Skip Nav
This Mom Does Not Want Your Child, or Any Child, Over For a Playdate
Little Kids
10 Signs Your Child May Have Asperger's Syndrome
A Pregnant Mom Got Help Soothing Her Crying Baby on a Flight From This Unexpected Stranger

Fostering Free Range Parenting

How to Loosen Up a Bit and Foster "Free-Range Parenting"

How tight a leash do you need to put your kids on? Dr. Fran Walfish — Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and costar on WE TV's Sex Box — offers expert insight on letting go.

I am not an advocate of "free-range parenting" in its radical, pure form. I think the current culture and electronic digital communication have raised the risk factors for danger. However, below are five of my top tips to help foster my variation of "free-range parenting."

Supervised Street Play

Take turns alternating with neighborhood parents supervising young children playing on the block (during daytime and evening hours). This allows kids to become familiar with other adults watching them vs. their own moms and dads.


Reward Every Increment of Responsible Behavior With More Independence

Each plateau of observable consistent, dependable, responsible behavior on your child's part, including respecting rules and curfew, following parents' directives when asked once, school attendance, and homework assignments delivered on time, should be rewarded with small bits of more freedom and autonomy.

Educate and Inform Your Children

Invite someone from the crime department in your local police department to visit your neighborhood and educate your kids about the best self-protection and self-defense strategies. For example, teach them that if a suspicious stranger, man or woman, driving a car asks them for help finding their lost pet, never get near or inside the car. Run — but first turn and run as fast as you can in the opposite direction that the car is facing. This gives you a head start. By the time it will take for the driver to turn his car around and follow, you might be a block ahead to scream for help. Always yell, "Fire!" People respond faster to a fire call.

Group Clusters Are Better Protection Than Single Children

Teach your kids that it's safer to hang out or walk home in groups than alone. Solo individuals are more desirable targets to bad guys.

Follow Your Intuition

Parents must do what they believe in their gut is right and best for their children. It is up to each of us to decide our family values. Also, we cannot predict life's twists and turns, ups and downs, letdowns, and disappointments. It is individually up to each of us to make decisions based on our belief system and conscience. The worst scenario would be to make a choice and then live with regret later in life. This is one of the reasons moms and dads need to communicate openly and be on the same page regarding family values prior to marriage and having children.

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
How to Teach Your Child to Be a Good Friend
I Let My Baby Cry
Ways Moms Can Practice Self-Care
Ways to Blame Things on Your Kids
Their Baby Died From Sleeping in His Car Seat
What to Do When a Family Pet Dies
Remembering the Big Picture of Parenting

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds