Archive | Infantilizing young folk

CAUTION! Warnings about trauma may be insulting and counter-productive.

A Traumatized Reader Discusses Trigger Warnings

. Recently we were talking about the trend on campus to require “trigger warnings” — warnings on material assigned for class that could potentially traumatize a student by triggering a flashback on some misery endured. We also discussed “microaggressions” — the idea also newly popular at college that students’ casual remarks could be construed as […]

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Wow -- is that a playground?

Kids Allowed to Engage in Unsupervised “Risky Play” Develop Skills that Help Later in Making Smart Decisions about Sex and Drugs

. Mariana  Brussoni is  an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia in public health and pediatrics, and lead author of a major report on the health benefits of “risky” play. The study determined what Free-Rangers feel in their (once in a while broken) bones: Too much supervision and safe-to-the-point-of-stultifying play spaces prevent kids from […]

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"Oliver! To step down, put one foot lower than the other and have your body follow."

No Child Left Un-assisted: A Day at the Playground

. A dismaying letter followed by an infuriating news item. Aren’t you glad you got up today? Dear Free-Range Kids:  . My girlfriend and I were strolling through the Western North Carolina Nature Center. There’s a lovely climbing structure for the kids that is supposed to resemble a spider’s web. Though there is the usual soft material […]

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Boy Scout contraband?

Boy Scouts Can’t Squirt Squirt Guns at Each Other and Must Use Goggles

Boy Scouts can’t shoot squirt guns at each other. Here’s the rulebook (see page 99). And here’s the article for Boy Scout leaders that points out:  “Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn.” Water balloons, meanwhile, have a size limit: “For water balloons, use small, biodegradable balloons, […]

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While the parents were shopping at a garage sale, their kids went HOME ALONE.

“I Found Myself Agreeing with Your Work…But I Wasn’t Letting Go”

From Tamara Treber, a high school English teacher, comes this story she calls her “Reality Check.” Dear Free-Range Kids: My husband and I have two kids (ages 7 and 5).  We live in an impoverished, largely agricultural area of Central California.  Nevertheless, we have a nicely appointed home on a quiet cul-de-sac.  I read your […]

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A culture of self-infantilization seems to have spawned on campus.

What Hath Overprotection Wrought?

What happens when a generation grows up being told that they need constant supervision because nothing is safe enough? That they should never encounter a bad grade or mean remark, it’s too wounding? That they didn’t lose, they are the “8th place winner!”? At least a slice of them become convinced that they are extremely […]

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students, go home and ask your parents if you can do something new that you are ready for.

When Schools Do the “Free-Range Kids Project”

On my show (3 episodes air tonight starting at 5:30/4:30 Central Time on Discovery Life), I give the children of very anxious parents a task to do that they seem ready for — even if their parents aren’t. They walk to school, make dinner, ride a bike. And usually, when the parents see their kids […]

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Son, you are two minutes late to your sociology class on the Surveillance Society!

App Alerts Parents if Their Kid Skips a College Class

You’re only young once, but our culture seems determined to make sure that childhood lasts into middle age, if not senility. To wit: There’s a new app, Class120, that pings parents when their kids don’t show up for their college classes. NBC reports: Class120 works with the help of GPS or WiFi. The campus is […]

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The cop asked the dad: "Do you know your daughter was out walking WITHOUT A HAT?"

A Girl Walking Down the Street — and the Cops. Twice.

When does it make sense for the cops to stop kids and make sure they’re safe? A  mom in Maine writes: Dear Free-Range Kids: My daughter, 9, wanted to hang out with a friend of hers that lives about 2 miles away.  Because neither set of parents could take them, the decided to walk to the […]

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