Aside from Daylight Savings Time it feels like there is almost NOTHING both parties agree on anymore. Except for Free-Range Parenting! Last week the Colorado State Senate joined the Colorado House in UNANIMOUSLY voting for what is now called the “Reasonable Childhood Independence” bill. It had two Republicans and two Democrats officially sponsoring it, but […]
Archive | 2022
If You Don’t Want to Play With Your Kid…You Are Not Alone
In other cultures, the idea of parents getting on the floor to play with their kids is as strange as the idea of parents getting on the floor to slurp their water from a bowl. It simply isn’t done. Anthropologist David Lancy has studied childhood the world over, and in most of the places — […]
How to Make Your City or Town a “Free-Range Kids” Place
Imagine going to a party and no one shows up. That’s childhood in a lot of towns today. Even kids who’d love to walk down the block won’t, if there’s no one outside to play with. Vanessa Elias, a parenting coach and mom of three in Westport, CT., realized that her town needed to make […]
A Dad Asks His Almost-Grown Kids: How Did You Feel About Growing Up Free-Range?
Dan Emery’s three kids are 21, 18, and 15. They live in a suburb outside of New York and grew up being allowed to go places on their own, make their own money from odd jobs, and deal with their own minor issues at school. In a piece over at Let Grow Dan (owner of […]
Do Government-Run Parenting Classes Really Await Free-Range Parents?
In the dystopian (and un-put-downable) novel, “The School for Good Mothers,” parents who don’t helicopter get sent to a state re-education school. There, each interaction they have with their child is graded to see if it is kind enough, warm enough, educational enough, safe enough (obviously!) and selfless enough. Yes, this is a parody of […]
Kids Who Won Free Pre-School Ended Up Losing
A researcher who spent 10 years following 3000 kids who applied to get free pre-school in Tennessee discovered the opposite of what she’d expected: The ones who got in — demographically identical to the ones who didn’t — were doing worse all around by 6th grade. Worse on tests. Worse on discipline. Worse when it […]
What It Means When a Mom Can Get Arrested for Letting Her Teenager Babysit
Maybe you have heard the story about the Georgia mom arrested for trusting her 14-year-old to look after her four younger siblings. I originally wrote about it atÂ Reason.com — here’s the link. My story has since gone ’round the world. The basics: Mom Melissa Henderson had to go to work the day COVID-19 shut […]
How to Give Kids Back Their “Stolen Focus”? Johann Hari Recommends The Let Grow Project!
“F**king amazing!” in fact, is how bestselling author and TED Talk favorite Johann Hari describes The Let Grow Project. We met when he came to New York to research his new book, “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention — And How to Think Deeply Again.” Together we visited two schools — one well-off, the […]
Poll Results: What Age Were You First Allowed Outside on Your Own?
My poll of over 1500 folks — albeit on Twitter — discovered something heartening: The majority of both those born BEFORE and AFTER 1982 say they were allowed outside on their own by age 7. BUT, the percent of kids given freedom by age 7 is sinking. And I didn’t specifically ask anyone born after […]
At 13 She Found Herself Alone at LAX for the Night — And She’s Glad
There’s a good first-person story over at Let Grow. Robin Phillips (pictured) was on her way to visit her dad in Hawaii when she got bumped from a plane at Los Angeles Airport about 50 years ago, when she was 13. The next plane was the following day. Robin spent the night eating, reading — […]