Archive | 2021

kid at playground alone

Why We Oppose Age Limits on Childhood Independence

As more states start to pass what we used to call “Free-Range Parenting” laws (and now call “Reasonable Childhood Independence” laws), some lawmakers are willing to go along, or even sponsor such legislation — with a caveat. They want the laws to include an age limit, like, “A child of 9 or above can ride […]

Continue Reading
kids at sprinkler park use this

Is Helicopter Parenting Destroying American Entrepreneurship?

“When kids are trusted with free time to figure things out on their own, they start working on their very first job: making something happen,” North Dakota State Business Prof. Clay Routledge and I write in a USA Today column: But what happens when they don’t? What happens when, from birth through post-college ‘adulting’ classes, […]

Continue Reading
sparkler unsplash caleb-jones-Nj0mCM6nikI-unsplash

Today’s Childhood vs 12 Years Ago: What Has Changed?

It’s been 12 years since Free-Range Kids was published. In honor of the new edition, which just came out, I look at how childhood has changed, for the worse but also the better, in the years since it came out. What did I find? Check out my piece at Let Grow, by clicking here. But […]

Continue Reading
free range kids second ed cover

Updated & Revised “Free-Range Kids” to be Published Tomorrow!

The updated and expanded second edition of Free-Range Kids: How Parents and Teachers Can Let Go and Let Grow will be released on Wednesday with all-new insights for parents and educators, including new chapters on anxiety, technology, free play, and how what kids do just for fun can often point them (sometimes unconsciously!) toward their careers. Author […]

Continue Reading
tree unsplash eric-muhr-Cg5qdn7S1c8-unsplash

What Do Trees Need to Grow? Wind! So Let’s Talk Metaphors

Metaphors are the topic at Let Grow today. I just learned that the trees planted in Biosphere 2, the kinda kooky human snowglobe in Arizona, grew at an extremely fast rate. And then they died. Why? Life was just a little too sheltered — literally. Click here for the strange details of what trees (and kids) […]

Continue Reading
play club south carolina covid 1

A Play Club During COVID: One Teacher’s Experience

Over at Let Grow we have a precious video: Kids actually PLAYING together, at school, outside, during COVID. It’s the work of Kevin Stinehart, Pickens County, SC, Teacher of the Year last year, who believes in safety AND the power of play. The health protocols inside the school were strict: Distancing, masks, cleaning, etc. But […]

Continue Reading
unsplash ranch kids boots meritt-thomas-rLlUdusH4nk-unsplash


On Saturday, Texas became the third state in America to enshrine the right of kids to a Free-Range Childhood. It follows Oklahoma and Utah  in enacting a  “Reasonable Childhood Independence” bill. When the Texas law goes into effect, fully one tenth of American citizens will enjoy new freedom under laws that Free-Range Kids and Let […]

Continue Reading