Yes, that’s right- you heard us correctly. The state of Utah has passed a law that makes free range parenting legal. Which means that kids in the Beehive state can go to the park near their house unsupervised, ride their bikes around their neighborhood without someone calling CPS, or walk to the store without the cops showing up to make sure they weren’t abandoned. Finally, a state that may be on the right track!
Yup, when we said state (singular) we meant it. Because as of now, Utah is the only state in the US to have passed this law. Signed into law by Utah’s governor, Gary Herbert, last month, the legal definition of ‘neglect’ was altered. Now, parents can no longer be charged with a crime by carefully and intentionally allowing their children to be independent.
Finally, a place where free range parenting is okay!
In a statement made to the press, Herbert explained that “Absence evidence of clear danger, abuse or neglect, we believe that parents have the best sense of how to teach responsibility to their children.” When you think about it, it’s a phenomenal step away from the fear induced helicopter parenting that CPS promotes here in Michigan.
So what does this mean for Utah’s parents? Can the children of Utah run wild, unsupervised and unencumbered, while their parents aren’t held accountable for poor parenting choices? Not at all! As Utah State Senator Lincoln Filmore, who sponsored the bill, pointed out, society today has become far too “hyper” about protecting children, to the point that kids today are sheltered and never allowed to mature or develop any independence.
Overprotecting kids has stripped them of chances to mature!
“Kids need to wonder about the world, explore and play in it, and by doing so learn the skills of self-reliance and problem-solving they’ll need as adults.” Fillmore said in a statement. And we couldn’t agree more. But realistically, what works for one child, or in one neighborhood, won’t necessarily work for another. So what is a careful parent to do?
Well, we would suggest to any parent, regardless of where they live, that they follow a few basic guidelines when trying to teach their children independence:
- Use common sense when deciding what your kids can handle – every kid is different
- Take into account both your kid’s age and maturity
- Be clear with your kids about exactly what’s okay and what isn’t.
- Make sure your kids have a way to reach you if there’s a problem
Are you in trouble for allowing your children to grow up confident?
While logic would suggest that children benefit from being allowed to learn life’s lessons, Michigan CPS workers don’t agree. So if you have tried to foster a sense of responsibility and maturity in your children, and are now being investigated by CPS, you need a skilled parent advocate who can help you protect your family!
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!