— I was just on a radio show talking about Â how we reflexively inflate the dangers facing children, and while I was on, this email came to Free-Range Kids. It Â illustrates what I spend most of my waking hours dealing with: The belief that our kids are in constant danger, so only constant supervision can “save” them.
Can you please help this woman convince her husband that her child-rearing decisions are safe and sane? And, while we’re at it, can you convince everyone else, too? Because I’m shaking from the radio thing. (Details: A caller insisted that a 6-year-old is NOT safe waiting in a car for 5 minutes while his mom picks up a prescription. I asked how could the child be harmed, because I’ve found that the fear, “Anything could happen!” Â is often dispelled if you ask folks to actually enumerate the dangers. So the caller said, “The kid could be knucklehead and put the car in gear.” When I replied, “Wouldn’t you take the keys with you?” He said, “Well, if you’re going to negate everything I say, then of COURSE things are going to seem safe.” Grrrrrr!) – L
Dear Free-Range Kids:Â I’m new to the site.Â I just started looking around because the other day I let my 7-year-old son ride his scooter in our driveway with the garage door and front door open (storm door was closed), unsupervised for 10 minutes or so while I was helping my 4-year-old daughter inside the house.Â When my husband found out later he called it bad parenting and irresponsible.Â What??? I wasn’t even sure what to say.
I also let my son sit on the porch while I walked around the block one more time, as he was tired and didn’t want to go with me. (His sister and father were in the house.) Â My husband proceeded to tell him to get in the house and didn’t understand how I could let him sit on the front porch unsupervised.
We live in a relatively quiet suburban neighborhood.Â I feel a little shaken right now and need a little support that I am not crazy for letting him have a little freedom.- Normal Mom Feeling Abnormal
Okay, readers! Support away! She needs it and, frankly, so do I. It is hard to calm a hysterical society. – L