Nice note from a reader, Melissa Lentz James, owner of Creative Copy and Design:
I am very successful in my career as a writer and graphic designer (and business owner!). I absolutely would NOT be where I am today if I had not grown up free-range!I spent my summers building forts in the woods and knocking on friends' doors to see if they could come out to play kickball on the street (barefoot!). Managing my own time (business skill), creating things outdoors with random materials (design skills and resourcefulness), initiating playdates and games (taking initiative), playing our homemade games (collaborative work)... Seriously none of this was developed in school! If I only played indoors with friends, after my mommy arranged the time and details, I would have a very different (worse) life right now! I am doing everything possible to step back so my kids can create worlds on their own and build similar perspectives and skill sets.
Melissa in Yorktown, Virginia
Thanks, in part, to marketing, which spends a lot of effort convincing us we need to buy things for our kids, like fancy toys and classes, we keep forgetting that "enrichment" activities include the things that parents don't pay for or organize. You were probably enriched by many of the same things as Melissa. Your kids will thrive on some of that enrichment, too.
Think of her note as an ad for free time. - L.
Above: Melissa Lentz James and husband Lt. Col. Derek James