Free-Range Parenting Could be The Key to Happy, Healthy Kids

That’s not just this blog blowing its own horn. It’s The Guardian that’s doing the blowing.

In a huge article this week, that paper quotes me and a gaggle of fellow travelers, worrying about things like:

“I was concerned that it’s becoming weird to let your kids outside without either an adult, a cell phone or a GPS of some sort. Kids spend four to seven minutes outside in unstructured, unsupervised time a day here in America.”

Ok, so that was me. But others talk about the fact this is not our imagination — including University of Exeter Child Psychology Prof. Helen Dodd,  whose recent study that found today’s parents were allowed to play outside unsupervised from the age of nine. Now it’s 11.

She says that as bad as it was, now, due to the pandemic, some kids have almost forgotten the world is out there to explore.

Our job? Remind them! Make it painfully obvious! Perhaps even open the door, give a gentle shove (or an errand to run) and see what happens.


The comments at The Guardian were mostly positive, but many seemed to believe this kind of thing can no longer happen. “This kind of thing” being kids out in the world, sans a minder. Let’s prove them wrong. – L

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