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Utah Has Legalized Something Called “Free-Range Parenting”

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Utah Has Legalized Something Called “Free-Range Parenting”

I feel that some folks these days forget that kids are… well kids. Sure, some may be more mature than others, perhaps even mature for their age but when it comes down to it kids obviously don’t know the what’s what of the real world.

Enter Utah… Governor Gary Herbert, who oddly is a Republican, signed the bill into law. “Free-range parenting” will allow children to do more things alone, like walking to school by themselves.

Sure, this doesn’t HAVE to be a bad thing but I’m worried about what it possibily means, big picture wise. Maybe I’m overreacting… you tell me?

“Kids need to wonder about the world, explore and play in it, and by doing so learn the skills of self-reliance and problem-solving they’ll need as adults,” Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, a sponsor of the bill, said in a statement to ABC News. “As a society, we’ve become too hyper about ‘protecting’ kids and then end up sheltering them from the experiences that we took for granted as we were kids. I sponsored SB65 so that parents wouldn’t be punished for letting their kids experience childhood.”

As reported by ABC News:

Lenore Skenazy, author of “Free Range Kids” and president of letgrow.org, coined and trademarked the term free-range kids. Skenazy wrote in her book about allowing her 9-year-old to ride the New York City subway alone.

Skenazy told ABC News that the law is the first in the country and that Fillmore contacted her about the bill’s proposal.

“My law is the way that our kids have the right to some unsupervised time, and we have the right to give it to them without getting arrested,” Skenazy said. “That’s my law and Sen. Fillmore made it into legislative language.”

She explained that the new bill states that it won’t be considered negligent by authorities, who cannot start an investigation if a parent lets their child walk outside alone, play without supervision or allows them to wait in the car without an adult.

Skenazy said that many will likely disagree on what age a parent should allow their child to do things without adult supervision.

“I would definitely not let a 3-year-old play in the park alone, but I definitely would let their 10-year-old sister play in the park for an hour and come home,” she said. “I definitely would let my 7-year-old walk to school, but maybe you won’t let your 7-year-old walk to school.”

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