Mother, Parenthood

What Is Free Range Parenting And Who Is Doing It?

Baby wearing, Gentle Parenting, Baby Led Weaning… sometimes it can be difficult to keep on track of all the modern parenting practices that pop up in conversations and on our social media feeds. Free range parenting is another one to ad to the growing list. Knowledge really is power and people’s reasons for trying new methods of parenting is usually somewhat related to facts, studies and positive anecdotes. It can leave a lot of people scratching their heads though. Me included.

So what is it? Well the premise of it is centred around allowing children to develop independently. According to Webmd it is a decision to “give your child freedom and responsibility” and that some experts “think that there is a real upside to steeping back and letting kids do more on their own”..For many parents it is a case of stepping back and asking themselves a series of questions. Questions such as “do they have the capabilities and understanding to complete this task”, “do they understand the dangers” and “do they know who to trust if they run in to danger”.

Variety is the spice of life and is the very thing that keeps the earth moving but for many parents fear is the most prominent emotions felt throughout the journey of parenthood. Quite often freedom and independence go hand in hand with fear and anxiety. It´s a catch 22 because perhaps the reality is that giving more independence and freedom could teach our children skills that will actually help keep them safer in life.

I recently attended a playgroup and noticed that one particular child was doing a lot of hitting. I empathised because my son too had a tendency to do this and I was finding it quite challenging at that particular time. At no point did the child’s parent tell them it was not OK to hit others. I later heard that the parent likes to allow her child to “figure these things out for herself” and calls herself a free range parent.

I think the only free range in my life will be eggs, and that is just fine by me.