Free range kids
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04-02-2015, 09:15 AM
RE: Free range kids
I grew up roaming the neighborhood as well. I'm not sure it's actually a "different" world now, just more reported.

Another gripe I have is letting kids get dirty. In my many years of working in childcare we had quite a few parents send their kids in with instructions to "please keep them clean". Ridiculous.
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04-02-2015, 10:51 AM
RE: Free range kids
Hell, I was in the woods by myself at 8 hunting with a shotgun. My parents always said go and play I don't want to see you till dinner time.
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04-02-2015, 10:56 AM
RE: Free range kids
When I was in grade school, I had to wait an hour or so by myself on the school playground after track practice for my mom to come pick me up after work. It sucked because everyone else was gone but child services never had a problem with it. Now it almost seems like some parents are taking it to this level:

[Image: 29fv2tt.jpg]

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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04-02-2015, 12:34 PM
RE: Free range kids
I think fear is what overprotection boils down to. But its more than just fear of what *might* happen to your kid. Its fear of feeling the fear.

And fear has a way of getting out of control. Lenore Skenazy coined the term 'Worst-First Thinking'. You think of the worst possible scenario, and then proceed as if that is the most likely to happen.

So people - in order not to feel that fear - try to control their environment through a series of bargaining. It ultimately originates from a victim blaming. That mother lost her child because she wasn't watching them closely enough. I'll never lose my child because I always watch them. Its not all that different from thinking that the only reason you haven't been raped is because you don't wear short skirts.

The thing about total control is that its a complete illusion. but damned if you aren't going to try, because doing everything you can, despite how remote the risk is, is better than feeling like there was more you could have done. Its hedging your bets, so to speak.

Part of it is also the fear of judgment from society if something does happen. Who wants to be that parent that media morons like Larry King shake their finger at? Or the false indignation of Nancy Grace. So as time goes on, people won't tolerate ANY kind of risk. So we've lost the ability to differentiate between leaving your child in the car for 5 minutes vs 5 hours.

Its somewhat ironic. The more safe we try to make our child's environment, sometimes we make it more dangerous. We drive our kids to school so that the 1:1.9 million chance that they will get kidnapped by a stranger is eliminated, but traded that risk for 1:100,000 chance that they will be hit by a car by the increase in child pickups and drop offs.

stats don't matter when your kid is that one kid. How will you ever forgive yourself? Answer: You won't. No matter what happens, you will always blame yourself, because there is always something you could have done differently. What if I didn't go to the store that day? I would have avoided that fatal car crash. What if I made him stay home instead of going into the woods?

When bad things happen to good kids, its usually not a case of bad parenting. Its a case of bad luck.

I feel sorry that we must blame parents for everything that may go wrong. And ironically, blaming parents, especially the mother, starts when shes pregnant. If we drink coffee, we are told that we value caffeine more than our children. If we have the occasional glass of wine, we are told that we must be alcoholics if we can't live without wine for 9 months.

If I can finally manage to carry a child to term, I will be free range.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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04-02-2015, 03:00 PM
RE: Free range kids
This is sorta on topic --- one that I wrote that made the paper....

First published in the Kalamazoo Gazette in February 2010

School Bus Lemmings

The next time you see a child getting off a public school bus, observe.
1. Bus comes to a halt, lights flashing.
2. Bus door opens up, child toddles off bus, stops and faces driver. The bus driver holds up a “stop sign” on a stick, then decides whether the kid lives, or dies. The child holds his or her full attention on the bus driver, who then flips the “stop sign” over, revealing a “smiley face”. You’ll notice it’s not a “go sign”, which might require thought on the kid’s part. You wouldn’t want to unduly stress the kid by making him learn to read, or anything. The child will then cross in front of the bus, and across the opposing lane of traffic - generally staring at their feet. I suppose it’s a show of humility to the gods of the nanny state. I’ve yet to see a child check both directions to see if there’s any traffic.

At this point the driver is free to eliminate any “problem children” they have, by simply flipping a “smiley face” whilst some maniac is flying down the road in their Hummer at 100 mph, in the left lane.

You better hope the bus driver likes your kid.


(I was surprised they printed it, without omission - considering the left lean of the paper in question.)



.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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04-02-2015, 04:43 PM
RE: Free range kids
From the Free range blog:

"I don’t know about “statistics,” but how would you feel if something happened to you and your spouse, and your kids had no choice but to be more independent just to get by, and they weren’t ready for it?
What if the future is just a little bit harder than the present, a college education doesn’t mean a job, and it’s hard to earn a living, will your kids be prepared to figure out their own path?
How could you live with yourself if it was your kid who was denied a childhood because of your overblown fears? How could you live with yourself if your fears and “see something, say something” attitude destroyed other families and ruined the childhoods of strangers?
It’s a different world out there, don’t you watch the news? New technologies, less crime, a changing globe, but less common sense and less practical thinking with each passing day. Does constant surveillance and constant correction give your kids the tools to thrive in this new world? Or does it substitute their judgement with yours? Is your judgement really all that sound?
I hear you say these kids are too young to be trusted with independence and responsibilities until they are old enough to be treated with suspicion and fear. I say they need independence and responsibilities when they are young so they won’t become the sort of teens you fear."

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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04-02-2015, 04:53 PM
RE: Free range kids
(04-02-2015 09:15 AM)Hobbitgirl Wrote:  Another gripe I have is letting kids get dirty. In my many years of working in childcare we had quite a few parents send their kids in with instructions to "please keep them clean". Ridiculous.

When my mother was in childcare, she had a few of those. I remember one couple that loved my mom; she'd get that kid so worn out he couldn't be a little bastard when they got home. Smile
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04-02-2015, 05:14 PM
RE: Free range kids
(04-02-2015 04:43 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  From the Free range blog:

"I don’t know about “statistics,” but how would you feel if something happened to you and your spouse, and your kids had no choice but to be more independent just to get by, and they weren’t ready for it?
What if the future is just a little bit harder than the present, a college education doesn’t mean a job, and it’s hard to earn a living, will your kids be prepared to figure out their own path?
How could you live with yourself if it was your kid who was denied a childhood because of your overblown fears? How could you live with yourself if your fears and “see something, say something” attitude destroyed other families and ruined the childhoods of strangers?
It’s a different world out there, don’t you watch the news? New technologies, less crime, a changing globe, but less common sense and less practical thinking with each passing day. Does constant surveillance and constant correction give your kids the tools to thrive in this new world? Or does it substitute their judgement with yours? Is your judgement really all that sound?
I hear you say these kids are too young to be trusted with independence and responsibilities until they are old enough to be treated with suspicion and fear. I say they need independence and responsibilities when they are young so they won’t become the sort of teens you fear."

Yes! Your last two posts say it all.

Safety has such high value that living life takes second place. Everything must be safe with a safety net to catch children and even the safety net is suspect by fearful parents. There are even people advocating the dismanteling of childrens play grounds because of the danger involved in bumps and bruses.

Almost every night on the news there is some sort of segment about keeping your children safe, and if it isn't about children's safety then it's about adult safety. It's no wonder so many people have trouble sleeping and take anti-anxeity medication. And the thing is, crime is down and has been going down for a couple of decades but you'd never know it from the way the news reports everything.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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04-02-2015, 06:15 PM
RE: Free range kids
(04-02-2015 05:14 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(04-02-2015 04:43 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  From the Free range blog:

"I don’t know about “statistics,” but how would you feel if something happened to you and your spouse, and your kids had no choice but to be more independent just to get by, and they weren’t ready for it?
What if the future is just a little bit harder than the present, a college education doesn’t mean a job, and it’s hard to earn a living, will your kids be prepared to figure out their own path?
How could you live with yourself if it was your kid who was denied a childhood because of your overblown fears? How could you live with yourself if your fears and “see something, say something” attitude destroyed other families and ruined the childhoods of strangers?
It’s a different world out there, don’t you watch the news? New technologies, less crime, a changing globe, but less common sense and less practical thinking with each passing day. Does constant surveillance and constant correction give your kids the tools to thrive in this new world? Or does it substitute their judgement with yours? Is your judgement really all that sound?
I hear you say these kids are too young to be trusted with independence and responsibilities until they are old enough to be treated with suspicion and fear. I say they need independence and responsibilities when they are young so they won’t become the sort of teens you fear."

Yes! Your last two posts say it all.

Safety has such high value that living life takes second place. Everything must be safe with a safety net to catch children and even the safety net is suspect by fearful parents. There are even people advocating the dismanteling of childrens play grounds because of the danger involved in bumps and bruses.

Almost every night on the news there is some sort of segment about keeping your children safe, and if it isn't about children's safety then it's about adult safety. It's no wonder so many people have trouble sleeping and take anti-anxeity medication. And the thing is, crime is down and has been going down for a couple of decades but you'd never know it from the way the news reports everything.

I see sometimes the safety industry actually makes us feel less safe, not more. now they have the most ridiculous products for babies. A biofeedback mat that measures the baby's oxygen level. Cuz ya know, breathing is no longer living. What good is knowing their oxygen level? I don't even know my oxygen level!! Their crib is not the ICU. It makes parents more anxious, not less!

A comment on the blog from David says this: "Yes, terrible things do sometimes happen to children. But they are not limited to accidents or attacks by strangers outside the home. Terrible things such as brain tumours and leukaemia and meningitis also happen to children and those are beyond anyone’s power to prevent. If, God forbid, something like that happened to your child, would you at least have the small comfort of knowing they’d been allowed to make the most of the time they did have? Or would you always be haunted by the knowledge they had never been allowed to really live, never had the slightest opportunity to experience and discover the world on their own, never even experienced that heady thrill of independence and responsibility that comes from running an errand for mum to the local store on their own for the first time?"

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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04-02-2015, 06:35 PM
RE: Free range kids
We ice skated on the creek that bordered my parents' property around the side of town and on into the center of town. Yeah, probably dangerous, we all survived - even those of us that broke through the ice.

I was wild and free on my grandparents' farm and did stuff that was definitely dangerous. Between climbing way up in barns and corn cribs to being around large animals and machinery.

My parents couldn't be bothered with transporting me around town so I walked or rode my bike everywhere...day, night...if I wanted to go anywhere that was my only option till my friends got cars.

Clamming in the bay behind my other grandparents' house and horsing around on the beach or running around the docks with little to no supervision - my drunken grandfather wasn't really one to be watching out for kid safety.

Amazingly survived a childhood that wasn't tightly scheduled or heavily guarded.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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