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Parents of “Free-Range” Kids Find Themselves in Trouble Again, This Time With Child Protective Services

By: Krystle Crossman

A short time ago we brought you an article about the Meitiv family. The parents, Danielle and Alexander, allow their children to be “free-range” kids. Their 6 year old and 10 year old children walk around the city unsupervised because the Meitiv’s believe that the world is safe enough to let their children explore it. They have had run-ins with the Silver Springs, Maryland police department before over concern for the children’s safety. They say that people are far to protective these days and that the world is not as unsafe as everyone thinks it is because of the media.

In previous run-ins the police simply brought the children back to the home and warned the Meitivs of the dangers that their children could encounter walking alone in a city. The Meitivs did not believe that the police should be stepping in and telling them how to parent their children and so they continued to let their kids explore as they saw fit. This time the police decided they were not going to bring the children back and give the parents a lecture. They detained the children in a cruiser for almost three hours and then brought them to Child Protective Services where they were held until later that night when they were released back into their parents’ custody.

The Meitivs were worried when the children did not come home around 6:30pm like they were supposed to. They then found out that the children were at the CPS office and they were horrified. Danielle said that the government shouldn’t be telling her how to be a parent but that CPS did succeed in keeping her kids off of the streets unsupervised. She is too afraid that government officials are going to take her children again. The children were released back to their home after the Meitivs agreed to a safety plan for the children.

In Maryland there is a law that any child who is under the age of 8 must be supervised by someone who is 13 or older. The Meitivs are breaking that law by letting their children explore on their own. They do not feel that there should be laws such as this telling them how to raise their children. They want them to learn to be independent and self-sufficient out in the world. Some argue with their stance stating that they are putting their children in great danger and are also breaking a law which should carry a punishment. Others agree with the Meitivs and state that we are becoming so afraid of what the government will do to us should we not parent our children the way that they feel we should.

The officers and the CPS officials said that they were concerned for the safety of the children. If something should happen a 10 year old may not have the ability to protect his or her younger sibling.

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