“Free-Range Parenting,” The controversial parenting technique that’s on the rise

By now, you’ve likely heard of the New York City woman who let her 9-year-old son ride on the subway by himself; a controversial headline from recent years.

Lenore Skenazy, a columnist for the New York Sun wrote about raising her son with a hands-off approach, claiming that she was allowing her son to gain the confidence that comes from being self-sufficient.

Her highly controversial decision evoked responses from both passionate supporters, as well as the outspoken opposition, with responses ranging from “Good for you!” all the way down to “You’re the worst mother on the planet.”

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Hand’s off parenting or “Free-range Parenting,” as many are beginning to call it, is a rising trend but it is actually not such a new concept. Before the era of portable gaming, cell phones, and worldwide social networking, parents used to let their children walk to school by themselves and play outside until dusk.

But with the proliferation of digital communications like the internet and cell phones, the world has undoubtedly changed and as members of generation Y are beginning to have kids of their own, some are questioning the new “norm” in parenting practices.

Skenazy, along with many other hands-off parents is beginning to call foul on the progressively stricter standards that parents are expected to uphold.

For example, a mother was arrested and questioned by child services for letting her children play at the park unsupervised- another mother was arrested for letting her 13-year-old babysit his younger siblings.

Those who practice hands-off parenting claim that the freedoms that they allow their children encourage them to develop self-sufficiency, responsibility, problem-solving skills, and a deep sense of personal pride. Those who find fault in hands-off parenting tend to disagree that a child need be self-sufficient, at all.
So where do you stand on the topic of hands-off parenting?