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The Brood: Should kids be able to play outside on their own?




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Last year, a couple living in suburban Maryland landed in hot water when they let their kids go unaccompanied to a playground a mile away from their home, and this past weekend it happened again.

Ten-year-old Rafi and 6-year-old Dvora Meitiv were two and a half blocks away from their house when a police car picked them up and reportedly kept them in the back of the car for hours.

The incident has thrown fuel on the fire in a debate over what is called free-range parenting. 

Mother Danielle Meitiv says the concept is about giving her kids the same childhood she had: 

"For us, free-range kids means nothing very radical. It means we're giving our children the childhood that we had. The idea that kids can be trusted to go down the block, to play at the park, to walk home from school. So, we let them, within carefully defined boundaries, walk around outside, play outside, interact with people. Basically encounter with the world on their own."

This week in The Brood, our segment on parenting, Alex Cohen speaks with Ashley Merryman, one of the authors of the book "NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children."

The questions:

Check out the full audio of the interview if you're curious about these questions.