Free-range Kids

Turning the tide on over-protective parenting
by Mike Cooney

THE WORLD IS A DANGEROUS PLACE. Scary even. And, somehow, we’re supposed to raise our beloved children amongst all the chaos and gunfire! As parents, we carry the awesome responsibility of getting our kids through to adulthood relatively unscathed – doing our best to keep them safe from the myriad of sexual predators, water hazards and sharp kitchen objects.

To be honest, it’s a wonder we even let them out of the house – such are the dangers and pitfalls of the wild outdoors … In this age of CSI-styled television, media sensationalism and fear-based marketing, many parents are wrapping their precious cherubs up in cotton-wool – afraid of what might happen. Helicopter-parenting (think hovering!) has become rampant, and the good ol’ days of “be back before dark!” appear to have gone forever.

Enter Lenore Skenazy!

Labelled ‘America’s Worst Mum’, she’s begun a crusade to turn back the tide of over-protective parenting. Her controversial book ‘Free-Range Kids’ has been a huge success, bringing some much-needed balance to modern mums and dads. We tracked her down in New York. And she gave us some insights on how to raise safe, self-reliant kids – while not going nuts with worry.

Issue 2 2011


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