IMO my kids are "free-range", but maybe not in the subway riding respect being discussed here. I am speaking more figuratively than geographically.
I try to teach my kids the boundaries of their environment, items, etc. and why, and then give them freedom within those boundaries to make the right choices and the wrong choices. This way they practice making decisions early and learning about the consequences of bad decisions and the satisfaction of good decisions. Hopefully if they learn this young with "small" stuff (broken lamp, glue on couch) they will be more prepared with "big" stuff.
For example: I teach my kids the boundaries of using glue. It is for glueing stuff that needs to be glued, that's it. Then I teach them some good advice about glue, "it's messy and is easy to spill...I would only use it at your arts and crafts table if I were you". Then if I see them with the glue on the table, I remind them of my "good advice" to use the glue at their table, and the rest is up to them. Yes, there is risk in it for me by allowing them to mess up, but that's the cost of parenting. If they get glue on the couch, they would get in big trouble, but I give them the chance make the right choice on their own. I think this is better than just telling them to "get off the couch with that glue!"
I figure this is what we all do in life. We break rules sometimes, and push things to their limit other times...but we had to learn the limits and how to weigh when breaking rules is warrant.
Anyway, I think this is raising your child "free range" let them experience the good and bad in life, within boundaries that they trust and feel safe within. As they grow, the boundaries get larger.
kids, 3, 5, 7, but no way they would be on a subway alone at age 9.
I also think that there are probably just as many weirdos, sex offenders and just plain bad people now as their were when we were kids, but the news media is different. We get news instantly from anywhere and its fed to us much differently than in the past. I think our perception of crime has changed, but not the number of crimes. We just hear about it more and more easily.
Last edited by 5Runner; 06-22-2010 at 03:53 AM.
1999 Land Cruiser ::::: ARB front - Warn M8000 - 3rd cup mod - Rear no-bumper? - 295/75/16 BFG AT - Cobra CB - OME lift w/ 863 rear coils - lots still to do!
2000 4Runner: sold...and missed