Why My Children Are Cage-Free

Me Time for Mom:

There is nothing I love more in this world than my children. And frankly, I’m concerned about the trend of these so-called “helicopter parents” who are desperate to protect their children from being exposed to the outside world. Hello! Kids deserve to learn and explore and make mistakes, and that’s why my children are 100% cage-free.


That’s right; I’m not afraid to say that I let my children roam free, rather than remaining stuck inside the confines of a small cage until they reach adulthood. Deal with it.


Tiger moms would rather remain hunched over their children’s shoulders while their children are trapped in a cage like tigers. Not me!


When I made the decision not to put my children in cages, I was met with plenty of judging stares from other parents in my neighborhood. What if they got hurt? Their eyes said. What if they were kidnapped? What if all that freedom would keep them from learning boundaries, like knowing when to go inside your cage to sleep at night? To that I say, “Stop being such wimps, parents. Let your kids out of their cages and allow them to be kids for a change.”


Unfortunately my children have faced some challenges being out among the world and not trapped inside a cage. One of our neighbors called the police on my little boy, Shane, after they saw him through the window of our home, playing in the living room all by himself. The police came to our door to make sure there was a cage in the home for him to return to. And yes parents; OF COURSE we keep a spare cage in the foyer in case I need to run to the grocery store, or we go away on vacation. But we try to use it as little as possible, because my kids deserve to be free. Can you imagine how embarrassed I felt having to explain that to a police officer?



Other parents have told me that “cage-free parenting” is a misnomer, that even when they’ve tried to leave their children’s cages open, the kids prefer to remain in the safety of the cage with their Nintendo DS instead of going outside to play. Is this really what the world has come to? These parents have trained their children to limit themselves to the narrow confines of safety. They don’t even know what joy is! Or how good it feels to walk alone at night or fly out among the trees! These children are sitting sedentary in cages, getting fattened into the shape of their container cage.


The truth is, cage-free parenting is easier said than done. Sometimes I worry about little Shane and Kendall when they go out on their “night walks” and return with strange artifacts that seem to have come from our neighbor’s homes, but then I have to tell myself, “Sandy, relax; you gotta trust that your kids will be okay.” And that’s why I absolutely refuse to keep my beautiful children in a cage.


They say if you love your kids, you gotta let them go outside and not stay in a cage, and I stand by that. I’m a cage-free parent, and frankly, you should probably be more like me.