Archive | Other Places Other Eras

When I jump off, let me land in Holland!

Is This a Dream?

Childhood in The Netherlands, NOW, as observed and written up by Kate Darnton in The Boston Globe: The Dutch loosen up early. My husband and I were thrilled when we arrived in Amsterdam to find that many playgrounds have cafes. On sunny afternoons, parents meet after work to sip Aperol spritzes while their kids scale […]

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Hey -- where did all the kids go?

The Lonely Refrigerator

Just a thought about a cultural artifact: Dear Free-Range Kids: As I walked my dog this evening, I saw that my neighbors had placed an old refrigerator on their lawn with a “free” sign attached to it.  At first I thought, “Those doors need to be removed!”  or “Those doors need to be chained shut!” […]

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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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squirrel angry

“Children, Get Your Poison Barley and Kill the Squirrels!”

Precisely 99 years ago, California was battling a bushy-tailed terror: squirrels. They were destroying too many crops. To fight the furry fiends, reports Atlas Obscura, the government enlisted a platoon of pint-size perps: This children’s crusade was part of Squirrel Week, a seven-day frenzy in which California tried to kill off its ground squirrels. But […]

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She can probably walk to school by herself, too.

Can a 4-Year-Old Walk to School? Or Walk 5 Miles in the Snow, In the Dark, in Siberian Winter, Lighting Fires When Necessary, to Fetch Help for Her Grandfather?

Since you might have missed your latest copy of The Siberian Times, here’s a story for you, perfect for a blizzard: Little Saglana Salchak has spoken for the first time about her sad 6 hour trek through treacherous snow drifts with wolves around to get to a neighbour’s home from her grandparents’ remote farmstead. Miserable […]

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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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