We hear a lot of criticism these days of "helicopter parents" -- those hypervigilant middle-class parents who schedule every waking moment of their children's lives, hover over their school lives, keep them on a short leash so far as playmates are concerned, and just generally insist on their kids living highly-structured, highly-supervised existances. But how many parents here go the other route? Do we have any "free range" parents in our midst? I was raised a free-range child -- there wasn't any other kind of childhood as far as any of us knew. I ran free from the time I was about five years old -- walking to school, the store, the park, the shore, wherever I wanted to go -- as did all of my friends. There were no organized activities other than school itself -- our summers were ours to do with as we pleased, and the parents would sometimes go so far as to *lock us out of the house* during the daylight hours. Nobody ever thought anything of it, because that's how all kids in our social class were raised. But now it's a "movement" -- to the point where "free range parenting" has actually had laws passed in some towns to ensure the right of parents to let their kids run loose. Would any of you let your kids do this? Were *you* a free-range kid?