Yay! We can parent without the worry about getting busted for "neglect." There is a huge difference between allowing your children to engage in the baby-steps of independence (playing in the front yard alone, walking to school, waiting in the car) and neglecting a child. Letting kids carefully stretch their wings is a GOOD THING.
We don't live in Utah and I learned recently that it is important to communicate with our neighbors. We left our almost 12-year old babysitting our 7-year old and they were playing outside. Some other neighbors were out with their younger kids. Our neighbor was really worried when it started getting dark and wouldn't leave my kids until my husband returned home. Although they were headed in, she had no idea that my son had been babysitting for almost a year after becoming a certified safe-sitter. I was grateful she didn't call CPS. A friend of mine was investigated by CPS for letting her kids play in her front yard. I understood our neighbor was just concerned and had we let her know when we left that my son was in charge, she likely wouldn't have had the same reaction. Although we were a bit embarrassed, we were so glad that she came to us first. That's the way I feel it should be - if you see something that concerns you, reach out in sincerity first
Love everything about this. Kids need to learn how to manage themselves. As parents it is our responsibility to teach them and allow opportunities to put our teachings in to action. I often let my kids go to the local school or park to play -- I can't FATHOM having the police called over it.
The last line of the article sums it up for me: we can't expect kids to magically grow up as responsible decision-makers when they spend their childhood being micromanaged. Here's (hopefully!) to a generation of capable kids!
I live in Utah -- I'm not sure people were actually getting in trouble for things before but "on the books" there were things that were considered "negligent parenting". To me this was a bit of just updating the "letter of the law". I've heard crazy stories of authorities being called for ridiculous things all over the country. Anything crazy where you live?