She Said That? 1/15/16

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv believe in “free-range” parenting—gradually giving their kids more freedom to do things without them. They allowed their ten-year-old son and six-year-old daughter to walk home by themselves from a park, a distance of about a mile. The children had already walked distances as far as three-quarters of a mile without incident. From Danielle Meitive in The Washington Post online:

“The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood. I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”

This, of course, had to be stopped. The children were picked up by the police, who took them home. The Montgomery County, Maryland, Child Protective Services (CPS) intervened.

The Meitivs say that on Dec. 20, a CPS worker required Alexander to sign a safety plan pledging he would not leave his children unsupervised until the following Monday, when CPS would follow up. At first he refused, saying he needed to talk to a lawyer, his wife said, but changed his mind when he was told his children would be removed if he did not comply.

The CPS also interviewed the children at school.

The danger is obvious. If kids learn independence, they might start putting together their own neighborhood games, choosing up teams, adjudicating disputes, and learning how to handle winning and losing without adult coaches, referees, supervisors, announcers, and grief counselors (for the losers). Who knows what dangerous directions that might lead? They might learn that they are their own keepers, that achievement comes from hard work and persistence, that when they fail, they usually have nobody to blame but themselves, and they might actually learn something from their failures. In short, they might grow up, and become that endangered species: self-reliant, self-sufficient, mature adults. We can’t have that. They might even question their benevolent and omniscient government, which would be simply intolerable. So Mr. and Mrs. Meitiv, abandon your lunatic-fringe ideas. It takes a village to raise a child, and the village will take yours away unless you stop questioning received wisdom. By the way, Mr. Meitiv is a physicist and Mrs. Meitiv is a climate change consultant. It is obvious that the children would be better off with social workers.

One response to “She Said That? 1/15/16

  1. Ridiculous. Its a major reason my ex and I made the decision to have our children grow up in a smaller, rural town in Norway so that their quality of life would be similar to what mine was when I grew up, more unsupervised freedom to move around without fear of criminals, perverts, etc or worse yet, police and child support grabbing them off the street. Sad. Panama, here I come, this country is headed for ruin and I’m afraid its too late to change the course…..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.