18.05.14 Free-Range Parenting

May 17, 2018
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First State Enacts
“Free-Range Parenting” Law

UT leads — TX & NY may be next.

Here’s what “free-range parenting” means and why some say it fosters self-reliance & independence, while others say it is dangerous, and possibly illegal.

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Those who practice “free-range parenting” allow their kids to do things like, go to the park, walk to school, or take public transportation, alone or with other children, but without any adult supervision.

Legal issues arise when child protective authorities view those “freedoms” as parental neglect & initiate legal proceedings against the parents to “protect” the kids.

Although child abuse & neglect laws vary by state, the U.S Constitution protects theA “fundamental right ofA parentsA to makeA decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”

Parents may parent as they see fit UNLESS they do something, or fail to do something, that places a child in imminent risk of danger of physical or emotional harm.

The Utah Law carves out exceptions to the state’s child neglect laws by providing parents may permit their kids to engage in activities w/o adult supervision, like

  • “traveling to and from school”
  • “engaging in outdoor play”
  • “remaining at home unattended”
    (so long as they are ofA “sufficient age and maturity” & theirA “basic needs are met.”)

Did a particular event start this “free-range parenting” law in Utah? Not really…It’s part of a lobbying effort that began several years ago. Here’s the background:

by Jenna Lee,

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