One of the negatives of being a free range parent

Tooleman

Diamond Member
#1
So I would let my kids play video games till they were blue in the face if they wanted.. But for some strange reason they would rather play outside..

So a neighborhood kid comes over, asks my Son if he can play and they run upstairs to the gameroom..

A few minutes later, my Son comes down and ask me to play ball with him.. And im like what the heck, you have a friend over?? He tells me all he wants to do is play video games........ Im like hmmmmmm.. This is what happens when you restrict your kids activities and I pay for it..

The kid just went home, and im about to throw like Romo.. Dont laugh lol..
 

perseco

Double Platinum
#2
Sounds like the neighborhood kid has more interest in self-indulgence than interaction while gaming. People like that usually end up being the worst kind of people online.
 
#3
I hope you put sunscreen on the kiddo and you. You might get charged with child abuse for failing to adhere to the proper SPF factor prior to exposing your child to that horrid gas ball in the sky.

Your local Gladis Kravitz will be dialing CPS as soon as she sees a human in the native wilds of Frisco.

I don't think my parents knew where I was until I showed up for dinner or bed. Exploring your world is an education unto itself.
 
#4
We have the tools to be more 'free range' than when most of us were as children. With a cell phone, kids can call 911, take a photo of a creep's license plate and SMS to the police in a matter of seconds. Yet, most kids aren't free to roam about in our dangerous dangerous Frisco. The elementary school streets are clogged with parents dropping off their kids and this kills the possibility of creating a neighborhood and culture. There's safety in numbers, neighborhoods full of kids playing and walking to and from school are good for everyone. Now we have device addicted obese children. I was totally 'free range' when I was a kid. We rode our bikes several miles from one place to another. By the time I was 13 I was taking the bus downtown (KC) and walking around the abandoned Union Station (filled with a car collection) and going to the roof of KCPL and the Liberty memorial to throw paper airplanes from height. At 14, I was saving up lunch money for 3 weeks to take bus trips to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, St. Louis. They were some adventures but I never got hurt. I can only think of one incident and that's at about 10 or 11 when some man tried to lure a friend and me into his car. We ran home, told our parents and nothing ever came of it, but today, almost certain he would have been caught with cell phones and all that. Bottom line - we should be more free range. It's good for kids and good for our neighborhood.
 
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#5
Sad that was once normal is now called "free range" by some. I can remember spending summer days in the woods. We'd normally pack our lunch and came home for dinner. We rode our bikes to get around. Parents did not drop us off at our friends.

My youngest is going into 5th. I am amazed he has peers that are not allowed to play outside beyond their little yard. He is bounded by the neighborhood but is free to play at park or go over to friends. He just needs to let us know where he is headed.

You'd think Frisco was overrun with crime based on how tight some people controls kids movements. Get outside and explore. It is fun, good exercise and part of being a kid. Parents need to learn that don't always need to have eyes on their kids. Independence is a good thing and great skill for them to learn.
 

boiler01

Silver Member
#7
Took my 14yo stepdaughter on a bike ride. Showed her how to get to the "nearest" convenient store/gas station and told her she was more than welcome to ride her bike on her own and go when she got bored or wanted to "grab a treat."

She was amazed I would let her go by herself. I was floored when her father was, "don't you think it's a bit far for her age?" This from the man who went camping with his friends over night without an adult at the age of 12.

I know the almost three miles may seem a lot if you are not used to it, but seriously I used to walk a mile to school when I was 10 and we live in the country, it takes me 15 minutes by car just to get to our little local grocery store. She took her phone and had no problems. Decided the trek wasn't really worth it and didn't do it again for the rest of the time she was here. Her choice. She would go out riding for a while each day though.

I did laugh when she said she was surprised she only came across one vehicle the whole time. She was even more surprised when I told her that I knew. I had already gotten the call from a neighbor to let me know where she was at.
 
#9
I was free to roam my block at 3 and play outdoor games with the "big kids" (as long as I stayed on our side of the street - so I had the run of about 15-20 homes.) At first I had to ask permission - but since I've always been an early riser and my mom had a colicky sick baby, I just left before the family got out of bed in the morning.

Nowdays, my parents would have been thrown in jail and I would be taken away by CPS. I may have been a little young - but most of the kids ran freely starting around 5. We walked home and crossed several streets to/from kindergarten. We even went to the community pool as long as we had at least one teen with us plus there was a lifeguard on duty. The big kids and other parents looked out for us around the neighborhood. And reported back to my parents if we got out of line. We understood safety - and disciplinary consequences.

At 7 we were hanging out during the day in an old abandoned farmhouse. By 10, we rode our bikes as many as 8-10 miles away to visit nearby towns.

I don't really think it was that much safer back then (60's and 70's). I just think the media has scared parents into hyper-control and helicoptering. Kids are being raised like indoor cats now - we were raised as dogs without leashes. I still keep in touch with some of these "kids" - born leaders, founders of companies, politicians, mostly professionals - all very self-reliant, problem-solvers, good people skills learned from getting along with the other street kids. None are a drain on society.
 
#10
I don't get the "free range" thing...either you let your kids have some freedom or you don't, why do parents have to claim, or even further, brag that they are free range...in my opinion kids earn their freedom. In other words, freedom to roam the neighborhood and when to allow that radius to grow further and further should be made on a kid by kid basis. I don't think every kid matures at the same rate and I don't think every kid can be allotted the same amount of trust either. I think it's a big parenting mistake to give your kids the "fly be free" decree without first acknowledging what their limitations might need to be based upon their own level of decision making, maturity, etc.

I don't think a kid wanting to play outside more has anything to do with being "free range", it has more to do with what each parent has done with their kids as they grow up...a more outdoorsy family will have kids who enjoy being outside more, etc. etc.
 

Tooleman

Diamond Member
#11
The point I am making, is you always hear about strict parents restricting video game time.. Which appears to make them gravitate to them more.. People think I am crazy for allowing complete unrestricted access to video games.. But they play them very little..
 
#13
There are lots of "free range" kids in my neighborhood...loudly cursing whenever I take my daughter to a neighborhood park. ;) I'm not worried about my kids getting abducted but I'm a little nervous about all of the distracted drivers who are on Facebook while driving. My street is a little busy and I see people run stop signs all the time. Also not too long ago I saw a girl on her bike get hit by a car near my house - she seemed fine but seeing that shook me up a bit. I've nearly been hit more than once by a distracted driver and the last time was a very close call. I will try not to be overprotective but it will be tough.
 
#14
I think all kids curse, even as young as 7-8. I remember being in elementary school and we'd be cursing like sailors out on the playground when we got far enough away to think the teachers couldn't hear us.
 
#16
I don't care though my toddler is at the repeat everything she hears stage so that's going to be fun to deal with. I know kids curse but loudly cursing right next to adults with their toddlers at the park? Some people (not me) might have a problem with it. That's bolder than when I was a kid!
 
#17
The point I am making, is you always hear about strict parents restricting video game time.. Which appears to make them gravitate to them more.. People think I am crazy for allowing complete unrestricted access to video games.. But they play them very little..
I was giving you crap a couple of years ago about you letting your kids play so many video games. I stand corrected - your parenting approach seems to be working very well - since your kids also love playing outside. My sincere apologies. You know what works best for your own family. It was none of my business. Good job!
 
#18
There are lots of "free range" kids in my neighborhood...loudly cursing whenever I take my daughter to a neighborhood park. ;) I'm not worried about my kids getting abducted but I'm a little nervous about all of the distracted drivers who are on Facebook while driving. My street is a little busy and I see people run stop signs all the time. Also not too long ago I saw a girl on her bike get hit by a car near my house - she seemed fine but seeing that shook me up a bit. I've nearly been hit more than once by a distracted driver and the last time was a very close call. I will try not to be overprotective but it will be tough.
I'm not worried about the abduction part either. The odds are very much against it. Frisco is very safe. We though trained our kids well in that area. Even teaching them what our family safe word was if an adult came by and asked them to get into a car due to a "family emergency" - and we also taught them some basic self defense moves on how to get away in those first critical seconds if grabbed.

Despite me being pro "free range" based on my childhood experiences - the worse that happened to us is that we were struck by cars. All 3 with minor injuries. One accident was clearly my friend's fault crossing a busy road on foot to go to a shopping center without looking. He was about 8 at the time. The other time was 2 of us on bikes hit by a pickup truck when we were 7-8 miles from our house (we were about 11 riding to a Radio Shack to get parts for building a computer for a science project). The driver took full fault and bought us new bikes and paid our medical bills.
 

perseco

Double Platinum
#19
I think all kids curse, even as young as 7-8. I remember being in elementary school and we'd be cursing like sailors out on the playground when we got far enough away to think the teachers couldn't hear us.
Younger than that... my first real exposure to cursing was then a first grade kid passed a note around with F:censored: written on it.

One accident was clearly my friend's fault crossing a busy road on foot to go to a shopping center without looking. He was about 8 at the time.
I did the same thing around that age, but I was lucky enough that my sister was right behind me... as I was running between cars stopped in traffic next to a school, at the median she pulled me back by my shirt collar right before I was about to be splattered across the pavement by an oncoming van. The van missed me by about 6 inches. My mother was in the car that I passed in front of and watched this whole incident unfold. I'm sure you can surmise what happened next...

:yikes: :nono:
 
#20
I let my 13 yo and my 8 yo go to the neighborhood pool that is about 100 yards from the house by themselves. They had a cell phone with them and both are excellent swimmers and pretty well behaved. Next thing I know I've got a neighborhood mom at my door returning my kids to me because I was neglecting them. I asked if they had misbehaved at the pool. She said no but it was against the law for them to be there by themselves. I told them they could go back to the pool if they wanted and told the mom next time she should bring "the law" with her. Haven't seen her since.