Free-Range Parenting Is A Privilege For The White And Affluent

by Stephanie Land | August 9, 2016 10:42 am

Photo credits to Ryan Dickey

Originally published in The Establishment

At first glance, my 9-year-old daughter doesn’t look “poor.” She meticulously chooses her outfits for school, often sleeping in them—even the shoes. She models in front of the hallway mirror and insists I wash clothing that has been worn for only a few hours. But I’ve bought most of her clothes at Walmart, along with a few nicer dresses I’ve gotten when I had some extra money. I wonder how first impressions of her will change as she gets older. For now, she’s just another kid, playing outside.

We live a block away from a high-end grocery store that we frequent for their $2 slices of pizza. Mia, my daughter, has repeatedly asked to be allowed to walk there by herself to get a slice and a hippie soda. Like many parents now, I hesitate to allow my daughter to wander that far from home unsupervised. Even though she has a cheap pay-as-you-go cell phone, even though I’m sure she’d be fine, I worry other people would think otherwise. Maybe if I let her go too often, people would start to wonder if her mother was around to watch her. Maybe they would call the police.

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