Free Range Kids

Free Range Kids

On January 26, Lenore Skenazy presented to hundreds of parents and community members on Free Range Kids: Independent, Smart, and Ready to Lead. This Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week event was sponsored by many community organizations included School District No. 73, the District Parent Advisory Council, Literacy in Kamloops, Make Children First, Children’s Therapy and Resource Centre, and Interior Savings Credit Union.

Lenore told a true and engaging story. She and her husband decided to grant their nine year old son’s request, allowing him to find his way home alone – in New York City! He successfully navigated a subway line and the bus system, arriving at his Manhattan apartment with a great sense of accomplishment. The media was not as impressed, however. Lenore was questioned publicly and made to feel like a bad parent.

In her presentation, Lenore reflects on this experience. She wonders why parents often expect the worst and are less likely to let their children play and explore these days. She suggests there are four main reasons:

  • The media is influential.
  • We live in a litigious society.
  • Expert advice is everywhere.
  • There is a child-safety industrial complex.

Lenore’s advice to parents is to relax a little and give childhood back to children. This can be done by giving children more unsupervised time - and not feeling guilty (or judging others) for doing so.