Monday, December 1, 2008

Free Range Kids

If you haven't yet checked out this blog: Free Range Kids and you have kids, I encourage you to do so. Written by Lenore Skenazy, an op-ed columnist for the New York Sun, she encourages kids to do all the things we did as kids: ride a bike to a friend's house, walk or bike alone to school, taking a city bus alone, etc...

I learned about her site while working out late on Thanksgiving and tuning in to Dr. Phil, in lieu of watching the dreadful parade. The episode was a repeat of "Extreme Moms." It featured moms at both extremes: from free range to helicopter moms and was an eye-opener.

Ms. Skenazy allowed her 9-year old son to ride on the Subway alone after she dropped him off at Bloomingdale's. He purchased an ice cream on his own and took the subway home, without incident, I might add. This may sound horrifying to some moms, but Dr. Phil was non-plussed. This is a boy who lives in NYC and is accustomed to riding the subway. His mom's idea is that if he never gets the freedom to do anything on his own, how will he be able to function in the world as he grows up?

After showing the video of the boy's subway adventure, Dr. Phil posted a map of the route he took and it was covered in red dots (somewhere around 300 if I recall correctly). You guessed it, those red dots represented the location of all the pedophiles and sex offenders that lined his route. Of course, it is sensationalism like this that makes us moms paranoid in the first place!!

The bottom line is that we have got to start loosening the reigns at some point, so as not to stunt the growth of our children. I am experimenting with this bit by bit and VC seems none the worse for wear! If anything, it has given him a greater sense of confidence...



carma

1 comment:

Mad Asthmatic said...

It is scary letting your kids out on their own especially in this world. I remember that age 8 I was allowed to the local shop in the village to buy bits and pieces needed by mum but forgotten in the big supermarket shop. I relished in the freedom, and gradually it was increased so that I could go on bike rides with my friends as long as I was back by a certain time. Being late meant a reduction in my freedom. The world back then didn't seem as scary as it does now or maybe it is because i am an adult and more aware. It is a fine balance to walk in letting kids grow into their independence.
MA

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