My parents were (and still are) very hard-working people, so they didn’t always have time to pick me up from school. However, once I got old enough, maybe 11 or so, they started allowing me to walk home with my best friend Danielle, who lived nearby. We would cut through the campus of a seminary to avoid busy roads–hopping, skipping, and laughing together all the way. It sounds like a totally different time, doesn’t it?
Actually, it was 2002. You wouldn’t know it though, judging from a recent article in the Washington Post about two “free-range” parents from Maryland who are being investigated by CPS for letting their two children walk a mile on their own.
Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are the parents in question. Their two kids–Rafi (10) and Dvora (6)–were on their way home from the park when they were stopped by police. According to the Washington Post, the two were scooped up by the cops after someone called in to report seeing them. They were returned home, and the officer spoke to both parents about the dangers of allowing children to walk alone. If that isn’t humiliating enough, CPS got involved. They interviewed the kids at their school, attempted to investigate their home, and worst of all: threatened to take the children away if their parents did not comply.
But the Meitiv’s arent the only ones getting backlash for letting their children out on their own. In fact, it seems to be a growing trend. In 2014, two women were arrested for letting their children go to nearby parks unattended.
Danielle and Alexander believe in “free-range” parenting, a movement started by Lenore Skenazy, which encourages parents to give their kids more independence to venture out into the world, make mistakes, and learn from them. (Read more about it here).
Danielle told the Washington Post:
“The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood. I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”
What do you think? Should CPS be investigating the Meitiv’s? I’d really like to hear your opinions on this one.