Free Range Parenting – I was a Free Range Child

In today’s world, the parenting of your child seems to be determined by other parents. When in fact, as the parent, we should mind our own business and realize that everyone has their own parenting style, from Free Range Parenting to Helicopter parenting. We shouldn’t have to worry that someone else believes what we are doing is wrong. What is right for my child, may not be right for yours.

Each child develops uniquely, have different strengths and abilities, but will meet anticipated milestones along the way. While one child may develop quicker in some areas than other kids of that age, this is normal. Please don’t judge, whether you have kids or not, it will make the parents feel uneasy, so unless you want to be judged by your child’s behavior or development, it is best to just be quiet.


I grew up in a small town, in the 1970’s, where everyone knew their neighbours. Friends didn’t always live next door, some lived a block or 2 away and we were allowed to visit, all by ourselves. There were limits to how far we could go. We were given freedom to roam around. We were not neglected. We never stayed alone until around 9 or 10 years of age. We had a lady across the street, who watched us, and even when allowed to stay on our own, she was there if we needed her, as well as any neighbour who was near by.

What is Free Range Parenting?

Free Range Parenting is the Hands off approach to raising kids, however there are still rules to abide by.

If you are worried that your child may not be ready to do things on their own, then ask yourself these questions

Does my child have the disposition to handle the activity?

  • Can he or she follow rules?
  • Does my child know what to do in case there is a problem?
  • Does my child know from whom it is safe to ask for help?
  • Does my child have a sense of how to reach out to parents, use a phone, distinguish between police officers and other people?
  • Although I had the freedom and independence of doing what my parents allowed, as kids we sometimes tested these boundaries to see just how far we can go. That is what I did. I paid the consequences of my actions and learned from them.

    One summer, my friend and I decided to go for a bike ride to the beach to cool off, we were probably around the age of 8. It was a long ride up and down hill, just before the bottom of the hill, one of our bikes broke down and we couldn’t go any further. We were picked up by another school mates older brother, who took us back to his house to help us fix the bike. It was a great afternoon, swimming in the pool, having the time of our lives. Until we had to go home.

    That wasn’t the first or last time I ventured out of boundaries, it happened a 2 more times, again it was a bike ride, along a road that traveled out of town. I got grounded and wasn’t allowed to go anywhere. It never happened again, well until the Teen years, but that is a whole different story.

    We will not be free range parenting. I am not against this type of parenting. I will give my child the freedom she needs, when her age is appropriate for what she wants to do. She will gain self confidence and self-sufficiency. I live in an apartment building, I just can’t open my door and look outside or call out her name. If we lived in a small town like I did as a child, I may have felt differently, but we don’t.

    Being involved in your child’s life is one thing, but to become over bearing and controlling will give them the wrong idea about life and how to raise their own children. Loosen the strings, give your kids a bit of freedom. If you allow your kids to make their own choices, they will grow from the ups and downs of life experiences.

    We watch the news and hear stories of abductions and kidnappings, but if we actually look at the crime rates and the statistics, there was more crimes happening when I was a kid opposed today.

    In the end it is our own choice on how we raise our kids, but don’t push your ways on other parents, you may not like what they have to say in reply to your interfering.

    My child, my way! What is your way of raising your child? No judgement here!

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