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Maryland 'Free Range' Kids: The Police Timeline of Events

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He added: "We must ask ourselves how we reached the point where a parent’s biggest fear is that government officials will literally seize our children off the streets as they walk in our neighborhood. The Meitivs intend to fully vindicate their rights as parents and to prevent this from happening to their children again."

Earlier this year, the Meitivs were "found responsible for unsubstantiated child neglect" by state Child Protective Services after they were investigated for allowing the children to walk home alone from the neighborhood park about one mile from their home, authorities said.

http://news.yahoo.com/maryland-free-range-kids-police-timeline-events-172531482--abc-news-topstories.html

so when exactly should the state step in and 'take' children from their parents, can we get some sort of federal agency to police parenting so we're all on the same page or something?

Edited by val erie

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Man this is nuts. My oldest would walk home from school at 7 yrs old I thought he was too young but he wanted too. I asked a few older kids to watch him but he didn't know that or any other adults.


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Man this is nuts. My oldest would walk home from school at 7 yrs old I thought he was too young but he wanted too. I asked a few older kids to watch him but he didn't know that or any other adults.

i think it's interesting that it's okay if a child 13 or older is accompanying the younger child. in my experience it's better to have a 7-8 year old who's capable of some level of autonomy as opposed to a relatively helpless 7-8 year old being watched by a 13 year old. most 13 year olds rarely make good decisions 100% of the time..

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Crazy stuff. Kids in my neighborhood are out playing with one another all the time. Can't imagine why people should not be allowed to let kids be kids. All that overly protective behavior is insane.

i like how the cop was going to give the kids his lunch (because kids can't go more than 4 hours without food, lol) but the kids were like, we have food allergies, so the cop didn't 'share his lunch as planned'.

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i think it's interesting that it's okay if a child 13 or older is accompanying the younger child. in my experience it's better to have a 7-8 year old who's capable of some level of autonomy as opposed to a relatively helpless 7-8 year old being watched by a 13 year old. most 13 year olds rarely make good decisions 100% of the time..

Well that might be the case if it was any kid and who said anything about a 13 yr old?

But I do understand what you mean, she only watched him for about a week so I was sure he could find his way without me.

Edited by Ontarkie

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7/8 year olds walk home from school here and to the playground and stuff themselves. Sometimes my daughter's 6-8 year old friends just show up in our backyard. LOL.

It is kind of weird that some things are acceptable in some parts of the country, but not others.


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Well that might be the case if it was any kid and who said anything about a 13 yr old?

But I do understand what you mean, she only watched him for about a week so I was sure he could find his way without me.

"Maryland law says that children younger than 8 must be under the care of a person who is at least 13, according to Child Protective Services."

i was referring to this, imo simply knowing a child is 13 years of age really speaks nothing of maturity or ability to care for a younger child.

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7/8 year olds walk home from school here and to the playground and stuff themselves. Sometimes my daughter's 6-8 year old friends just show up in our backyard. LOL.

It is kind of weird that some things are acceptable in some parts of the country, but not others.

it's the same here. some 5-6 year olds walk home from school without an adult or older child. there are kids who are allowed to roam within certain streets in town, then you have kids who aren't even allowed in their own backyard without parental supervision.

Well that might be the case if it was any kid and who said anything about a 13 yr old?

But I do understand what you mean, she only watched him for about a week so I was sure he could find his way without me.

at 13, i was certainly capable of watching younger kids. but my son, now at 13? i wouldn't put him in charge of anyone but himself.

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Sorry, I can't say I agree with sending a 6 and 10 year old to the park by themselves. Being out in the front yard, okay, if the house was on the park, okay, if they got to walk down the street out of eye sight and you can't poke your head outside the door to see where the kids are, no.

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Sorry, I can't say I agree with sending a 6 and 10 year old to the park by themselves. Being out in the front yard, okay, if the house was on the park, okay, if they got to walk down the street out of eye sight and you can't poke your head outside the door to see where the kids are, no.

do you think that this should be considered neglect though? if i let a 6 and 10 year old go to the park across the street from my house should they be taken from my custody? and how is the foster system an improvement?

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I think this needs to be up to the parent, within reason. Within reason meaning 'do the parents actually know where the kids are?' saying a kid can't walk anywhere without adults makes it harder for them to learn and internalize personal responsibility. At nine, my family let me run wild at music festivals as long as I kept them updated on my whereabouts. I often had a walkie talkie. My siblings were less responsible than me and they were older when they were allowed to run wild, maybe ten or eleven. Before that, even when I was nine or ten, I would be given responsibility over a group of younger kids, taking them to the food village for food or going to the play areas with them. Sometimes I was even put in charge of older kids.

Some kids are ready, some aren't and that needsto be up to the parent, who knows the child, not the state.


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I think this needs to be up to the parent, within reason. Within reason meaning 'do the parents actually know where the kids are?' saying a kid can't walk anywhere without adults makes it harder for them to learn and internalize personal responsibility. At nine, my family let me run wild at music festivals as long as I kept them updated on my whereabouts. I often had a walkie talkie. My siblings were less responsible than me and they were older when they were allowed to run wild, maybe ten or eleven. Before that, even when I was nine or ten, I would be given responsibility over a group of younger kids, taking them to the food village for food or going to the play areas with them. Sometimes I was even put in charge of older kids.

Some kids are ready, some aren't and that needsto be up to the parent, who knows the child, not the state.

this is the problem, what's within reason? i was raised by a helicoptor mom, my husband was raised that kids belong outside, and he spent his childhood roaming his suburb with his friends. so, to my mom - his parents were completely neglectful. i would argue that his parents did more to prepare him for real life than mine did.

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do you think that this should be considered neglect though? if i let a 6 and 10 year old go to the park across the street from my house should they be taken from my custody? and how is the foster system an improvement?

If it is right across the street or within eye distant, no problem.

Child neglect charges if they are down the street and around the corner, yes, or a warning. Foster home, no. Not an improvement.

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If it is right across the street or within eye distant, no problem.

Child neglect charges if they are down the street and around the corner, yes, or a warning. Foster home, no. Not an improvement.

the school is across the street, but the park isn't within view as it's down the hill a bit.

i had a friend kill herself over being charged with child neglect last fall. i think child neglect should be reserved for actual neglect. i'm biased i guess but i believe parents can't be judged so swiftly "oh your kid is in the middle of the street and you didn't know? neglect." i don't believe it's that cut and dry.

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