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Dan Gilmore / Mar. 21, 2016

Rhode Island to Require Helicopter Parenting?

The health of society rests on education, which begins with parents.

Rhode Island is the latest state in the union to consider legislating how parents raise their kids. Lawmakers in the Ocean State are considering a bill that makes it illegal to leave a 10-year-old child home alone or a child 7 or under unattended in a car. The thinking behind the bill is to give the state the tools to crack down on abusive parents. The problem is that you can’t apply the law unequally, which means discretion is lost. A drug-addicted parent neglecting her child isn’t the same as the mom who ran into the convenience store for that one ingredient she needed for dinner. “You can’t legislate parenting, and you can’t legislate common sense,” said one Rhode Island mom of three. “I’m in one of those neighborhoods where the children run free. They all know their boundaries, and we keep an eye on them.”

Furthermore, helicopter parenting isn’t feasible for some parents who have to let their kids roam on an, ahem, longer leash. This issue comes down to the question of who ultimately ensures the welfare of the children. Is it the state? For some in Rhode Island, they’d probably like to think so. Fortunately, Liberty has a different answer. If the state were to get its way, then in a few decades, we’d have a weakened nation.

As columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote:

> The rise in “helicopter parenting” and the epidemic of “everyone gets a trophy” education are another facet of the same problem. We’re raising millions of kids to be smart and kind, but also fragile.

> And what happens when large numbers of these delicate little flowers are set free to navigate their way through life? They feel unsafe and demand “safe spaces.” They feel threatened by uncomfortable ideas and demand “trigger warnings.” They might even want written rules or contracts to help them negotiate sexual relations.

The health of society rests on its education, and that education begins with allowing to parents to raise their children as they see best.

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