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Parents Are Divided Over A New Law Supporting "Free-Range Parenting"

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I'm not even that old, but some days it can feel like I grew up in the Wild West.

My generation of kids didn't have cell phones, iPads, or parents hovering over our shoulders every minute of the day.

After school, me and my brothers were free to go wherever we liked, as long as we were back in time for dinner.

But today's parents are more demanding, which has led to a strange new law in Utah.

Free-range Parenting

Free-range parenting.

The state has passed a one of a kind law protecting "free-range parenting."

The law changes the definition of "neglect," so parents won't be charged for leaving their children unsupervised in certain cases.

Lawmakers say the bill allows children to:

  • walk outside alone
  • play in a park without supervision
  • wait in a car without an adult

"We’ve become too hyper about ‘protecting’ kids"

One of the bill's sponsors, Senator Lincoln Fillmore, says children "need to wonder about the world explore and play in it," to learn "self-reliance."

"As a society, we’ve become too hyper about ‘protecting’ kids and then end up sheltering them from the experiences that we took for granted as we were kids."

He says the law was inspired by headline-grabbing cases of parents who lost custody of their children because they were too independent.

A couple from Maryland were deemed negligent by the state's Child Protective Services for letting their sons play outside without adult supervision.

The case divided parents nationwide, and so has the new law, with concerned mother and fathers weighing in on both sides.

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