We were happy to accept the invitation back to KPBS to discuss the issue of Free Range Parenting. This has been a topic addressed by parents around the country with differing opinions across the board. In Teaching Kids to Think we discuss the essential opportunities for practice that are missed when children are not provided the chance to play, interact with others, and solve problems away from the watchful eye of an adult. Especially in this generation, parents need to find times for their children to do this. At the same time, it is important to always consider the developmental level, maturity, and history of practice for each child, as well as the safety of the environment.
As you will hear in these interviews, we feel it is important not to make any wide-sweeping judgments based on limited information. As with anything else, there is a spectrum of freedoms that can be offered with "Free Range" type parenting. For one family it may start with observing their child play at a park from afar, while another family may feel it is safe for their child to go the park alone. A child's safety is always the priority. A child doesn't have to ride the bus unaccompanied or walk to the park alone to be given chances for independent problem-solving. We provide many examples in the book of different levels of freedom that can provide similar experiences. The key is to seek out those experiences, and often.
For further discussion listen to the Midday Edition radio and Evening Edition TV interviews by following the link below.