A Call to Action

I have been thinking a lot about an article I posted recently about “Free-range Parenting.”  You may recall that a family was under investigation by the Child Protection Services because they let their children walk to the park alone.  It was a mile away and deemed safe to get to by their parents.  The children, ages 6 and 10, had done it many times, but someone in the community took it upon themselves to call “the authorities.”  The family was scrutinized and still is today.
I have had conversations with my husband, friends, and colleagues about giving our children more space to explore.  Can they walk to a friend’s house down the street if it means they need to cross a busy street?   At what age is it appropriate to let them go to the playground on their own?  Is the perceived threat of strangers a real threat?  Can they stay locked in the car for a moment by themselves?  We have had interesting discussions, but it seems that there is not a clear cut answer.
What I do I hear is that people are afraid of making choices for their children because of the judgment of others.  They worry that someone in the community will decide they were an unfit parent and the repercussions are unthinkable.  It is sad to think that this is happening.
I am fortunate to live in a town with a tight sense of community.  Yet, there are many styles of parenting.  How can we start a dialogue to re-write the rules?  How can parents work together to look out for children collectively while giving them the space they need (and deserve) to explore?  Who should start the conversation?  Would parents engage in this sort of gathering in order to bring about change?
I want to know what you think.  I want to know how we can move forward together.  I would like to facilitate the next steps if you will join me!
Here is another piece to make you think.

Published by

Joyeux Parenting

I am the proud mother of two beautiful children and have lived in Boston for most of my life. I have over twenty years of experience as a Child Development Specialist working with new families, pediatricians at Mass General Hospital, and Early Intervention. I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges related to breastfeeding, behavior management, picky eaters, discipline, sleep, and development. I love being a wife and mother and sharing my experiences-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am constantly learning about new evidence based information as it relates to parenting. Most importantly, I think it is crucial to recognize that we all make mistakes and learn from them. I am a firm believer that humor is essential as you navigate the world. Parenting should be full of joy and that is why I started my business Joyeux Parenting. Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with you.

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