Huffington Post and Free-Range Kids

Perfect together, here, on their new “New York” page.

10 Responses to Huffington Post and Free-Range Kids

  1. Nicola June 25, 2009 at 4:20 am #

    LOL, I’m sitting here watching Spongebob with my daughter and a quote for you all:

    Patrick: “Spongebob, my parents think I’m dumber than a sack of diapers.”

    SB: “No they don’t, Patrick. […] If your parents think you’re dumb, they must not know what dumb is.”

    Patrick: “Why wouldn’t they?! Don’t they watch T.V.?”

    Perspective from Spongebob… wow. 😀 Great article, btw. I wish people could see how senseless they’re becoming.

  2. Marvin Merton June 25, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    I’m glad to see you’re spreading the word though yet another venue.

    Nicola: Fear of one thing or another has always enveloped the human race. What we’re senseless about may change, but we’ve always done senseless things that harm ourselves or others.

  3. Jen June 25, 2009 at 5:41 am #

    Fantastic article, Lenore. Irving’s story was very touching and reminded me of my grandmother; married at 17, had 4 kids, helped run the family business, has outlived 2 husbands and cancer and is now 92. She is so self-reliant and independant, even now! that I’m constantly amazed.

  4. Mike June 25, 2009 at 6:06 am #

    I never really thought about it, but I remember riding the subway on my own for the first time too. I was 17 and we lived in Tokyo at the time. My sister and I took off from the Americanized Air Base to see what Japan was really like. Of course I’d never lived anywhere that had a Subway prior to that.

  5. Rich Wilson June 25, 2009 at 6:25 am #

    “They deserve a chance to fall and fail and get themselves back up again”

    One of the greatest offenses you can make to my 2.5 year old is to not give him the chance to do it himself.

  6. lonedattyof3 June 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm #


  7. ebohlman June 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Rich: And let’s remember that the best time to let kids fall and pick themselves up again is when they’re small enough to do it without hurting themselves. That’s as true metaphorically as it is literally. Waiting until kids are 15 to let them take minimal risks like walking alone means waiting until the consequences of a bad decision are much greater (note, by the way, that teenagers, particularly girls, are at much greater risk of being kidnapped than elementary-school-aged kids. We only think otherwise because Adam Walsh was cute, white, and had a publicity hound for a father. Sometimes I wonder how different things would be if Walsh had been black).

    Amusing parallel: I remember an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon participating in a debate over what age youth hockey players should be allowed to body-check. He said, only half-kidding, that the current system was backward and that the safest thing would be to allow body-checking from 5 to 11 and then ban it when kids turn 12, since that’s when they get big and strong enough to do some real damage.

    Getting back to teenage girls, which 15-year-old do you think is more likely to think that accepting a ride from a 19-year-old guy she knows only casually (something that carries a non-trivial risk) is a good idea: one whose parents have kept her wrapped up in cotton wool and never let her do anything on her own no matter how much she wants to, or one whose parents have allowed her lots of freedom and responsibility? I’m willing to bet it’s the former; she’d look at it as a taste of freedom. The latter would probably say, “nice try, but I can get there on my own.”

  8. crossgirl June 25, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    We need more stories like this! My 10 year old is going to an art camp being held at the museum. Each child is suposed to be dropped off and picked up, complete with sign in/out sheets, by a person with the appropriate identification card issued by the camp. No card, no pickup. And if you’re late, they fine you. I have no problem with this if it makes someone comfortable or if they have young children and if they can not be late, however, my boy is not younger and I am fine with him leaving after his last class and walking across the very small parking lot to wait for me at the library where I may or may not be late depending on work.

    I sent a letter stating that he had permission to leave unescorted as per their instructions. Would you believe they have charged some intern to walk him across the parking lot?! The point of my letter was that my boy was fine, I was fine, and that he didnt’ need to be a bother to anyone there. The library and museum area are about as safe as you can get around here. Plenty of people, lots of foot traffic, very small parking lot so not a lot of vehicle traffic. The grocery store parking lot is twice as big and he’s been returning the carts for years!

    First day I ask the intern why he’s with my son and he said he just wanted him to make it safely to the library. I explained that wasn’t necessary and thanked him. The next day, my son slipped out without him, met me right smack out front and then asked if he could meet me at the library. I decide to move my car to a shadier spot and find my son on the library steps with the intern who’s followed him. Geesh people. He’s TEN!

    My sister’s mother-in-law tells stories of being four and being sent out alone to catch a bus to take her to visit family across town. Apparantly in the 30’s this wasn’t viewed as odd or neglectful. I wouldn’t trust any of my boys at 4 to do this, but if we lived on a bus route, my ten year old would darn sure be leaving the museum and waiting at the bus stop right there at the library and riding home alone. I wonder if the museum staff would go with him?

  9. Katie June 26, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Lenore, thank you SO much for that dig on the Sesame Street Old School disclaimer. I won’t let my kids watch the new version of Sesame Street, and I was so excited to get them that DVD, and SO sad when I heard that bit at the beginning.

  10. SheWhoPicksUpToys June 26, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    Re the Sesame Street thing, last time we got a Looney Toons DVD from Netflix, a similar disclaimer appeared on the sleeve. My immediate reaction was, “What? Warner Brothers did stuff not appropriate for children and called it Looney Toons?” After about 5 seconds of amazement, the light dawned. Oh. Right. When Elmer Fudd blows Daffy’s head off and his beak spins around backward, or when a rock lands on Wile E. Coyote and turns him into a walking accordion, that’s “violent” and “not suitable for children.” Unreal.