Free Ranging Children

Should parents let their kids walk to school by themselves?

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

Comments (9)

(7) PatZ, September 4, 2015 2:55 PM

Right on!

Lori, you are SO right. Yes,as several parents here have noted, there are dangers in our world. There always have been and always will be. Children need to know how to protect themselves. The dangers are perhaps not exaggerated, but the perception of their frequency is utterly out of proportion with reality. I read about colleges having to literally beg parents to leave after delivering their kids to a dorm, parents going on job interviews along with their adult children, etc. we speak most admiringly of "the greatest generation" -- those who came of age during World War II. They were "great" because they HAD to be. Imagine a 19 year old boy piloting a four-wing bomber over enemy skies, being shot at by enemy planes and ground fire, and also responsible for the lives of his crewmen. Imagine an 18 year old crawling through muddy fields in Germany knowing he could die any moment, but moving on anyway if only to save his fellow soldiers. Imagine young women doing heavy work in factories to build the airplanes and tanks their men needed. These heros, many who survived despite incredible dangers which few people today can even imagine -- and many did not survive -- learned to be strong, to face fear and keep moving. They weren't BORN the "greatest," they learned how -- A PRECIOUS GIFT WE DENY OUR CHILDREN. Is there danger in the world today? Of course. After 9/11 we learned our safe little existence could be blown to bits at any moment. We need to stop protecting our children so much and instead allow them to risk growing strong and independent of us so they can develop the courage they might really need should something truly catastrophic occur someday in the future when none of us will be able to protect therm. Parents, look beyond those backyards and test scores, and give your children the greatest gift of all -- of ALWAYS having someone who can help and protect them whether you're around or not. Hand over and gift to them THEMSELVES. They can handle it, really!

(6) Kris, September 3, 2015 10:15 PM

You're correct.

Free range. Children walking to school, parks, taking public transit, should be encouraged. They will be better citizens and develop confidence earlier without "helicopter" parenting.

Anonymous, September 4, 2015 6:07 PM


this is completely irresponsible and dangerous

(5) Ranee, September 3, 2015 3:56 PM

The different world we live in today!

Israel is much safer than America!
There are kidnappings and killings more often in the US than years ago when we grew up regardless of media, it is happening.
It is probably no help to the US that the southern border is so open and tons of illegal immigrants and criminals just wander over into our country. I would not recommend that a young child walk alone but in groups or at least two together. We live in a much different world today. There is much evil overseas and in the US.

(4) Dee, September 3, 2015 3:55 PM

VIP to keep up with current realities

Why not ask parents of EiTan Paz their opinion:(

(3) Avigail, August 30, 2015 7:39 PM

What balance?

I too have seen these 'independent kids' crying because they're lost and Baruch HaShem I was the one to find them and not a psycho. And what about the kids in the old city throwing stones at cats and the ones in other communities throwing stones at people on shabbos for fun because they have zero parental supervision? You didn't really show any argument for 'balance', you basically defended roaming free and wild. You don't have to be a hover parent but at the appropriate age, there are times to allow increased independence. But no I don't think most kids (of varying ages) should be taking public transportation alone and escorting their 2 year old brother grocery shopping.

(2) Deena, August 30, 2015 6:05 PM

I live in Israel. Unfortunately preschool kids aren't safe here anymore

Preschool kids should not be allowed to walk around by themselves. I believe I'm quoting the same gadol as anonymous wrote about before, that unless a child is old enough to save himself/herself AND the younger child from a fire (physically, mentally, and emotionally strong enough) then he/she is NOT OLD ENOUGH TO BE WATCHING THE YOUNGER CHILD."
That's plain and simple. Please don't kid yourself into thinking that the world is not more violent and base than it was even 20 years ago. Just look at what's on kids' t.v. as opposed to 20 years ago.

Lori, I always love what you put out, and I usually really agree with you. But having lived in Israel for almost a decade, I know that us Anglos sometimes have a rosier view of Israeli society than what's reality. It's a beautiful place to raise children and live, but without Moshiach, please don't assume it's utopia.
All the more so America....

(1) Anonymous, August 30, 2015 1:35 PM

Who said that in Israel is safe? Just because you see it doesn't mean it's correct. As one of the gdolim said to a couple whose kids had problems in the way back home, "Nobody gave you the right to be mafkir your children".

As you said, "we hear about things now", so more of a reason to be careful... in the past at least we thought it was safe...

Anonymous, September 4, 2015 12:21 AM

Sorry, Lori, I completely disagree with this video

Lori, I really respect you and love your videos but I really disagree with this one. Its not just about extreme danger, G-d forbid, but in the US its also about exposure to the outer culture- the drugs, the language, the innapropriate behavior, and severe lack of modesty. When this is combined with everyone having a phone, which makes hooking up later and without anyone's knowledge- I think parents should be very leary of kids being out all day, riding public transportation, etc.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive Weekly Spirituality Emails

Sign up to our Spirituality Newsletter.

Our privacy policy