Community Herald: Free-range kids in an imperfect world

“There’s a wonderful, imperfect world out there and our kids belong in it.” That’s the message the “World’s Worst Mom” shared with 227 early childcare educators and parents at Bubble Wrap Begone, a recent conference in Halifax.

From wings that help toddlers not toddle, to knee pads that make crawling comfortable, how far has society gone to coddle our kids?

Known for letting her nine-year-old take the subway solo, Lenore Skenazy, Author of Free-Range Kids, tackles helicopter parents head-on, with humour and insight.

Read it here in the Community Herald.freerange

“Your mind works like Google. You ask yourself, will I let my child go the bus stop? And then just like Google, all the bad stories about kids and bus stops pop into your mind. But what doesn’t, is the 100’s of millions of kids who have taken the bus successfully, gone to school and made it back home…your mind thinks these are the most relevant (facts) but they’re not,” says the author.

 

“What’s changed to change us as parents” according to Skenazy:

      1. Media Coverage: “It’s the idea that you’re not supposed to trust anyone around our children,” says Skenazy, because your mind recalls every bad story you’ve heard or read. They appear top on the ‘Google search list’ of your memory’s recall.
      2. Expert Culture: From To Do lists for women even before they’re expecting a baby, to step-by-step rules on feeding, communicating, stimulating development: society has a way of judging if anything is imperfect about a child, it’s the parents fault.
      3. Living in a litigious society: Rules and risks are attached to every action, from lower playground slides and stringent playground rules: how children play at school or in the playground is governed by risk assessment. Kids R Kids daycare proprietor Heather Hanson-Dunbar says, children at her daycare can adventure barefoot and are allowed “to go up the slide,” if that’s where their exploration takes them.