Free-range parenting can be seen as a response to "helicopter parenting," in which parents are constantly checking in on their parents and barely letting them have even a second without supervision. It might seem ludicrously irresponsible to let your child go off on their own, but free-range parenting doesn't have to mean inattentive parenting. You can still exercise parental responsibility while allowing your kids to grow in self-sufficiency and confidence. These are ways to keep your kids safe while utilizing free-range parenting.
Free-range parenting doesn't mean you act deliberately ignorant towards what your child is capable of. To pull this off properly, you need to think about what sort of responsibly your kids are capable of handling. It might be too much for a six-year-old to get across town themselves, but they may be able to walk over to a friend's house and back. Help them to naturally grow by adapting to new situations, and every subsequent step on their journey will seem effortless.
Teach Kids Pedestrian Safety
Being a free-range parent means having your kids get out of the house. Since they're probably not old enough to drive, they'll have to understand how to be responsible pedestrians. Some essential skills include using crosswalks, looking both ways, and keeping a safe distance from vehicles. This is a practice that is essential for developing awareness, which is a great sign of maturity, one that many adults could learn as well.
Should you have multiple children, you need to encourage them to develop some sort of leadership system. The eldest child can make an ideal leader, but they shouldn't be able to rule with absolute impunity. Let every child have some say in decision-making. If there are conflicts, they need to deal with them maturely and avoid name-calling or whining. This is a great way to promote cooperation with your children so they aren’t running to you every time they have a problem and allows them to be more independent.
Part of free-range parenting is giving your child a fair amount of freedom, but you can still exact a responsible influence over your children while free-range parenting. Give them a curfew for the end of each day for when you expect them to be home. You need to make this as inflexible as possible because they need to understand that the privilege you're giving them isn't a right.
You might be skeptical about free-range parenting and think that it's far too risky to pull off successfully. However, that mindset neglects how being a parent means accepting risk. You're not absconding your care for your child by letting them out of your sight for extended periods of time. Instead, you're giving them a gift by showing that you trust them to fend for themselves and are enthusiastic about their development.
Another great thing for your child’s development is reading to them. Create a customized story today to read to your child that can be personalized to them!