boy who is tired

10 Weeks to a Free-Range / Let Grow Kid

At last! A really simple, fun, and, of course, FREE plan of action for anyone who’d like to start giving their kids a little more independence (and responsibility/adventure/joy).

Sign this “pledge” and each week Let Grow will email you an “Action Card” with some easy-but-profound task for you, your child, or both of you to do. Things like, “Try leaving your entire arsenal of supplies — snacks, wipes, Band Aids, money — at home for an outing.” That’s to recognize that we don’t NEED to be prepared for everything. Or, “Have your kid go into a store to break a $5 bill.” That’s to get them used to talking to adults and dealing with some potential (minor!) blowback.

As you can see, the tasks aren’t radical or earth-shattering. But once you do a bunch of them, things may well start to shift. Your kids gain real-world confidence. You do, too.

A request: I would REALLY appreciate feedback on this program from anyone who tries it, as my goal is to create the easiest, most game-shifting model possible. What works? What doesn’t? What’s delightful?

So many people WANT to become more “Free-Range,” to trust their kids to be competent young people, but egads that is hard to do in a culture that is determined to undermine our sense of what kids are capable of.  I am both moved and saddened when people write to tell me that, for instance, they let their 9-year-old cross the street, or 12-year-old walk a mile to the store. I’m proud of them. But in any other generation, these are things that would have happened a lot sooner, with a lot less angst. Exploration isn’t something that can be put off for years and years without corroding an internal sense of excitement and mastery.

I can’t think of any civilization that has expected less competence from its kids.

So the Action Pack is, I hope, a way to break through that thick fog of modern-day fear and let the sun shine through again. Your kids are as smart and safe and strong as you were. As your grandparents were! We just have to give them a chance to prove it.

Good luck and happy 2023. — Lenore

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