Happy Halloween and a Note from New York

Hi Folks! I am at a friend’s apartment, borrowing her internet connection. I live in New York City — Queens — which was hit hard by Sandy, but my neighborhood was not severely affected. I wish everyone could say the same.

Anyway, for those  not dodging downed power lines,  it’s a great day for the kids to go forth and revel in candy and independence — both sweet. But  how can parents start letting go?

Maybe it’s not that hard — at least, that’s what I just saw. On Saturday, I gave my Free-Range Kids lecture in Whitby, Ontario, and afterward lead a seminar for parents and their kids. I asked the parents to tell me one thing that they LOVED doing when they were young, but that they don’t let their kids do. Of course they talked about playing in the woods and building forts and roaming the neighborhood. Then I asked their kids — age 7 to 12 — what THEY wished they could do on their own, and SO MANY of them said, “I want to go trick or treating with my friends but without my parents.”

I can’t say exactly what age to let your kids do this, but some of the wistful, wishful kids were 10 already. What’s fantastic is that when they asked their parents point blank, “Please?” and the parents were primed by thoughts of their own childhood adventures (and, hopefully, my lecture), they all said: YES. Simple as that: Yes.

So here’s wishing you and yours a happy (and possibly transformative) Halloween! – L.

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P.S. If your children come home with an unwrapped or a homemade treat, I’d still love you to send me a photo or video of them enjoying it. Please send it to heylenore3@gmail.com. The goal is to drive a stake through the myth that neighbors delight in poisoning children on this holiday. (As if no one would ever trace the crime! Even if they WANTED to poison random kids, would they do it with a treat that all the still-alive kids could recall,”Oh, that came from Mrs. Weber’s house!”?)

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