UPDATE! Slow and Free and CBC and Brit TV!

Hi Readers! Here’s zikredissi
a nice piece
from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation — Canada’s PBS) about Free-Ranging, Slow Parenting and my show. It’s about 12 minutes long. If I could figure out how to embed the video right here, you know I would. But I can’t, so click away!

And in more TV news, this just in, from a reader in England: World’s Worst Mom starts airing in the UK on Monday 9 January on Real Time (Sky 240, Virgin 271) at 10pm (22:00).  That’s tonight! Cool! L.

UPDATE! Thanks to a reader named Gustavo, now I have an embeddable link! Voila! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_8CY2XOiRg]

27 Responses to UPDATE! Slow and Free and CBC and Brit TV!

  1. Jynet January 9, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    So far the voting on the pole at the bottom of the article is 61.5% in favour of “tak[ing] a more hands-off approach to raising their children”

    Yay for sanity in Canada 🙂

  2. Wendy January 9, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    And in more TV news, this just in, from a reader in England: World’s Worst Mom starts airing in the UK on Monday 9 January on Real Time (Sky 240, Virgin 271) at 10pm (22:00).

    I shall be off to bed by then thank goodness! 🙂

  3. Lollipoplover January 9, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    “When we choose to be parents, we accept another human being as part of ourselves, and a large part of our emotional selves will stay with that person as long as we live. From that time on, there will be another person on this earth whose orbit around us will affect us as surely as the moon affects the tides, and affect us in some ways more deeply than anyone else can. Our children are extensions of ourselves.”
    -Mr. Fred Rogers

    I’d like to think my less is more parenting philosophy, whether slow or free range, exploring and learning from mistakes vs. avoiding risks at all costs, will be what stays with my kids. I can’t preach one size fits all parenting for anyone, but I do want to be a part of my kids lives for the rest of mine, and I’d like to hope I am raising capable, rational individuals that I genuinely want to spend time with when they are grown ups. I also don’t want to have to cut up their meat or do their laundry or have them living in my basement when they are 40.

  4. RobertJ January 9, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    One tiny comment: the CBC is not the equivalent of PBS. It’s more like the equivalent of Canada’s BBC.

  5. Marisa January 9, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    CBC is not our PBS. It is an actual broadcasting company but it supports Canadian content. 🙂

  6. Jynet January 9, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Americans in general don’t get the difference between PBS and BBC or CBC. All they know is that it isn’t a “normal” (profit driven) broadcaster. I don’t think that should be the take away from this posting!

    I really enjoyed reading the comments from that CBC article, along with the pole (which is now 62.46% in favour). I have found in general that we Canadians are more willing to trust our communities and our children, thankfully.

  7. Edward January 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I hope somewhere in the show the point is made that this isn’t JUST about trusting your kids but also trusting the adults they will encounter.

  8. Myriam January 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Talking of the BBC, here is something from BBC radio 4 that addresses many of the issues raised on this blog:


    One “highlight” is stories (third hand – I would like to see these confirmed somewhere) about parents moving into halls of residence with their university student children and having to be politely asked to leave by the university authorities!

    Also interesting to hear an influential freerange writer admitting that she finds it hard to practise what she preaches.

  9. Kenny Felder January 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I love the way you wear “World’s Worst Mom” as a badge of honor. In this context, it absolutely is one.

  10. Gustavo Solivellas January 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    Well, now you can embed it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_8CY2XOiRg

  11. LRH January 9, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    Thank you VERY much Gustavo Solivellas. I was hoping to be able to download this video as a file to my PC’s hard drive (external) so I could have it forever & not have to keep “re-streaming” every-time I wanted to watch it. I also wanted to be able to have it as something I could store on a tablet PC for watching “offline” while in waiting rooms etc (just like we all do with MP3s we buy from Amazon or iTunes etc). I couldn’t figure out how to do it from the original site, but from YouTube, it’s easy–and I’m doing so as I speak.

    I watched it, and as usual–Lenore, you are my hero. I just LOVE how you stand up to the media insanity, and are PROUD of what you allowed Izzy to do 4 years ago (as well as clarifying that you & your husband did really reason & think it over, you didn’t just willy-nilly do this). I also liked what Carl Honoré had to say.

    It was a GREAT 12 minutes which I thoroughly enjoyed. Absolutely wonderful article.


  12. Christina January 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Off topic (or perhaps a sad contrast to the CBC piece), here is the latest inanity from the U.S. public schools system: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/08/student-suspended-for-reporting-accidentally-bringing-knife-to-school_n_1192791.html

  13. Steve January 10, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    Good report.

    The only thing that bothered me in the clip was the soccer league that didn’t keep score. There’s a difference between “practice” and competing against a rival team? Practice all you want. But then compete and win… or lose. Life is about preparing AND competing.

    Too bad they didn’t show a bunch of neighborhood kids who got together on their own at a local park to play a game. You can bet that group would’ve kept score.

    But… finding an impromptu game like that these days might be almost impossible.

  14. justanotherjen January 10, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    Too bad they didn’t show a bunch of neighborhood kids who got together on their own at a local park to play a game. You can bet that group would’ve kept score.

    My 10yo son plays pick-up games of football at the park all the time. The kids playing range in age from 7 to teens. I don’t think they really keep score. If they do it’s not all that important. He never mentions who wins or loses. He doesn’t care.

    When I was a kid we played basketball in the alley all the time and we never kept score. In fact when one team was making more baskets than the other we’d restructure the teams so they were more evenly matched (I was 14/15 years old playing with my younger brother and the neighbors who ranged in age from 6 to 12). It wasn’t about winning, just having fun. Which is what sports should be about.

  15. Simone January 10, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    I stopped watching when the football team that doesn’t keep score was mentioned. Learning to deal with defeat/failure is part of life; we shouldn’t be shielding our children from it. Besides, sport can be competitive and fun at the same time. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. In high school I belonged to a netball team which never won a single game. We even lost games against younger, smaller players. But oh the fun we had!

  16. In the Trenches January 10, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    I wonder what a similar poll would show in the U.S. Interestingly, there’s a psychological phenomenon that has to do with the way we think others see us: for example, when teenagers are interviewed individually, they almost all say that binge drinking is a stupid idea that they don’t subscribe to. But they also think that their friends think it’s cool, which makes them participate. I wonder if all this parental nervousness is similar. The CBC poll seems to say that a solid majority of us agree with Free Range tactics, but if our society (along with legislation and regulation) don’t reflect that, it might just be that most of us think that others would disapprove. If so, this whole stupid trend could turn out to be a tempest in a teapot that just needs a little daylight shone on it (to mix my metaphors) in order to have it disappear. I just KNOW that within a certain amount of time (hopefully not much more) we’ll all look at these hyperparenting trends with the same embarrassment that we remember wearing stupid clothes in high school.

  17. Bob Neinast January 10, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Any chance we’ll get to watch “Bubble Wrap Kids” in the US?

  18. LRH January 10, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Yes Bob Heinast that is exactly what I’ve been thinking as well. My goodness, with all the other nonsense that manages to make it on TV, this great show surely should be able to.


  19. Jenn January 10, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I just had a great `free range’ moment! I regularly get my kids (5 and 7) to do chores around the house, unloading/loading the dishwasher, laundry sorting/loading/folding, vacuuming, etc. Today my son cut his finger while unloading the dishwasher at my mom’s house. It was one of those huge chef knives and it went pretty deep so I make the trip to the ER since I didn’t know where Urgent Care was. With it being a knife injury, the staff ask a couple of questions to make sure it wasn’t a domestic situation. My son (7) told them how he was unloading the dishwasher and the nurse and doctor looked at one another in surprise. I thought, “uh oh… will I have to explain my parenting philosophy again???” The doc then turned to my son, “Do you always unload the dishwasher? Your mom has raised you right.”

  20. EricS January 11, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Finally! A positive feed from the media. This is what they should be encouraging. Not paranoia and danger around every corner, and strangers are all dangerous. Hopefully, this will catch on again as much as it was removed from us in the last 20 years.

  21. Sky January 13, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    But yoga is just one more class they HAVE to go to at a particular time of week, whether they feel like it or not. A class they must be transported to and from. And soccer with no winners and losers and no score? That’s NOT FUN. The FUN part of any sport or game is the competition. Kids like to compete too. So let kids be kids. Let them compete!

  22. Michelle the Uber Hause Frau January 13, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    What I want to know is why do the kids have to go to yoga class? Seriously, it’s just another scheduled activity mommy and daddy are pushing their kid into (unless they actually really enjoy it).

  23. Michelle the Uber Hause Frau January 13, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    You know what bugs me. ‘Chopper parents are so worried about “what would happen” but I bet most of them have never actually experienced what they are bubble wrapping their kids from. Seriously. I’ve asked “Has it ever happened to you?” and gotten “No.”

  24. Kelly January 14, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    Thanks for the show. I live in Calgary, AB and have been recommending the show non-stop to friends who also live free range, and one that does not and is slowly moving towards free range! After Tuesday’s episode I realized I do not allow my 6yo to help me cook, thanks to that episode, she made “the best KD on the planet” by doing age appropriate things in the kitchen. You’ve inspired me yet again.

  25. Andrea January 17, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    I started laughing at “he lets them play in the backyard. ALONE. He lets them go to the corner store. ALONE.” Oh, horrors! The children are allowed to play in their own backyard by themselves?! They are allowed to walk to a place they know in their most certainly safe neighborhood?!

    I felt terrible for the boy they showed from that “Bubble Wrap Kids” show. How old was he? 12, maybe? And his mom was spoon-feeding him, cutting his meat? Was she wiping his butt and bathing him, too? What will happen to boys and girls like that when they grow up? They will have NO life skills!

  26. Barbara January 20, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    I’m in Canada and so happy to see the show on TV. I’ve watched it and love it. Hopefully we’ll see more and more parents relaxing and allowing their kids to learn and grow as they should.

  27. Carina January 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I just want to point out that Arthur, DW and friends are free range kids.

    I had no idea there was such a movement afoot. My kids were born in Edmonton and we now live in San Diego. My kids are both teens now but I certainly had battles with my mom about the freedom I’ve allowed my kids to explore. This same mom that didn’t think twice about her 8 yr old riding her bike all around N.W. Calgary and all of Lethbridge. My daughter’s greatest memory of her younger years is of exploring the canyons near our home. Sure, both of them came home with Poison Oak….once.