A hands-off parenting movement that encourages children to take risks and make independent choices is emerging as an antidote to today's regimented and stressful child-rearing style.

Some parents are now embracing so-called "slow parenting" or "free-range parenting" methods, which aim to let kids feel liberated as they play, allowing them to learn about the world with fewer restrictions.

Carl Honoré, a father of two and author of the books In Praise of Slow and Under Pressure, said the idea is to allow young people to largely discover the world for themselves, rather than to force young people into overstructured, overscheduled lifestyles that "turn parenting into a race for perfection."

While Honoré said he understands parents' desires to help their children succeed, they should also understand the benefits of taking a backseat approach.

"Slow parenting is about bringing a bit of balance back," he said. "It's about giving children the time and space to explore their own world at their own pace."

Over time, Honoré said, the aim is for young people to "work out who they are, rather than who we want them to be."