Archive | Infantilizing young folk

Caution: Disgruntlement ahead.

Should You Give Your Subway Seat to a Kid?

This wonderful essay  by Stephanie Fairyington states it baldly: Why have we decided that adults should give their seats to children, rather than vice versa? On the blog CityLab, she writes of a recent New York City subway trip with her friend: [We] were on a Brooklyn-bound D train when a family boarded with their […]

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A busy stretch of McCallum Road.

High School Students Not Allowed to Cross this Road

A reader writes that her high school student son is not allowed to cross the street you see here: Dear Free-Range Kids: So, my son is going to Summer School. I got a note from the school district transportation department just now with information about Summer School busing and you have to see this. I […]

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How dare you make any decision about our children, ever???

A Peek Into a Free-Range Dad / Helicopter Mom’s Divorce

This cascade of emails between a Free-Range dad and his more helicopter ex-wife is difficult to read. But over the years, many readers have written to me about the same kind of issue, so perhaps there’s some comfort in realizing this is not uncommon. I have changed the names.   . Dear Free-Range Kids:  I am […]

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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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