It’s always good to hear others, especially experts, affirming what we’ve always known, and have been saying. We aren’t “crazy, irresponsible” adults after all. lol

  3. “We’re not doing our kids any favours by not letting them encounter any obstacles”
    AAA-MEN to that, lady. In my case, the hardest part of being a Free-Range kids’ mum is having to be tough.
    I hope I have grandchildren sometime, so I can properly spoil someone!

  4. Wonder how the new AZ law is going to effect kids. I can’t imagine any kid carrying papers.

  5. I like that the author ended the story by pointing out that it’s safer when all the kids do it. Everything is safer when we are all, adults and children alike, out and about. More eyes on the street noticing when things are out of place or out of the ordinary makes things safer. I currently live in Germany and love the fact that the kids here walk & bike & ride public transit buses everywhere. Adults are out of the house walking & interacting all the time as well. It makes for a lively, welcoming and safe place to live…. and it’s one of the things I will miss most when we move back to the U.S. next month.

  6. Positive article, but here’s my question: why does Free Range keep focusing on the child abduction fear? This fear is not, as far as I can tell, the primary reason parents don’t let their kids range freely today. The primary reasons are: (1) Dramatically increased traffic since the previous generation; more major roads required in oridinary tavel; fewer side roads (2) Fear of neighbors considering you negligent.

    It seems like these two concerns should be more frequently addressed than the concern for the random kidnapper. Most parents I know aren’t afraid if they let their kids roam they’ll be kidnapped; their afraid they’ll be hit by a car, or that the neighbours will call CPS.

  7. Sky — I agree with you, but isn’t it necessary to address the abduction thing in order to address #2? You can’t persuade nosy neighbors to cool it without persuading them that the abduction fear isn’t real. I think it’s probably true that the main reasons PARENTS don’t give their kids more freedom is fear of traffic/fear of nosy neighbors, but what you consistently hear from the busybodies themselves is both traffic and abduction stuff. I have literally had people come up to me in the grocery store and repeat the “abductor dying the kid’s hair in the restroom” story as a result of turning my back on a child for TEN SECONDS. Talk about stranger danger — that kind of stranger is a real danger to society!

  8. Loved Bob Fee’s wonderful memories of growing up on a cattle ranch and reminded me of our children’s ‘Feral Summers’. My sons, now 14 and 16, used to spend their summers outdoors in Santa Cruz, CA. It started when they were 5 and 7 with a tent on the front porch, then each year they moved the tent farther and farther away until they were up on a field on our property where we couldn’t see them. They’d stay up as late as they liked, as long as they didn’t keep us up. They woke up on their own every morning and did so earlier because of the sun’s warmth and the curious sounds all around. They’d come in and make their own breakfast and lunch most of the time and then disappear on our property. They even peed and took showers outside and rarely visited their bedrooms, except to retrieve clean clothes, more comic books and fresh batteries for their flashlights. These wonderful summers broke us out of the necessary, but at times limiting, routine and made our sons much more self-sufficient and inquisitive. I received some of the best presents during those summer months: wildflowers, a piece of a teacup, a hawk feather, a thin striped stone, a flattened lizard, a bottle full of worms and two beaming dirty faces. At dinner their adventures, surprises and challenges happily monopolized our conversations. It also gave my husband and I some great time alone. The only problem with these summers was getting them adjusted back to school. Without fail their teachers would call, we’d explain and then look forward to the next summer.

  9. Nice article.

    But they couldn’t resist including this?

    “While the threat of stranger abduction is low when compared with other crimes against children, it does occur. Since January, there have been two reports of abductions of girls on their way to school in Tucson. Two more attempted abductions were reported on the northwest side and in Marana, also involving schoolgirls.”

    Yes, two reports of abductions – but no mention of when or if the girls came home. And no mention of whether the abductors were family members or relatives. Then the 2 “attempted” abductions – which you can’t call abductions.

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