What Does ‘Free-Range Parenting’ Really Look Like? The Mom Hour, Episode 12

We want our kids to grow up independent, resourceful, and confident. We also care about their safety. So where’s the balance between letting them go and protecting them? And what happens when our ‘risk-tolerance’ is out of synch with the neighborhood norms?

Meagan and Sarah discuss all this and more in Episode 12. This is part one in a two-part series on free-range parenting – be sure to check back next week for the continuation of our discussion!

Moments from Our Week

Sometimes we give you a peek into our lives via Instagram. Here is Meagan’s crazy bathrobe from her trip to the World Domination Summit, and Sarah’s shout-out to the mental_floss piece mentioning us as a Notable Podcast!

(Love Instagram? Follow us @MeaganFrancis and @PowersOfMine, and be sure to leave a comment on one of our pics letting us know you found us through the podcast!)

Meagan Sarah Insta Collage

Links we discussed in Episode 12

Sponsor Spotlight:


A big thank you to the Museum of Science and Industry’s Summer Brain Games program for sponsoring this and the last few episodes! Summer Brain Games is a FREE 8-week program that will keep your kids thinking and engaged this summer break, and if you register now, you’ll also receive one Free Museum Entry voucher to the Museum of Science and Industry! Register FREE today!


  1. Great episode! My goal has always been a “free range parent” with my kids, but I do let my fears get in the way much too often. They are 3 and 6, so we are working on it daily. I want them to be independent, and this episode had some great information.

  2. I like your definition of free range parenting, much better then the neglectful parent definition I’ve heard in ‘news’ blurbs. I can definitely relate to the blurring of irrational crowed fears and my own actual fears and trying to separate them. I want my kids to be capable and self sufficient. Great show!

  3. I came across this episode after letting my 10 year old spend a good part of Saturday pretty unsupervised at a local ball park with two of her same age friends, while soccer and baseball games were going on. My anxiety can often get in the way, but my goal is for her to be fairly independent by sixth grade, so she can get herself to and from school and supervise herself until I get home. I’ve got a 4 year old too, so my 10 year old is totally my practice child as I try to stay away from helicoptering and work toward a bit of free ranging. Love your podcast!

    • Shannon, thank you for commenting! It’s funny, I almost appreciate that anxiety sometimes, and work to live through it and still let them stretch their wings. I think it’s so great you have some goals and are working toward them. 🙂

  4. I know this episode is super old, but as a brand new mom (17 weeks pregnant!) I’m going through all your archives :). Around 28:10, Megan talks about a book about kids taking care of themselves- I think you’re talking about “The Girl who Owned a City” by O T Nelson. I loved this book as a teen, and I actually recently bought it just because I wanted to read it again.

    Anyways, I just wanted to mention that. I love the show!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.