Is Free Range Parenting The Answer For Michigan as Well?

Three boys playing alone in open field
Free range parenting allows children to learn responsibility and independence.

In the wake of Utah’s decision to institute a policy protecting free range parents from prosecution, parents around the country are speaking up in favor of free range parenting in their own home states. And Michigan is joining in the fight.

In an article entitled Why I’m proud to be not hands on, a free range parent author Susie Mesure opens by saying “Hurrah! A victory for common sense parenting in the United States!” and goes on to describe the new free range parenting law recently passed in the Beehive state. She even explains that “parents who let their kids play outside on their own are no longer being neglectful.”

But Michigan is not Utah, and we don’t protect free range parents here!

But the celebration stops there. In the next line, Mesure goes to point out that great as this news is, she lives in Michigan. And there’s nothing remotely like Utah’s free range parenting law here in the Great Lakes state. Which Mesure says is unfortunate, because she herself is a ‘free range parent’, although she doesn’t like the term because she feels it doesn’t accurately represent parents who want their children to grow up to be responsible, independent adults.

Michigan CPS has a long history of persecuting parents for allowing their children freedom. Allow your older child to play baseball in a park near your home? Unless you were sitting there, watching them play, you’re a negligent parent according to Michigan CPS. Let your child walk to the bus stop two blocks away? If you weren’t walking with them, you run the risk of being accused of endangering your children.

The nation as a whole doesn’t seem ready to embrace free range parenting.

Lenore Skenazy, the New York City mom who sparked the national debate about free range parenting, was labelled “the world’s worst mom” for her efforts. However Skenazy embraced the label, and even adopted it for her reality tv show, where she teaches parents how to loosen the reins and give their kids the freedom they need to grow up with independence while still keeping them safe.

Skenazy does have a devoted following, but she has just as many detractors. People who believe that “giving your child more freedom” is code for “not paying attention” and “letting your kids run wild and unsupervised.” So despite Utah’s giant step forward, it’s a step they took entirely alone, because no other state in the US has followed suit so far.

As of now, Michigan has no plans to legalize free range parenting.

If you live in Michigan, and you’re a fan of Lenore Skenazy’s approach to mothering, or the Beehive state’s newest child neglect laws, more power to you. But keep in mind, regardless of how you may feel about free range parenting, you need to know what Michigan law has to say on the matter of leaving children unsupervised. And if you aren’t sure, a CPS worker would probably love to explain it to you!

If you or a loved one have been accused of neglecting a child, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our experienced child abuse and neglect defense attorneys have spent decades helping Michigan parents defend their rights to raise their children as they see fit, without invasive government oversight. We can help you too!