Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Do you let your kids have some freedom?

There she is--the fiend.
There is a war raging between parents who drive their kids everyplace and hover, and those who let kids do some things on their own.

The latter sometimes get nailed by child protective services for letting grade schoolers walk home from school or sit in a car with a baby asleep while Mom runs in a store to get milk.

Some of this was kicked up by writer Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry).

In the Washington Post Sunday, there was a lively discussion of her decision to let her 9-yr-old son take the DC subway alone. Many commenters were perfectly comfortable with judging her the worst mom ever.

After urging my daughter to call people for movie times, go to salad bars alone, and even run to public restrooms by herself, she rode the DC subway two blocks to parochial school when she was nine. I pointed this out in the Washington Post Sunday and you'd think I sent a toddler to thumb it to pre-school.

My daughter managed to survive and is almost 33--I told her about this discussion and she said, "How stupid, I was fine--of course, you didn't know where I went after I got off the subway."


Skenazy has a reality show starting tonight on Discovery Live--called, of course, World's Worst Mom.

Any brand of parenting can take some jumps on you--my daughter may have gone out on her own then, but she still sticks close to home now.

Go know.


Lenore Skenazy said...

I am curious as to what your daughter DID do after she got off the subway! I hope she got lots of candy and hung out with friends. Go mom!! Go daughter! -- Lenore "Free-Range" Skenazy

Star Lawrence said...

Hmmm...well, the way I got the story much later, she learned to smoke and entertain males her own 12. So she was precocious! Sue me!