Sunday, February 13, 2011

Free-Range Kids

Lenore "Free Range Kids" Skenazy is my hero. Her controversial article in the NY Sun about allowing her 9-year-old to take the subway in NYC resonated with me. As a college prof, I see first-hand the results of over-parenting in helpless students needing to be handheld, spoon-fed and experiencing great anxiety over every challenge, disappointment and instance of bewilderment. "What should I do?" they decry, and I wonder how many times their parents replied with, "Just figure it out". My teaching -and life - mentor Danielle Van Dreunen told me she tried never to tell her son what to do. Moms: you know what a herculean task this is.

One of Lenore's most popular blogs is about how cell phones turn us all into babies. "I'll be home in 2 minutes." "I'm nearly home" "I'm getting groceries", and her refrain of "Don't call me from the car because you're bored" rings true. Best of all is her story of her 11-year-old son calling her five minutes after she left for work asking if he could have a piece of banana bread. I'M NOT HOME, she replied. Have chocolate and marshmallows. Have a vodka smoothie. Enjoy your GD freedom!

"Pretend it's the 90s and I'm unreachable."
I want that on a t-shirt.