Free-Range Kids

Kids, Go Ahead and Talk to Strangers: Lenore Skenazy in The Washington Post

The free-range movement is growing


Reason TV

The Washington Post's "On Parenting" blogger Amy Joyce interviewed Reason's Lenore Skenazy about the success of the Free-Range Kids movement:

How has this all changed since you first sent your 9-year-old on the subway? There's a lot more discussion about childhood freedom. Where it went and how we can get it back. I think the thing that I brought to public attention is this government angle. The idea that helicopter parenting was becoming law of the land, rather than just a choice. And that's changed. There's constant attention to this now in public and it's a more fevered pitch. I just think that everybody gets now what I'm saying. For two years in a row after I started this site, I was voted as the most controversial mommy blogger by Babble. I'm not that controversial anymore. I read a lot of articles and everyone sounds like me.

Are there parameters for free-rangers? I think parents are the best judge of that. Certainly there are entire continents who send their children at age 7 to school alone. The idea is we do know what's best for our kids. My parameter is that unless a child is in obvious immediate and grave danger, we're allowed to teach our kids the same lessons our parents taught us: Cross the street safely. You can talk to strangers, but don't go off with strangers.

Full Q and A here.

The article notes that Danielle and Alexander Meitiv—who practice free-range parenting—recently triumphed over an outrageous neglect charge levelled against them by Child Protective Services.

While the libertarian approach to parenting is quickly winning hearts and minds, it's going to take a lot longer to change the laws that empower police to arrest families for raising kids contrary to the paranoid dictates of the state.

Read Skenazy's Reason archive here.

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle on How Virginia Lawmakers Are Harassing Short-Term Renters

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  1. Lenore was great to have when she came and spoke at my library… I just wish more people had turned out! Everyone that was there loved her presentation and, just yesterday, 2 people came back in just to thank us for bringing her to the community.

    1. ” I just wish more people had turned out! ”

      What with soccer practice, two hours of homework a night, then music practice, marching band… It’s hard to make it to a free range parent function.

      1. Plus time to heal from all the ass-kickings for being in marching band.

  2. It is great that the lame stream media is finally taking “free range” more seriously. Perhaps we can persuade Hillary to use her re-edukation camps for helicopter parents and school boards instead.

    1. Or perhaps we can have no re-edukation kamps at all.

    2. Just you wait, there’s an expansion of government behind this somewhere.

    3. It would be better if you stopped using moronic terms like “lame stream media.” That’s almost as dumb as Mike’s ever-so-creative plays on Obama’s name.

  3. Do you want more Warty’s? Because this is how you get more Warty’s.

    1. You wish.

    2. There’s only one Warty. Although he has 19 dicks.

  4. If we extrapolate from historical data, in the year 2029 parents will be arrested for allowing their 43-year-old children to drive to work unaccompanied.

    1. Based on my commute this morning, I’m trying to see how this is a bad thing.

      1. I don’t think age has a bearing on this, but I have noticed that fat people are almost universally very bad drivers. Maybe it’s the not being able to turn their heads thing.

  5. I have a dream that my sons eill be able to roam the neighborhood on their bicycles with nobody wondering why I’m not with them.

    1. I guess keep dreaming 🙁

    2. We won’t wonder, we’ll assume you’re passed out drunk in front of the TV… As God intended.

      1. Just gaming. How will I win TW: Rome II with each faction plus the Atila expansion without having my weekend entirely free from parenting?

  6. Are there parameters for free-rangers?

    Amy Joyce doesn’t quite seem to get it.

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  8. “Mandatory helicopter parenting” is the result of 2 trends. One is the baby bust: When/where there are fewer children, they’re seen, both individually & collectively, as more precious.

    The other is more generally the tendency in rich societies to deny allowing, or even acknowledging, conditions at the low end of health, safety, or even luxury, because “we can afford it”. The country’s rich, so nobody’s allowed to have too little of…whatever?even if it’s a matter of saving $ w no objective loss of service or quality, just because it shouldn’t be a country of cheapskates, or even with cheapskates in it. So, minimum wage, minimum schooling, maximum work, minimum housing space, theoretic medical care for all, because one should never have to consider costs as against those things.

    Why can’t I get the para. breaks I want? Surely we can afford those here!

    1. Hmph. They didn’t show up in preview. This is why people don’t goddamn preview, folks!

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