2015 was a big year for free range parenting to be cast in an undesired spotlight. Remember the Meitivs? They gave their two kids (ages 6 and 10) permission to walk to a nearby park alone, yet the children were taken into the custody of the police and then Child Protective Services. This incident made most parents think twice about encouraging their children’s independence. Perhaps that’s why the government is now taking a stand in the decision-making that used to be primarily left within a parent’s jurisdiction. Recently, President Obama signed the first ever federal “free range kids” law, allowing parents to decide how children go to and from school and at what age they can go by themselves. Parents will also be free from civil or criminal charges for making this decision. An important point, since the Meitivs were investigated twice by police as a result of their free range lifestyle. Since the law was part of the “Every Student Succeeds Act,” it appears that the free range parenting choice applies only when a child is going back and forth to school, so parents like the Meitivs might still run into issues when allowing their child to roam around the neighborhood and community. The federal law also doesn’t override state or municipal restrictions, meaning that free range parenting might still be verboten depending on where you live. Regardless, the law is a promising step toward allowing parents and their children to determine certain age appropriate activities.

via Treehugger.com

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