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Tips For Take Our Children to the Park . . . And Leave Them There Day

Ways Helicopter Moms Can Ease Into Free-Range Parenting

Drop the kiddos off at this Saturday's first ever Take Our Children to the Park . . . And Leave Them There Day. Playgrounds are abuzz with parents discussing the amount of freedom children need. The day, which free-range parenting pioneer Lenore Skenazy created to draw attention to today's tendency toward over-parenting, is encouraging mom and dad to allow their kids — particularly those over 7 years old — to play without restrictions.

But for parents who aren't ready to leave their kiddos completely alone, we have three tips to ease your way into allowing them more freedom.

  • If an entire afternoon at the park sounds too scary, try five- and 10-minute increments of freedom.
  • If you're used to hovering over your child on the jungle gym, try sitting on a bench and watching from afar. You'll still be close enough to keep tabs on things.
  • Rather than tote a bag filled with toys and equipment, let your child lead the way. See where some unstructured play time leads them.
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amandachalynn amandachalynn 6 years
When my son's older he'll be able to go to the park a few blocks from here alone. I have no problem at all with that. I also haven't stood near the jungle gym since my son was 2. I'm always on a bench with my coffee. However, I also agree that a specific date and time is stupid. It's like a bar advertising a drunken skirts with no panties party in the alley on friday night at 10pm.
imariec imariec 6 years
I would like to believe that I'll be a free-range mom. I grew up going to the park alone w/my brother and not thinking about it twice. But for some reason, the more I hear about this "special" day, the more nervous I get - perhaps it is too many episodes of Law & Order SVU, but all this publicity about this day keeps giving me the creeps - I mean, we're literally letting all the pedophiles and bad people out there know, that on such given day there will be children at the parks WITHOUT supervision from their parents. And I don't care how much you trust your children, do you trust everyone else at the park? I hate to be so negative about such a positive experience, but I just can't shake this feeling off my head.
kristints kristints 6 years
I'm with Anonymous! I think kids should totally be able to play without Mom or Dad hovering over them but leaving a child ALONE at a park? That's child endangerment!
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