Home, Home on the (Free) Range?

By , February 17, 2012 9:21 am

Interesting article by David Pimentel of Florida Coastal School of Law on overprotective parenting, the resulting laws, and the implications for so-called free-range parents (I’m probably one). From the abstract:

In the last generation, American parenting norms have shifted
strongly in favor of Intensive Parenting, placing particular emphasis
on protecting children from risks of harm. Recently, a backlash to
this trend has emerged. “Free Range” parenting is based on the
concern that coddling children through overprotection inhibits the
development of their independence and responsibility. Indeed, a
growing body of literature suggests that parental overreaction to
remote and even illusory risks of physical harm is exposing children to
far more serious risks to their well-being and development. But the
powerful influence of media has sensationalized the risks to children,
skewing popular perceptions of the genuine risks children face and of
what constitutes a reasonable or appropriate response to such risks.
Consequently, individuals who do not buy into Intensive Parenting
norms, including those from different cultural and socio-economic
backgrounds, may be subjecting themselves to criminal prosecution
for child neglect and endangerment.

It appears that I’m on the anti-nanny-state warpath this morning, what with my Tweet about Santorum’s take on gambling.

2 Responses to “Home, Home on the (Free) Range?”

  1. STW says:

    Are you suggesting that Mac and Lloyd driving a water truck off the Big Horns (one steering and one working the pedals) years before either turned 16 (or even 14) would be considered outside the norm in this enlightened age?

    • Gregory Taggart says:

      What enlightened age are you talking about? The one where schools monitor the sack lunches prepared by the students’ parents?

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