Photo Credit: ParentMap

Natalie Singer-Velush, Editor's Note: What happens when three protective parents hoping to build their kids’ independence loosen the leash a little? This summer, three families from different neighborhoods with kids of different ages found out. This is the second story in this three-part challenge.

Photo Credit: ParentMap
Photo Credit: ParentMap


Part 2: Single mom in the city focuses on safety


Family: Mom and one daughter, age 5


Neighborhood: A diverse, Seattle Central District neighborhood near a community building, a field, and well-used bike path, with schools, parks and high-traffic streets nearby


Goals: Build community with neighbors and other single mothers, gain a better understanding of how “hover parenting” is impacting my child’s life, establish practices to help increase opportunities for my daughter’s independence and development

For one month, I tried to parent outside of my box. I explored what society is calling “free-range” parenting. Not only did I explore it, I ended up evaluating myself as a parent and what has led me to the choices I make for my daughter.

I had to spend the first few years of my daughter’s life in survival mode. Now that my daughter and I have exited that lifestyle, I find that I still hold onto the mind set that I was in during that time. It’s hard to live and parent while being overly aware of the dangers that are out there in the world. My mind goes to the worst-case scenario when it comes to my decision to take the free-range approach to parenting my daughter.

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Read Part 1 of the free range challenge: A Worrier Mom is Always Anxious

Read Part 3 of the free range challenge: Anxious Mom in the Suburbs

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