Parenting Porcupines

Let Go & Let Grow

Episode Summary

Main idea: Free range parenting is the style we grew up with. So why are people so scandalized by it?

Episode Notes

On the blog here.

Episode art: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

From “experiments in independence” to “gross negligence” there are a LOT of ways to see so-called “free range parenting.”

In this article for NPR, a certain mom pushes back against haters by reminding them that numbers of missing children are actually at an all-time low while perceptions of the dangers of kidnapping are elevated.

We’re in an era when being overprotective is what’s expected and fostering freedom is seen as bad parenting. The organization Let Grow was founded with the intention of opening these conversations up for deeper debate.

In what can only be called irony, there are schools setting up “free play clubs” with no supervision or scripted activities. Aren’t those gangs? The NPR article from above mentions this. So …

According to Let Grow’s interactive map, South Carolina’s laws are actually some of the most supportive of children’s independence.

I love this blog talking about parenting out of habit and saying things we think might be helpful, but mostly just because they were said to us.

If one more person told me to put Hollie on a schedule when she was a baby I would have decked them. The daycare wanted me to put her down for a nap on Saturdays and Sundays at the same time. Um. No. I ran her until she passed out because I had better things to do than beg her to nap and listen to her cry and deny her time with me playing to maintain some weird ritual.

And finally, 6 pros and cons of Free Range Parenting.