Archive | 2011

Dear Abby: Am I Paranoid Enough?

Hi Folks — If you ever wonder why parents seem so terrified these days, here’s why: We live in a society filled with more paranoia than a convention of Moon Landing conspiracists. Below is a prime example of us being told by a trusted “authority” to always conjure up the least likely but most devastating […]

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A Toddler Meltdown on the Plane — And Free-Range Help

Hi Readers! Often I post Free-Range outrages. Sometimes, this gets depressing. So here’s a Free-Range success story. Enjoy! L. Dear Free-Range Kids: I am the mother of two very small children. My daughter is almost two and my son is three months old. I consider myself to be a Free-Range parent, at least in philosophy. […]

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A Hovering Mother Reconsiders

Hi Readers: I really enjoyed this Boston Magazine story, by Katherine Ozment. Here’s a snippet from this mom of 2: In my nine years as a parent, I’ve followed the rules, protocols, and cultural cues that have promised to churn out well-rounded, happy, successful children. I’ve psychoanalyzed my kids’ behavior, supervised an avalanche of activities, and […]

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The REAL Miracle on 34th Street

The REAL Miracle on 34th Street

Hi Folks! Just got this note about what happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time. As a kid, I even had the novelization of it! (The movie was so popular, someone wrote it up as a book.) Who knows? Maybe watching it made me Free-Range! Anyway, this little analysis comes to […]

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Tracking Kids on the School Bus?!

Tracking Kids on the School Bus?!

Readers: It seems like in ancient times — that is, pre-iPhone — nervous parents just had to suck it up. Now, they create apps. The latest is an, “I’m on board the school bus!” alert, the brainchild of Manhattan mom who, according to this article, went into a “panic” when her 10-year-old son’s school bus […]

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A Win for a Tree House!

Hi Readers! Here’s a nice story: Turns out an Iraqi war vet who made his sons (age 9 and 11) a tree house does not have to tear it down! How do you like that? Well, actually, he DOES have to tear it down in five years…but at least it has a half-decade reprieve, which […]

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Halloween: The Day We Test-Market New Parental Fears

Hi Readers! Here’s my Wall Street Journal column from last year, slightly edited, about today’s holiday. Boo! — L STRANGER-DANGER AND THE DECLINE OF HALLOWEEN, by Me! Halloween is the day when America market-tests parental paranoia. If a new fear flies on Halloween, it’s probably going to catch on the rest of the year, too. […]

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Occupy Halloween! Hand Out HOMEMADE Treats This Year!

Occupy Halloween! Hand Out HOMEMADE Treats This Year!

Hi Readers — It occurs to me that maybe the best way to fight Halloween paranoia is with cookies. Start with the fact that there has NEVER been a case of children poisoned by a stranger’s candy on Halloween. That’s according to University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best, who has studied the urban myth since […]

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Making Up Halloween Fears

Making Up Halloween Fears

Hi Readers! Sometimes I think that in our uber-safe society, poor scribes are locked in a room and told they can’t come out until they dream up some new worry — no matter how far-fetched — to caution folks about. (My current fave is the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s apple bobbing cautions, below.) That’s […]

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Travel (with Kids) Advisory

Travel (with Kids) Advisory

Hi Readers! I am on board with this (even though I am guilty of some of the “don’ts” myself!). The list-maker, Darreby Ambler, is a writer and mother of 3 from Bath, Maine. – L.  . Dear Free-Range Kids: Thought you might like  this old list I found in a drawer yesterday.  When I read the first […]

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