It was almost 10 years ago to the day that I wrote the column, "Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone." It caused such a media firestorm that I started a blog in response: Free-Range Kids. That blog eventually became a book, and then a movement. Today, Let Grow, my non-profit, continues the fight against over-protective parenting.
Utah has now become the first state to pass—unanimously—the Free-Range Kids bill, which specifically allows parents to let their kids run errands, play outside, and even wait briefly in the car without fear of arrest. As the Deseret News explained:
The bill, which Gov. Gary Herbert announced Friday that he'd signed, specifies that it isn't neglectful to let kids do things alone like travel to school, explore a playground or stay in the car. The law takes effect May 8.
Utah's law is the first in the country, said Lenore Skenazy, who coined the term free-range parent. A records search by the National Conference of State Legislatures didn't turn up any similar legislation in other states. …
Skenazy, who wrote the book "Free Range Kids" after writing about letting her 9-year-old ride the New York City subway alone, has said the law is a good way to reassure parents who might be nervous about their parenting decisions.
Read the rest of the story here, and then pass it along to your legislators: your state could be next. Here is a template of the Let Grow Proclamation you can take to any elected representative, even a local city councilperson.