Count me in on the new wave of old school parenting sweeping through the culture right now. Lenore Skenazy calls it Free Range parenting, which works well enough, but it’s basically bringing back the classic notion that kids need space and independence so that they can grow into free thinking, confident, and autonomous adults.
I realize the idea of Free Range is relative. I just talked to an at-home dad friend who encountered a 10 year old girl who was run over by two different cars when she tried to cross a four lane road. One could say that her mother, who was nowhere in site, should have been at her child’s side protecting her, but one could also say that her mother should have taught her child to cross at crosswalks (which she wasn’t), to look both ways, and to stay out of the street. Free Range parenting does not mean that kids should go out into the world unprotected and unprepared, but it does mean that they should be given the same opportunities for informed independence that kids received two decades ago.
Lenore will be on Nightline tonight to talk about the gadgets and gizmos sold to parents in the name of child safety – things like wipe warmers, crib nets, and kid leashes. Word to new parents, you don’t need all that crap. I had a second kid just so I could raise her without all the rubbish I thought I needed the first time (just kidding).
Don’t worry if you miss it because you can check out this wonderful post about the root of modern parents’ helicopter syndrome – attachment parenting. Best of all, the post was written by a noted attachment parenting author. She takes the middle path and tells parents to go ahead and co-sleep, but don’t raise them in a sanitized overly-managed bubble.
And just to cap off this post, check out the post by a pregnant Kari Byron (of Mythbusters fame). She debunks pregnancy myths. More of that please!