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Free-range parenting is in direct opposition to helicopter parenting. Proponents of this parenting style want to preserve the traditional approach--allowing kids to have some freedom without constantly worrying something bad will happen. Free-range parents let their children walk to school alone and ride their bikes outside without supervision. In extreme cases, some parents have even reported allowing their very young children to grocery shop and ride public transportation alone.
This style is based on the theory that children learn from experience, and that failure can be fruitful. Proponents look at it simply as preparing their child for the real world, instead of preparing the world for their child. It promotes self-reliance and confidence.
Opponents look at it as dangerous and neglectful. Kids are just that--kids. They should not be treated as adults.