Children Aren’t Chickens: A Discussion About Free-Range Parenting
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Sharon GaussMay 21, 2015
Teachings of Joseph Smith Leaders teach correct principles and help those they lead learn to govern themselves. John Taylor, the third President of the Church, reported: “Some years ago, in Nauvoo, a gentleman in my hearing, a member of the Legislature, asked Joseph Smith how it was that he was enabled to govern so many people, and to preserve such perfect order; remarking at the same time that it was impossible for them to do it anywhere else. Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. ‘How?’ responded the gentleman; ‘to us it is very difficult.’ Mr. Smith replied, ‘I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.’”3 I was a child who was given freedom in increments as my young mind could understand and build upon that, my mother taught me right from wrong it was laborious and time consuming yet she pursued and when I was old enough I was given boundaries in increments line upon line, precept upon precept... BTW my mother was a beautiful gardener. Today people think spanking a child is harsh yet it serve a wonderful purpose as a reminder and saved many of children lives as tots. Little ones don’t think they see something they run or dash out quickly, many a feel swats on the bottom is harsh but in reality it soon creates a hesitation not to do that... as the young mind develops to where a reasoning vocabulary is in play now there is something to build upon... is not our whole life build upon boundries yet along with it is freedom to bossom our talents to make good contrabusions as well as good citizens. Free range in my day was build upon step by step which also allowed our minds to explore and be creative towards how to fullfill our mission here...
Renaissance NerdMay 21, 2015
You left one out, which I see more than anything else. I don't know the name, but it's the 'let children run wild until they irritate you, then scream and yell and punish' model. How about calling it the Schizoid Parent? I know so many parents who do this that the mind boggles.
ShareeMay 21, 2015
When I was a child, I lived in a relatively small town in western Canada. We happily spent our free time in spring and summer playing in the wooded area down the back alley or swimming in the creek. Sometimes we would go hiking up a nearby mountain. Sometimes we would gather clay from the mountains and make little dishes which we baked in the sun and painted with water colors (which didn't work all that well). We walked to and from school along the railroad tracks (we knew enough to get off the tracks if a train was coming). We would walk downtown to see the Saturday afternoon matinee at the movie theater. Often in the summer, we would walk to the closest of the two lakes in our town (probably not more than 5 or 6 miles) and go swimming. On Halloween night we would take pillow cases and canvas half the town for candy (which, because our parents wouldn't let us eat it all at once, lasted pretty much until the next Halloween). We did all of this without parental supervision. We had fun, and nobody thought we were ever in any danger, even swimming in the creek, where we also caught minnows and tadpoles in jars. There were probably just as many pedophiles around then as now but we knew enough not to take candy or car rides from strangers. It's when you expect bad things to happen that they do.
LoraMay 21, 2015
I have been accused of both helicoptering and 'free-ranging' as if either accurately described what I was doing or why on any given day. The labels are usually used to humiliate, sow self doubt, and control others. I consider myself a conscientious parent, an attached parent, and a gospel-centered parent, but don't look for labels or try to fit into any pigeonhole in particular. I suspect most labels are cooked up by the media to skew people's perceptions anyway.
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