"Free range" Mom lets kids walk to the store by themselves

Katherine - posted on 05/27/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

65,420

232

4894

http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/12088...


A woman was thrown IN JAIL in California for letting her 5 and 6 year old walk a mile to the store by themselves. Now I'm not a helicopter mom, but a MILE???

It obviously wasn't neglect, but come on!!! Use some common sense!

There is also a free-range movement: http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/


I personally would NOT have done it, but I also don't think she should have gone to jail.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Becky - posted on 05/27/2011

2,892

44

92

Well, there is "free-range" and then there is just downright neglectful and shitty parenting. And after reading the article Dana posted, I'd be more inclined to put this mom in the latter catagory. I don't think she "let" her children walk to the store because she wanted to teach them independence and self-sufficience. I think the kids left and went to the store without her knowledge and probably have to do this often because their mother would rather sleep than provide for them.
I wouldn't let my 5 and 6 year olds walk a mile to the store here, wouldn't even think about it. It's not so much that I'm worried about predators as that I have a somewhat irrational fear of cars. Yes, by 5 and 6 you should be able to teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, but it's other drivers I don't trust. Not everyone stops for crosswalks or watches for small children. And my dad and I were hit by a vehicle ON the sidewalk when I was 12. So, nope, not something I would allow at that age.

Dana - posted on 05/27/2011

11,264

35

489

Interesting, here's another article.

http://www.sodahead.com/living/mom-charg...

I thought there had to be more to the story. You just don't get thrown in jail without previous problems or problems beyond just letting your kids walk to the store.

Who knows what story is correct but, I love how "Free-range moms" want to jump on this story and that poor, poor, mother...

Jodi - posted on 05/27/2011

26,067

36

3891

Wrong Karen. The world is no more dangerous now that it ever was. You just see it more now because we are bombarded with information and news 24/7.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

34 Comments

View replies by

Jackie - posted on 09/06/2014

33

0

3

I wouldn't have, mostly because of the dangers of traffic and the fact that kids don't generally think before acting. I let me daughter go the park alone, which is around the corner, about three houses away (not in line of sight). But mostly because she always comes back every 20 minutes or so for a toy/bathroom/snack/etc so I know she's ok.

Kel - posted on 08/26/2014

4

0

0

Allowing children who are that young to walk around by themselves is completely negligent and irresponsible. Parents like that NEED to be investigated by child protection services.

Micha - posted on 05/28/2011

54

18

3

I feel that she was thrown in jail 100% rightfully! If it was right down the street and you could watch them the whole way, THAT would be different. Not a freaking mile, though,

Elizabeth - posted on 05/27/2011

149

27

7

5 and 6 yrs old to walk a mile to the store gosh my daughter is 13 and my son is 9 and i barely let them walk like 5 mins away to a store now

[deleted account]

Karen, the world is not any more dangerous than it was 30 years ago. Kidnappings happened back then too.

Anyway, in my neighborhood, yes I'd allow my (hypothetical) 6 year old to walk a mile by herself. A mile from our old house...not a chance. For me it depends on the circumstances.

After reading Dana's link, I think this mom is lazy and negligent.

Karen - posted on 05/27/2011

481

19

46

If this was 30 yrs ago ok. But with all the people kidnapping ect. I would never let my 7yr. old walk even a block down to the store. Maybe to the bus stop but I would be at the door watching.

Jodi - posted on 05/27/2011

26,067

36

3891

Oh, and I let my son walk home from school on his own when he was about 7 - it's probably about a mile. He usually walked most of the way with friends. He never had to cross a busy road (but still had to cross a road), and we live in an area where a LOT of kids walk to and from school. And so far it hasn't ended in tragedy for anyone :\

Jodi - posted on 05/27/2011

26,067

36

3891

OK, I read the other article. This isn't about a mum letting her children walk a mile to school. This is about a case of neglect, and the neglect isn't letting the kids walk on their own. She WAS a lazy fucking bitch, who lives like that?

I still think, however, people are making a big deal about letting a 5 and 6 year old walking a mile on their own :P

Jodi - posted on 05/27/2011

26,067

36

3891

I should tell my mother how very neglectful everyone thinks she must have been - we used to walk a mile home from school on our own at that age......



I honestly don't see the big deal. I mean, it does depend where they live, obviously, but I am imagining they weren't crossing any busy main roads on their own, and that the route was pretty straight-forward.

[deleted account]

Well, I live on Kauai..... ;) Maybe I AM just overprotective? The girls have been going into the McDonald's at the food court (while they've been in view of me) since 5/6 and ordering their own food, but the thought of them walking a mile and crossing the roads and having no way to contact me if something were to go wrong.... just doesn't sit well w/ me at all.

Erin - posted on 05/27/2011

6,569

25

232

Before reading Dana's link, my reaction was 'woah, a mile is too far'. Depending on where we lived, I would be ok with a child that age going a short distance on their own (ie, around the corner). But a mile? No way.

After reading the other story, it's pretty obvious the mother is a lazy wench and is neglecting those kids in all aspects.

Jenny - posted on 05/27/2011

4,426

16

126

Where they live would have an effect on if I thought it was ok or not. I've been walking more than mile by myself since I was 5 and going to stores shortly after as soon as I learned how to count change. I don't think the world is a different place then it was then, I'm not buying the media hype.

My daughter went to our local corner store a few months ago, she just turned 8. She was very safe and totally proud of herself. I'm determined to raise self sufficient kids.

Tania - posted on 05/27/2011

280

28

12

In this day in age its crazy but my Grandmother actually let my Dad at 3 go to the store for her and get milk. She put a note and money in his pocket for the shop owner.

Also when my Dad was maybe 4 he went to the movieswith his 2 older brothers who were 5 and 7 at the time. My Dad was too young to get in so his brothers saw the movie and my poor Dad walked home. :(

Corinne - posted on 05/27/2011

1,288

14

121

She was sleeping and they left to buy loo paper? WTH? Blocked loo and animal poop all over, sounds like Mommy can't be bothered. Feel soooo sorry for those little ones, at least with her out of the picture, for now, they have a chance to see what childhood SHOULD be like. >:(

Rosie - posted on 05/27/2011

8,657

30

315

after reading dana's thing, yeah she needs to be punished a bit. she fell asleep and her house is horrendous. still not sure jail time is appropriate, but intervention from CPS sure is.

Isobel - posted on 05/27/2011

9,849

0

282

The more I think about it, the sadder this actually makes me. How bad does life at home have to suck that you at the ages of 5 and 6, feel the NEED to walk a mile and risk your life for TOILET PAPER? (not food, or candy) I'm sure that was a scary trip for them :(

Dana - posted on 05/27/2011

11,264

35

489

Btw, it's South Carolina, not California. ;)
It's the fourth largest city in the state.

[deleted account]

A mile? At 5 and 6.... Hell no and I'm FAR from a helicopter parent. The nearest store here is a mile or so away and I wouldn't even have my 9 year olds walk there alone. They make the walk all the time when my mom is here, but alone..... Not a chance.

Isobel - posted on 05/27/2011

9,849

0

282

she was thinking "I need toilet paper...and I don't want to get off of the couch"



a similar thought "I need milk, and I don't want to go outside in the rain" spurred my "decision" to allow my daughter to go to the store for the first time ;P



don't worry, she's 10 and the store is around the corner (about a 100 metre walk)

Katherine - posted on 05/27/2011

65,420

232

4894

This is definitely an excessive example of free-range! Good God. My 5yo STILL doesn't pay attention to look for cars. How far is free-range?

Dana - posted on 05/27/2011

11,264

35

489

I'm also more apt to believe that the mom was lazy and sent her young children to the store to buy toilet paper, not that they wanted to go by themselves.

Dana - posted on 05/27/2011

11,264

35

489

It's well over a mile to my closest store Laura but, that doesn't mean it's a tiny place, it just means I don't live in a large city. It would still be horribly dangerous for my (if I had them) 5 and 6 yr old to walk to the store by themselves.

I feel like this is simple neglect. Hell, you can't even legally leave your kids home alone at that age while you go to the store a mile away.

Isobel - posted on 05/27/2011

9,849

0

282

if it was a mile to the nearest store, I'm willing to bet it's a pretty tiny place...with nothing between them and the store. ummmmmmm I'm trying to get over my fear of wide open spaces to say it's probably not a big deal.

Is it possible that when they brought the kids home the mom showed signs that she may be neglecting them and they HAD to go to the store to buy toilet paper???

That sounds a little more likely. Kids don't beg to go to the store for toilet paper.

Bridgette - posted on 05/27/2011

99

0

15

I have to believe that Jail is a little excessive, sounds more like a case started to make a point, not to actually show that any law was broken. I think circumstances can make a huge difference (for example, you could watch me walk a mile or more from home by standing on the doorstep where I grew up). Where I live now I wouldnt do it, but I feel it is my choice, not a law!

Krista - posted on 05/27/2011

12,562

16

842

At that age, when out playing with my friends and running around the neighbourhood, I'm sure we covered a mile (or even more) in total. But, as far as actual linear distance goes, yeah, that's too far to let them walk.

Jail's a bit excessive.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms