In April, Montgomery County police picked up two children on their way home from a park in downtown Silver Spring. Their parents, Alexander and Danielle Meitiv, said they were unable to find their kids for more than six hours as their 10-year-old son Rafi and 6-year-old daughter Dvora sat in a police cruiser, then a police station and in the custody of county Child Protective Services. Charges of child neglect were dropped two weeks ago.
But, the Meitivs’ situation sparked a national conversation about what parenting styles we value as a society. And it raised important questions about when parenting crosses the line from hands-off to irresponsible.
Summer time is here. Kids have more free time. We’re revisiting the conversation we had in April about what kind of parenting, play and approach to childhood free-time is productive for children. We spoke with Katie Robinson, a parent and social worker who runs a consulting firm that works with families on childhood behavioral issues. And also with Patricia Cronin, Executive Director since 1999 of The Family Tree. It’s a non-profit in Baltimore that works to prevent child abuse and neglect.