“Free Range Parenting” : The Death of Sanity

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Did your parents ever let you ride your bike with the other neighborhood kids, walk down the street to your friend’s house, or kick you out of the house in the morning and expect you back at dinner?  If you answered yes, then your parents were “Free-Ranging”.


Well turns out, if you love freedom, sanity, or your mom & dad, you shouldn’t visit Maryland anytime soon.  Maryland, as it turns out, has a law on the books called the Maryland Unattended Children law. It reads like this:

“In Maryland, a child under the age of 8 years may not be left unattended at home, at school, or in a car.

If a parent or guardian needs to leave a child who is younger than 8 years old, the parent or guardian must ensure that a reliable person, who is at least 13 years old will stay to protect the child. Failure to provide a reliable person to babysit the child is a misdemeanor, and the parent or guardian is subject to a fine up to $500 and up to 30 days in prison.

Both in and out of the home, parents and guardians must always give proper care and attention to children in their care. Children must not be left alone in situations where they may get hurt.”

Sound crazy? Especially that last sentence? You can’t let kids do anything where they might get hurt. Plus everybody knows all your neighbors are rapists & pedophiles. So be afraid, be very afraid


The law would be just laughably dumb if it didn’t actually affect families. The Meitiv family got the shit end of this law when the parents let their two kids, 10 & 6 walk home from a playground. Now the playground was like a mile away, but we’ll get to that too. So some crotchety old Clive saw the kids, called the cops who got DSS involved and even though they didn’t legally intervene, they did send the parents a letter saying they were being charged with “unsubstantiated child neglect” which is a misdemeanor in Maryland. They could have gone to jail for 30 days, and WILL if they commit this illegal act again as well as having their children removed from the home temporarily.


People are calling them “free range parents” because they didn’t hover over their kids, pouring Purell all over them as they handed out trophies for sharing toys. People say the world is a more dangerous place than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago, but the fact is that sexual predators always existed. Weirdos have always been keeping girls in their basement in Cleveland. The difference is that instead of 5 o’clock news and 1 daily paper, the 24 hr news cycle & the internet have allowed us to hear all the gruesome details about every fucking hillbilly with a rape van.

Now, like I said before, these kids did walk a mile home from the playground. But I personally walked further through the woods of Western Mass with my friends as a kid to get to cool rope swings, so it’s not as far as you think, and with obesity rates in children these days, a mile walk might do a world of good.

When the parents were interviewed they said it was just a different parenting style and that “free range parenting” shouldn’t be considered a crime. The children are alive and apparently really happy. So obviously Maryland is pissed.

What do you think? Did your parents let you have fun and freedom as a kid, or were they worried you’d end up on a milk carton? We’d love to hear your story. Oh and btw, I AM TURTLEBOY

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5 Comment(s)
  • Non Sequitor
    March 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    The fact that letting your kids away from the heliport actually has a name is disturbing.

    When I was a kid, myself, friends and cousins would wander the wilds of Fitchburg. We even played baseball with NO ADULT SUPERVISION! Yes, those days were a bit different, as the city was nowhere near as bad, but we knew where NOT to go. Thats how kids learn. There were plenty of dangers; walking the train tracks, going up to the quarries and running into whatever bums were encamped, or even worse getting involved with church groups .

    But we all survived.

    I’m guessing this law is aimed at the derelict parents who let their kids play in traffic in the shithole areas of Baltimore or around DC. Theres a fine line between giving your kids enough rope to make mistakes and needing to keep an eye on them.

  • JoeMomma
    March 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I spent every weekend at Logan up in the 16th floor of the tower when it was a snack bar. I took the T from JP and was younger than 8. For some strange reason, me and all 8 of my siblings survived.

  • Wow
    March 6, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I’m 38 and grew up in western MA – from the time I was in 1st grade (6 years old?) I went to the park, playground, school, etc.. on my own. I’d be out playing with other kids until dinner time regularly. That was in West Brookfield. In 2nd grade we moved to Petersham, and I used to go for long hikes in the woods (all day) by myself on the weekends, and biked all over town after school the other days with friends. I was 7 or 8 and had no supervision whatsoever – I lived with my Father, and he was busy working.

    I feel bad for kids that are kept in the house and close to their parents all the time – or who have ‘activities’ they have to participate in 24/7. I loved my freedom as a kid and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

  • Clean Hippie
    March 6, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    “Pouring Purell over them as they handed out trophies for sharing toys” HahahahahaHAHAHAHA I CAN’T BREATHE

  • Eddy Baduski
    March 6, 2015 at 8:17 am

    i am 62 years old. When I was 9-10 growing up in Watertown. My buddy’s dad drove a streetcar out of the car barn in Watertown Square. About 4-5 of us would go down early in the morning and hop on his car. We would get off in Kendall Square where he would give us a book of transfers and off we’d go. All day we rode the trains and subway and they’d we would make it home for dinner. My kids still shake their heads when I tell them that story. Jesus, if we lived in Maryland or parents would still be doing time!!

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