Last month we ran a four-part series about the origins and downsides of overprotective parenting and how to raise more independent kids. My guest on the podcast today was a key resource in that series and has been at the forefront of battling helicopter parenting for nearly a decade. Her name is Lenore Skenazy and she’s the author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry).
Today on the show, Lenore and I discuss how being labeled “America’s Worst Mom” led her to become a leader of a movement to give kids more unsupervised time, the cultural shifts that have happened in the past 30 years that have resulted in overprotective parenting, and why, contrary to popular belief, the chance of your kid getting abducted by a stranger is actually incredibly small. Along the way, Lenore shares some crazy stories of parents getting in trouble with the law simply for letting their children play outside by themselves.
We end our conversation with some actionable steps you can take as a parent to raise independent, self-reliant kids and why it’s important for them to have as much unsupervised play as possible.
If you’re a parent or a parent-to-be, you don’t want to miss this hilarious, but informative episode.
- The origins of the Free Range Kids movement
- Why people were so upset about Lenore letting her 9-year-old ride the subway alone
- The differences in parenting from a generation ago to today
- The “question” that Lenore despises every time she gets interviewed
- The perils of “Worst-First” thinking
- The miasma of fear that parents are breathing in every day
- Is this fear uniquely American?
- What are the actual odds of your child being abducted?
- The illusion of control that parents hang on to
- The data-fication of today’s children
- Why parents need to cut themselves more slack
- The impact of smartphones on modern parenting
- The societal impetus that encourages parents to call 911 when they see unsupervised kids
- Moral vs rational judgments in parents
- How kids are losing their imagination in this overprotective world
- The dangers of kids not being exposed to risk
- Ideas for how parents can balance risk and safety in raising their kids
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- The original article that got Lenore labeled the Worst Mom in America
- Lenore’s appearance on The Today Show
- Lenore’s appearance on The Daily Show
- Overprotective Parenting series
- The Ikea sex trafficking story that went viral on Facebook
- The Nurture Assumption by Judith Rich Harris
- How Moral Judgments Distort Perceptions of Risk to a Child
- The Importance of Roughhousing With Your Kids
- Free to Learn by Peter Gray
- Free Range Kids Bill of Rights
- Free Range Kids Project for schools
If there are kids in your life, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Free-Range Kids. Lenore does a bang-up job debunking the myths out there about child safety. Plus, she’s dang funny. There were several times while reading the book that I literally lol-ed.
Connect With Lenore Skenazy
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Recorded on ClearCast.io.
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