Free Range Parenting: Kids to Go Home Alone on May 9

Will you be willing to let your children play in the park and then let them go home by themselves? That's what a group of parents in Maryland is proposing. They are supporters of "free range parenting," a concept that has since become a hot debate among parenting circles on the Internet.

The Maryland group has mounted an event scheduled on May 9, dubbing it as the "Take Your Kids to the Park... And Let Them Walk Home By Themselves Day," as reported by Fox News. The event is to show solidarity for their fellow parents, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, who were investigated by the police for parental neglect.

Back in December, the Meitiv couple allegedly allowed their children Rafi, 10, and Dvorah, 6, to walk 1 mile home without any adult companions. The minors were spotted by the police, who brought the case to Child Protective Services (CPS).

Unknown to authorities, the Meitivs practice free-range parenting and the philosophy behind this is giving the child more independence. The media had a field day about the incident, with many news sites picking up the story. Slate Magazine, which got in touch with Danielle firsthand, has full details of the Meitiv's case.

The Meitiv children were under protective custody for hours before their parents eventually agreed to a "safety plan" with CPS. Danielle and Alexander were also asked to be present in subsequent meetings with the agency, but their restrictions, according to the Washington Post, has since been lifted.

On the website Empowering Kids Maryland, the invitation to the May 9 event was posted in detail: "At 10am on Saturday, May 9th, we take our kids to the local park... they make some friends, play around for a few hours, and if you think they're ready, let them walk home by themselves."

The places as to where parents and kids can meet up for the event have also been mapped down. TV personality and retired judge Alex Ferrer expressed his concerns over making these announcements public as some people may take advantage of this, Fox News notes. But its organizers declare that they are teaching children to become responsible, while castigating fearful notions that others have about free-range parenting.

"When did we stop being a village - and start becoming a fearful nation, where two kids walking home from the park alone is suddenly cause for a 911 call and a CPS investigation?" the organizers ask on their website.

What's your take on this free-range parenting and the upcoming event in Maryland? Share your thoughts below.

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