Archive | Infantilizing young folk

Can we have a supervised playdate?

Free-Range Parenting was NORMAL as Recently as E.T.

Remember, folks, what SEEMS like just a normal amount of supervision now — that is, constant — was not normal until very recently, as this clip from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, reminds us. Elliott, a “boy of 9 or 10,” stays home from school alone for a day. And his sister Gertie, 5, stays home for […]

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Wow, that sure looks like an unruly mob!

“Really, American Cancer Society? For My 14-Year-Old to Walk for Cancer she Needs an Adult Chaperone?”

The infantilization of our kids goes hand in hand with the time-wastification of us parents. Here’s an example from, of all people, the American Cancer Society. Those folks should understand better than anyone that life is short! Don’t waste it on red tape! http://relay.acsevents.org/site/DocServer/Chaperone_Agreement.pdf?docID=450597 Dear Free-Range Kids: My daughter is a capable, independent, and responsible […]

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Does that helpless little child look 12 to you?

“You Must Be 12 To Use the Bathroom Alone”

Here’s a sign from a church in suburban Chicago. The reader who sent it to me wrote: I’ve shown this sign to quite a number of people expecting them to be as floored as I am.  Nearly universally, though, the reaction has been along the lines of “well, you can’t be too safe these days. […]

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A map of the ever shrinking circumference of childhood, from The Daily Mail.

How Children Lost the Right to Roam in Just 4 Generations

This Daily Mail piece by David Derbyshire is so profound it has been cited over and over: How Children Lost the Right to Roam in Four Generations: an interview with four generations of the same family about how far they were allowed to wander as kids. It comes from Britain but will sound familiar to […]

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Yes. Sorry. These really happened. (Flick photo by Jazback)

THE TOP 10 WORST FREE-RANGE MOMENTS OF 2016 (Well…the Top 11, actually.)

It was the year of Pokemon Panic—any toy that gets kids outside must be stopped! —and the year a Florida school cancelled its “Powder Puff” all-girl football game (suggesting the girls bob for apples instead). It was the year that we saw the first academic study of bouncy house temperatures—”something that no one had really […]

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He did pretty well on his own, too.

Boy, 6, Left to Care for His Younger Siblings While Mom Away for Days

As we contemplate the family being investigated, the kids being stripped, and the dad doing time in jail,  all because of a pre-school child being left to nap in the car for 20 minutes during a Christmas errand, let’s remember it was not always thus. Children were considered hardy. While I don’t advocate leaving them […]

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