Hi! I’m Lenore, the gal who let her 9-year-old ride the subway alone, wrote a column about it, got slammed in the media and labeled “America’s Worst Mom.” I started this blog to explain that I LOVE safety — helmets, seatbelts, mouthguards — but don’t believe kids need a security detail every time they leave the house.
Lots has changed since that spring weekend in 2008. Parents and educators are starting to worry about the disappearance of childhood free time. Psychologists are studying the crucial role of free play. This year Oklahoma and Texas passed laws inspired by the Free-Range Kids law Utah passed in 2018, declaring it is NOT neglect for parents to let their kids play outside, come home with a latchkey, etc.
And Free-Range Kids has become a movement.
About four years ago, it also became a nonprofit, Let Grow. Co-founded by me, research psychologist Dr. Peter Gray, former chairman of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Daniel Shuchman, and NYU Prof. Jonathan Haidt, co-author of “The Coddling of the American Mind,” our goal is to make it easy, normal and legal to give kids back some freedom. Our motto? “When adults step back, kids step up.”
So on this blog you’ll find salient Free-Range Kids resources. But often I’ll link to Let Grow, because that’s where the action is, including lots of free materials for parents and educators, a legislative toolkit for independence activists, and cool resources like a page of crime stats and urban myths.
And here’s the book that started it all — updated and expanded in a second edition, coming out on June 16.
Feel free to drop me a line: [email protected] If you read my book you’ll learn that the majority of my ideas, insights and stories come from you. So, thank you!
And don’t sue. – L.