Guest Post: Home Automation & Free-Range Parenting: Independence 4 Kids, Assurance 4 Mom & Dad

What is free-range parenting?

Free-range parenting - the philosophy of allowing your children to explore and experience the world on their own terms - has been the subject of widespread debate for more than five years.

Free-range parenting, also called simplicity parenting and slow parenting, first entered the public eye when Lenore Skenazy published an article in the New York Sun titled, "Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone" on April 1, 2008. The article, which describes her polarizing decision to allow her young son to ride the New York City subway by himself, prompted a range of reactions from the public. Many were horrified, and some even went as far as calling it child abuse. Others, however, endorsed Skenazy's decision to give her child the freedom to discover the world on his own accord.


How can free-range parents benefit from home automation? 

There is no magic formula or secret recipe to successful parenting. Every child is different, and it's up to you to figure out how to best raise your son or daughter.

For some parents - particularly single parents - it's oftentimes difficult to balance work responsibilities with the active supervision of their children. Others simply choose to raise their young ones more passively. Regardless, granting your kids more freedom is not an excuse for neglect, and requires just as much responsibility as any other parenting style.

Fortunately, technology has made it easier for parents who want to back off a little bit, but are hesitant to sacrifice the comfort of knowing their kids are safe and sound. Cutting-edge home security systems, in particular, have been a powerful tool for free-range parents.

Many high-profile residential security companies (check out here for more info) have begun offering affordable home automation packages to customers. Although the idea has been around since The Jetsons became popular in the early 1960s, home automation technology is only now becoming widely available.

A "smart home" system allows you to manage almost every aspect of your home using a web-enabled mobile device - from virtually anywhere. That means that, using your iPhone, you can check in on your son or daughter  at home from the office. You can also view live surveillance video, arm/disarm your security system, lock/unlock doors and even receive customizable text and video alerts.

With these capabilities, giving your children more freedom doesn't have to mean giving up the peace of mind that they are safe.


By Karen Clark
Blog Editor