Asian child girl wearing glasses was bored at slider. Children in pajamas is sitting lonely at playground. Cute kid girl aged 6 years old.

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 — […]

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wilton two girls on road

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 […]

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school for good mothers cover

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 […]

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unsplash soccer young boy

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 […]

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vintage kids on swing poignant

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 […]

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