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It didn't seem to them like a criminal act. They just let their kids walk themselves home.

When a couple decided to take a chance and grant their kids a bit more freedom, the state's response was swift: “Bad parents."

It didn't seem to them like a criminal act. They just let their kids walk themselves home.

Two parents keep getting in trouble for the amount of freedom they give their kids.

When Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, parents in Silver Spring, Maryland, first let their 10-year-old walk their 6-year-old home from a park, they got a warning from child protective services and were forced to sign an agreement not to leave the children unattended anymore. It was that or lose the kids, according to this video (also below) from The Washington Post.


The Meitivs are trying to teach their kids to be self-sufficient in a way they feel is right. The Meitivs are part of the Free-Range Kids movement, whose motto is "How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)."

The children were discovered again by themselves at a park in April 2015. This time, they were taken into protective custody, and the authorities wouldn't release them for over five hours.

The Meitivs were accused of neglect and warned that protective services would file charges and send the children into foster homes unless the parents made a legal commitment to a safety plan.

When is it OK for kids to go out on their own?

Maryland does have a state law that says children under 8 must be accompanied by a person of at least 13. It's on the books to protect young children who may otherwise lack proper adult supervision.

And a 10-year-old may seem young to be responsible for a 6-year-old. Maybe you agree with the Meitivs, maybe not. Still.

It's a hot topic right now for parents.

Are we doing the best thing for our kids by keeping such close tabs on them, or are we really holding them back due to our own paranoia about what could go wrong? Are we preventing them from learning to be independent just because we're terrified of the big, bad world? 24-hour media coverage of the bad things that happen is certainly scaring us out of our wits. It's called mean world syndrome.

Statistically, kids are safer now than they used to be.

According to the The Washington Post, there's never been a safer time to be a kid in America. The odds are really pretty good.

But it's not just about the odds. It's also about what's being risked.

In the end, the odds are meaningless if it's your child who comes to harm or worse. The unthinkables are why this topic is so charged and why parents are having such a hard time working out what to do about their children.

Opening the dialogue is critical.

Maybe the most important thing about the Meitivs' story after all is this: Because of it, so many more people are now aware of — and thinking about — this tricky, tricky issue that's right at the heart of how the next generation will live in this world. When they finally emerge from our careful protection, will it be as fearful, hesitant people or as life-embracing adults?

Here's the story of how the Meitivs' problem with Maryland began:

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

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