Free-Range Kids

Lenore Skenazy Talks Free-Range Kids on Daily Show…

and is the hero of the segment, which skewers hysterical fears about our children, who are safer than ever.

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Author's Note (4.03 p.m. ET): Doh on me! Robby Soave had already posted this segment at Reason.com earlier today. To read his take, go here now.

So last night Reason's own Free-Range Parenting maven Lenore Skenazy appeared in a great Daily Show segment titled "The Kid Stays in the Enclosure." The descrip for it? "Jordan Klepper examines free-range parenting, which allows children to be independent without fear of unknown dangers."

You can imagine that Lenore—star of the Discovery Channel show World's Worst Mom and the convener of what is likely the planet's first "Sex Offender Brunch"—was worried that she would be the chump of the piece.

Not to worry. Whatever faults The Daily Show might have, being insanely overprotective of children who are safer than ever isn't one of them. Though the same can't be said for Dr. Karen Ruskin, who bills herself as "America's Relationship Expert," and plays the role of villain with aplomb.

So click on the image above and watch a very smart, funny, and on-point discussion of how strangely we are acting towards our offspring.

And then watch Reason TV's Free-Range Kids playlist, which features four great vids featuring Lenore Skenazy doing what she does best: putting to rest an entire society's hysteria about kids.

And go here to read all of Lenore's and Reason's Free-Range Kids entries.

To check out Lenore's own site, which contains even more material and links, go here.

NEXT: Graphic Video of Fatal Dillon Taylor Police Shooting Shows Him Wearing Headphones, Was Ruled Justified

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  1. Snopes looks into a child-predation report. You’ll never guess what they find!

    http://www.snopes.com/crime/wa…..okkids.asp

  2. God, why is it that every time i see John Stewart I just want to punch him the face?

    1. He’s where I get my news.

    2. Your fists are the only way to let all the excess smug out!

    3. Autoplay?

  3. What, is Rico Soave chopped livah?

    1. No jacket, no post.

  4. Too bad the Daily Show keeps getting falsely accused by haters of distorting the remarks of guests they don’t like.

    See

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..sts-andrew

    and

    https://carm.org/matt-slick-daily-show

      1. So, Ruskin is one of the self-help-book experts who puts “Dr.” before their name.

        So I’m not going to assume she knows what she’s talking about.

        But neither will I assume that she was correctly represented on that particular segment.

        1. But neither will I assume that she was correctly represented on that particular segment.

          I agree. Even from the fact that I’m sure Lenore is a good actress and pretty congenial and all that but some of her deadpan and indignation about her name was between unbelievably and over-the-top good. Either she’s got decent acting chops, is completely unaware of the premise of the show, or the editing crew cares nothing about the story as long as it contributes to the laugh track appropriately.

  5. For the attorney’s… A CLE with Lenore as a panelist.

    1. A CLE that might not put me to sleep. Might actually be worth the $100 per credit.

  6. It’s things like this that give me a sliver of hope that most people can and will push back against bull shit, eventually.

  7. I saw this going around facebook, seems right up Lenore’s ally…

    A guy sends you a friend request. You don’t know him, but he’s got a cute profile picture, so you accept his friend request.
    It’s your baby girl’s first day of school. She looks SO cute in her new outfit you just have to take a picture and put it on Facebook so all your friends and family can see.
    You’re so excited dropping her off that you ‘Check in’ to her school on FB saying
    ‘I can’t believe how big she’s gotten. Time sure flies. One proud momma/daddy right here’.
    Meanwhile, the mystery guy whose friend request you hurriedly accepted earlier this morning is saving that picture you posted of your daughter in her cute new outfit to his phone and texting it to 60 other grown men across the world with the caption ?

    1. ‘American Female. Age 5.
      Brown Hair. Black Eyes.
      $5,000-‘.
      Not only did you provide a picture of your little girl to a child trafficker, you’ve handed him the name and exact location of her school on a silver cyber platter.
      You go to pick her up at 3:00 this afternoon, but she’s nowhere to be found.
      Little do you know, your precious baby girl was sold to a 43 years old pedophile before you even stepped foot off campus this morning, and now she’s on her way to South Africa with a bag over her head, confused, terrified and crying because a man she’s never seen before picked her up from school, and now she doesn’t know where her parents are, where she’s going, or what’s gonna happen to her.

      1. That story looks familiar:

        https://reason.com/blog/2015/06…..nt_5344974

        1. Did this blank space respond to something I wrote?

            1. I thought the fun thing about blocking people was that you could *ignore* them.

          1. Three. Times.

      2. Sounds like a job for Liam Neeson.

        1. He has a particular set of skills…

      3. complete bullshit. Schools require signed permission in advance for someone to take your kid from school. Only relatives or friends on a pre-approved list can pick up your kid.

        1. Thanks, Your Ladyship. Also, how would that kid get through customs without a passport, get boarded on a flight without raising the suspicions of the cabin crew, etc, etc.

          1. They must have snuck them on in the carry on luggage. It’s not like the TSA would notice.

      4. That thing reads as if it were written by a newly-graduated social worker who is typing with one hand.

        1. While batin’ with the other?

          1. That is usually the implication of “typing one handed”. Are you too young to have participated in chat rooms at the dawn of the Internet?

            1. In the internet that I came from, the implication used to be “making a grilled cheese sandwich” with the other.

              1. Haven’t heard that one. My other go-to is ‘killing kittens’.

                1. As in fi you, persnaly, are not typing or masturb8ing you r murdering catz? Or if you’re making a joke about someone’s typing use killing cats as the distracting occupation?

                  Not that *I* enjoy murdering cats or anything, I’m just asking for a friend. A friend that you shouldn’t judge.

      5. Do people actually accept random friend requests?

        1. I do! My account is fake though.

  8. Hope none of Lenore’s kids ever get hurt. Can you imagine the shitstorm that would erupt?

    1. Don’t worry, I got a guy monitoring them all the time.

      /tasteless joke

    2. Nice kids you got there, sure would be a shame if somethin happened to ’em.

    3. Hope none of Lenore’s kids ever get hurt. Can you imagine the shitstorm that would erupt?

      Private investigators… unlicensed physicians… libertopia… anarchy… sex trafficking… black market for human organs… end of the human race.

  9. Yay, the same auto-playing video posted twice. Welcome back, kids!

    1. DOUBLE THE FUN

      1. Oh God, it refreshes when you post a comment. Why Reason, why?

        1. It’s not auto-playing for me. Reason must just hate you.

          1. Apparently there is an option in Firefox for system administrators to disable add-on installation. I used to have AdBlock…

        2. It’s really Comedy Central’s fault. But I wish people would just start linking to the video, rather than embedding it and Comedy Central’s shitty auto-start player into the post.

  10. Related anecdote: I listen to Never Not Funny, a podcast hosted by comedian Jimmy Pardo. He’s a pretty typical liberal/progressive, what you’d expect. Over the past year, they’ve been talking more and more about these stories and Skenazy, though I don’t think they recall her name. The co-host Matt Belknap has brought up the Meitiv case in Maryland, and I think one or two others, and the whole room criticized it. He’s also talked about Skenazy’s project to let kids walk to the store and all that. I was impressed that Skenazy and free range parenting is really getting out there; it’s not just something in our libertarian circles.

    Along those same lines, there’s been a few times in the past few months that Pardo has pointed out that he gets visibly scared any time he is alone with someone else’s child. He will walk out of a public bathroom if there is a kid and he is the only adult. It’s a sad state of affairs, but it is the safest course of action for an adult man now, and more are starting to realize that.

    1. How closely affiliated with Reason is Skenazy? Is the generally libertarian in other areas? I’m just curious. It has no impact on how good of an idea the whole Free Range Kids thing is (for the record, it’s an awesome idea).

      1. I don’t know. I’ve only read her stuff on here. Which I know is not a useful answer, but I’m raising the possibility that she’s a single-issue person. Which is fine because it avoids diluting her message and avoids her getting bogged-down in purity tests.

        1. FWIW, a bit of Googling seems to indicate that she generally leans libertarian. Like you said though, doesn’t really matter.

          BUT I did happen to stumble across this gem from some skeptic website

          After all, just look at the all the libertarians who say that so much of Civil Rights was unconstitutional, and that public businesses should be allowed abuse, mistreat and reject others based on prejudice. All while claiming that they *personally* oppose bigotry and oppression, even though their actions encourage it to thrive in society.

          Boy, they have our number. We stand for nothing if not for the right to abuse and mistreat people.

          1. The skeptic movement is absolutely infested with people who use the word “progressive” as a superlative.

            I would have supposed that a focus on developing a rational world view would naturally lead to a libertarian political philosophy, but the skeptic movement’s origins in the northeastern halls of academia have given it the legacy of an echo-chamber of leftist ideology.

            It is truly jarring to hear people so vociferously dedicated to rationality being completely unhinged, team-first, progressive ideologs in the realm of politics.

      2. She’s always credited with her book, blog, TV show i.e. she’s never listed as a contributor to Reason.

      3. It has no impact on how good of an idea the whole Free Range Kids thing is

        I suspect that for a lot of progtards if word got out that free range parenting was even loosely associated with those icky libertarians it would change their attitude toward it.

  11. I don’t get the disconnect. Social workers, public schools and cops are actual, quantifiable realized dangers to our children, and yet they’re about the only things The Public is not concerned about when their kids are concerned. We have real monsters, and they quiver in fear of imagined boogeymen.

    Does not compute.

  12. (Jon Stewart) “Republicans. . . ”

    (Audience boos and hisses)

    …”are stupid!”

    (Audience applauds vigorously)

    Stewart makes comical sad face

    (Audience cheers wildly)

  13. I didn’t know Skenazy had that Discovery show. And, man, did they ever pick the right name for it…

    Those moms they have on that show almost have to be actors-it’s just too hard to believe these are real people raising the newest generation.

    1. it’s just too hard to believe these are real people raising the newest generation.

      Mmno, no it’s not really.

      1. It is for me. These families should be in therapy (and, may very well be) with the amount of tension and stress the mothers are showing.

        If the ones she interacts with don’t change, I’m inclined to hope for some type of somatic disorder to beset them later on.

        1. with the amount of tension and stress the mothers are showing.

          My ex-wife used to work in the neo-natal unit in a hospital. These were referred to as high-functioning-high-needs patients. They’d literally come into the hospital, sit down with the caregivers and start going page-by-page throug a large 3 ring binder of information they had printed up over the internet. They wanted to be “involved” at all levels of their baby’s care, and make sure that every contingency was being taken care of.

          Educated, usually white, high earning professional, often (but not always) lesbian couples who had done in vitro.

          You’d be shocked at the number if very, very anxious parents out there. The white educated couple in Idiocracy was uncomfortably close to the truth.

        2. It would be nice to know how many of the parents on Lenore’s show are on anti-depressants.

  14. Marc Maron tackled this in a recent episode of his show:

    This week’s episode of Maron took us through the tribulations of being alone. The Request finds Marc Maron in the park, on a bench, listening to music on his headphones when an attractive lady approaches. At first, the audience and Marc are inclined to think that the lady is hitting on him, when out of nowhere, he is asked to leave the park because adults without children aren’t allowed at the playground – as the sign clearly states. When Maron protests the stupid sign, the woman signals the other mom to call the police. Marc leaves while ranting about the stupidity of the situation.

    I wish I could find a screenshot of the sign. I swear they’ll be popping in in parks soon (if they haven’t already).

    1. Funny, about an hour ago, I was warned not to be putting up flags on veterans graves in a cemetery next to a pre-school because someone might misinterpret my presence there.

      1. Oh, for fuck’s sake…

    2. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he got the idea for that from an actual sign at a park.

    3. I’ve seen that kind of sign at a few playgrounds in New York.

    4. From the summary, it sure seems Maron rebuts the stereotype of single people being weird!

      /sarc

      1. The summary in the linked article, where he volunteers to get a lesbian pregnant.

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  17. No, no. Clearly the only way to keep kids safe is to lock them up in their bedrooms, never letting them out.

    http://psychology.about.com/od…../genie.htm

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