It also should be discussed that ‘free range parenting’ or as I like to call it, ‘parenting’ is something that is in vogue in neighborhoods that are safe. The ability to let our children have freedoms can of course only happen if the surrounding areas have sidewalks, no gang violence or drug traffic. Families who live in these areas don’t have the same luxury to give their children. As much as I love the freedoms my children are given, I wonder if this will be the next cultural divide.
I understand your concerns and you’re raising important points. Having said that, I am a public school teacher in a low socioeconomic community. Prior to this position, I taught for a few years in an inner city school. From my experience, the kids in the city frequently walked to school, were always meeting each other after school to play basketball or ride bikes, they walked to each other’s houses independently, etc. They were, as the saying goes, very “street smart.” Had they encountered any risk, I trusted their ability to take reasonable precautions. Their parents were the furthest thing from helicopter parents, and the vast majority of them thrived in the independence they were given.
I’m not sure if it’s a matter of being the new thing though. I’ve been raising my kids in poor neighborhoods for the last two decades and there have always been kids playing independently, walking themselves to school, etc. To be honest, the child snatchers we’ve feared most have been cps. And I can assure you that that is because of our socioeconomic background. I hope this does become the next big thing though. Running wild was the best part of my childhood and I don’t want my kids to miss out .
I would almost argue that the kids in the low socioeconomic group in general would have more freedoms and the “street smart” you are talking about is a result of them having more free time without adult supervision. Not necessarily a bad thing.
By being “street smart” do you mean that they are being taught how to be by their parents or do they realize it on their own. Being in low socioeconomic area, does the burden fall on the parents to teach kids?
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