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La Crosse, WI, United States / Classic Rock 100.1

Kids should be able to walk outside, walk to school, and stay home alone right?  A new law in Utah now allows for free range parenting.  What?  Isn’t this the goal of every parent everywhere?  The bill redefines “neglect” in Utah law so that kids can participate in some unsupervised activities without their parents being charged.  The official definition of neglect is failing to care for properly, the state or fact of being uncared for.  My goal as a parent is to nurture my kids, help them to grow and help them to become productive members of society.  I feel as though I have done those goal by allowing my kids to first of all be kids and feel safe at home, secondly by giving them the chance to go out and explore, sometimes on their own and sometimes by being tethered to either my wife or me.  I most certainly wouldn’t let my 3 or 4-year-old play at the park alone but may have let my 5-year-old have a little freedom to walk ahead of me on way to park, depending on the child.  My twins walked half way home from school to meet me by about 2nd grade and could go to the park to play at about the same time.  They were 9 ½ to 10 when they felt comfortable with being home alone when there was a quick run to the store.  Letting go is part of the parenting process and now in Utah letting your kids be kids is on the books.  Maryland kids under 14 may not be out unsupervised.

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