Safety Ideas For Both Free Range Parents, Helicopter Parents and Those In Between

Free range parenting is back in the news as the results of a case involving Silver Spring, Maryland parents.

Free range parenting is back in the news as the results of a case involving Silver Spring, Maryland parents, who were charged with child neglect after allowing their children, 6 and 10, to walk home by themselves, were announced.

What Is Free Range Parenting?

Free range parenting is a movement and parenting philosophy in which parents give their children more freedom and independence in order to teach them self-reliance and responsibility. It relies on the idea of allowing the child to explore the world at more of their own pace.

It is a counterpoint to the helicopter parenting philosophy, in which parents pay extremely close attention to their child’s actions, experiences, and problems.

Free range parenting is said to have started in 2008 when a New York journalist published an article titled, “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone.” The movement has inspired other parents to let go of the belief that their children are in constant danger.

The CPS Case on Free Range Parenting

The Maryland couple, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are proponents of free range parenting.

In December, they gave their children, ages 10 and 6, permission to walk home alone from a park on a Saturday afternoon. Their journey was a one-mile stretch in a neighborhood they knew well. The children only made it less than halfway before being picked up by local law enforcement and driven home.

Shortly after the children were driven home, Child Protective Services showed up at the Meitivs’ home and began their investigation. The Meitiv’s hoped the investigation would quickly be dropped, but it wasn’t.

The investigation when on for two months and included multiple conversations with the Meitiv’s, interviews with the children at their school, and requests to visit the family’s home. The Meitiv’s were surprised at the intensity of the investigation and even more surprised by it’s findings.

In early March, CPS found the parents responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect. As a result of the findings, CPS will continue to keep a file on the family for at least five years. The Meitiv’s plan to file an appeal and fight the findings.

How Parents Can Protect Their Kids While Parenting in Their Preferred Style

While the protection considerations of free range and helicopter parenting styles are debatable, one thing is certain — every parenting philosophy will have some component of protection in their plan.

Every parent will need to explore options for their safety plans for their children and discover what level of involvement works best for them. So we suggest using tools that allow for varying levels of protection, and allow parents to incorporate their own parenting style in both real life and their children and family’s online life.

MamaBear®, The Ultimate Parenting App™ is an excellent tool for parents embracing any parenting style, as you can use it to protect your children and connect your family in any situation.

When you use MamaBear you can:

  • Set “safe and restricted places” of your choice for your child
  • Be able to view their location on your personal family map and receive automatic check-ins when they reach their destination
  • Give them permission to drive alone while you receive notifications if they go over your set speed limit
  • Let them set up the own social media profiles while you receive notifications when they get new followers and private messages or are tagged in posts and photos
  • See what they post on their social media sites
  • Share family communication and information, including things like your child’s sports activities, on a private family network, not on the huge public social media sites

Whichever way you choose to parent and use the MamaBear family safety app, you can be sure that it is building a foundation for trust and security that will benefit both parent and child.

See how MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™ available for iPhones and Androids can help you offer independence, protection, and connection.

 

Time Is Running Out for Health Insurance Open Enrollment Deadline

Time is ticking, and your opportunity to protect your family and your finances is winding down. Don’t miss the open enrollment deadline -- February 15

The deadline for open enrollment for individual health care coverage is quickly approaching. If you and your family are not enrolled in an insurance program for 2015, it’s time to sign up to prevent tax penalties as mandated by ObamaCare.

We take our job to protect families serious and making sure you’re covered is important to us.  MamaBear has selected  ACA Insurance Services to help our MamaBear families through the process.

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What Happens If You Miss Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment is a period of time when individuals and families can select affordable health care.  If you miss the deadline, you could face tax penalties as explained by these Obama Care facts.

When the open enrollment period ends on February 15 — it will be challenging to sign up for a health insurance plan for the rest of 2015.

It’s important to get minimum coverage now and plan to obtain coverage for the rest of the year.  Based on some family situations, you can apply for an exemption or subsidy.  If you are unsure of your eligibility, you can call one of our preferred agents, 844-411-8565,  or request a call from an agent.

After the open enrollment deadline, only qualified individuals will be able to enroll  — only for those who have had a major life change (such as change of job or marriage status or loss of health insurance). Also, programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program offer enrollment all year. 

Obtaining coverage during open enrollment is your best opportunity for receiving affordable, complete coverage for you and your family. Don’t wait, and get started now.

What Type of Health Care Coverage Do You Need?

A general health insurance plan does not cover all of your health care needs. There are certain health categories that require their own type of insurance. Keep this in mind as you shop for a plan and consider if you or your family need additional add-on coverage.

  • Medical Insurance — This is MUST HAVE coverage that assists with costs related to general health care expenses.
  • Dental Insurance — This is OPTIONAL, add-on coverage that assists with costs related to oral care, teeth cleanings, extractions, fillings, etc. (This does not usually cover orthodontics.)
  • Vision Insurance — This is OPTIONAL, add-on coverage that assists with costs related to eye exams, eye health, frames and contact lens, etc.

Don’t let a medical expense cause your family financial stress. Enroll in a financially responsible medical insurance plan that will cover your family in the event that one of your family members sustains an injury or illness.

Related: Flu Season Is Here. Are You Prepared?

Terms to Know While Shopping for Health Insurance

Shopping for health insurance can be complicated, so go into the process with an understanding of the financial terminology.

  • Out-of-Pocket Costs — the amount of money you pay that is not reimbursed by the insurance company
  • Deductible — the amount of money you pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses before the insurance company begins to pay
  • Co-Pay — the dollar amount you pay out-of-pocket when a service (doctor’s appointment, surgery, etc.) is performed
  • Co-Insurance — the percentage of costs you pay out-of-pocket when a service is performed

If you don’t fully understand these terms and how they will relate to your expenses in the event of a health care expense, discuss it with a licensed health insurance representative.

What to Expect for a Monthly Premium

It helps to go into your search with an idea about how much an insurance plan will cost. Below is an estimated cost for a bronze plan for the following family types.

Family of Four

  • Premium: $643 – $650/month
  • Deductible: $5,000 – $6,300/year
  • Highest Possible Out-of-Pocket: $6,300 – $6,450/year

Single Dad with Two Children

  • Premium: $435-$440/month
  • Deductible: $5,000 – $6,300/year
  • Highest Possible Out-of-Pocket: $6,300 – $6,450/year

Single Mom with One Child

  • Premium: $325-$330/month
  • Deductible: $5,000 – $6,300/year
  • Highest Possible Out-of-Pocket: $6,300 – $6,450/year

A bronze plan is a coverage category with the lowest monthly premium. You may find lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs by choosing a silver or gold plan, but you will incur a higher monthly premium.

Obama Care Alternatives

In order to get private healthcare coverage, you do not need to use Healthcare.gov. It is not the only marketplace where you can shop for private medical insurance.

You can browse and shop other exchanges to find a program that best meets your budget and needs.

MamaBear recommends ACA Insurance Services, representing A Rated carriers and a team of licensed representatives that will help match you with the best plan possible.

Time is ticking, and your opportunity to protect your family and your finances is winding down. Don’t miss the open enrollment deadline — February 15 — and sign up for affordable healthcare today.

 

**Not affiliated with the US Government**

Georgia Court Says Parents Can Be Liable For Kids Facebook Posts

A son's Facebook prank lands two parents in court. The parents were sued after failing to make their son remove a malicious, fake profile he created.

Parents are more responsible for their child’s social media activity than they may think. A recent story on TechDirt.com recounts a Georgia lawsuit in which two parents were sued because of what their child did on social media.

Their son was caught cyberbullying and suspended from school after he created a malicious, fake Facebook profile that depicted another student with distorted features and inappropriate status updates. The student’s parents were notified that their son had created the profile, but they never made him take the page down.

The family of the bullied student and their lawyer then filed suit against the parents for defamation, claiming that it was the parents’ responsibility to make their son remove the fake profile page. Parents are responsible for how their children use social media and this case pushes the limits of that responsibility even further.

You can find the full details of the case in “Dangerous Rulings: Georgia Court Says Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook.”

Suddenly, Parenting is a National Debate, Again.

Parenting was yet again thrust onto the national debate stage this week. A pair of Maryland parents are under investigation for letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk home from their nearby community park by themselves.

Parenting was yet again thrust onto the national debate stage this week.  A pair of Maryland parents are under investigation for letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk home from their nearby community park by themselves, as covered by the Washington Post. 

CNN reporter Kelly Wallace asks ”have things suddenly gotten way out of hand when parents are being arrested — or investigated — for doing what was considered totally normal and appropriate not long ago?”

Did you walk home from school in your elementary school years? Would you let your kids?  Do you think your community is safer now or when you were a kid? Most states don’t have an age regulation on the books when it’s considered negligent to leave kids alone, but putting your child at risk could be considered a crime.

Parenting today is under a microscope by many, and parenting in the digital age is proving to be more complex than imaginable.  Data is now showing that our kids are at risk just as much digitally as they are physically.  This increased parenting complexity, and risk to our children, has sparked major creative technology innovations for parenting in the digital age.  MamaBear, the Ultimate Parenting App™, provides an all-in-one tool for peace of mind parenting, and managing your family through today’s complicated social issues.

It is clearly important that parenting remain top-of-mind and the subject of healthy discussion. This incident raises awareness of the need for parents to protect not only their children, but also themselves, throughout the parenting process. By availing themselves of the latest advances in parenting tools, such as location-based services, social media monitoring, and driving alerts, parents can find it easier to maneuver through the ever shifting sands of today’s social landscape and parent in the style that best suits them.

What if Rafi Meitiv, walking home from the park that day, showed his smartphone to the police officer who stopped and said, “My parents know exactly where I am.”  Could it have been different?

 

 

Photo credit: Meitiv family photo used on WashingtonPost.com