Thanks to the Utah "Free-Range Parenting" Bill, inspired by the book and movement I founded, "Let Grow" is getting a lot of attention.
The Washington Post:
Utah’s ‘free-range parenting’ law said to be first in the nation
By Meagan Flynn March 28 at 4:32 AM
It all started when Lenore Skenazy let her 9-year-old ride the subway home alone. She gave him a map, a MetroCard, a $20 bill and — just in case — some quarters for a pay phone call, and left him in the handbag section in New York’s original Bloomingdale’s. It was all his idea. He had begged Skenazy to just leave him somewhere and let him find his way back all by himself, until finally, on a spring day in 2008, she let him do it.
“I trusted him to figure out that he should take the Lexington Avenue subway down, and the 34th Street crosstown bus home,” she wrote in her 2008 column for the New York Sun, the one that ended up starting a movement. “If he couldn’t do that, I trusted him to ask a stranger. And then I even trusted that stranger not to think, ‘Gee, I was about to catch my train home, but now I think I’ll abduct this adorable child instead.’
“Long story short: My son got home, ecstatic with independence.”
Within days, Skenazy’s story went viral, as parents across the country wondered whether she was “America’s Worst Mom” or just one who valued her kid’s independence. Within a year, she wrote a book. She coined a new term. She called her parenting style “free-range,” in which she allowed her son to do various activities without her stifling supervision.
And now it’s the basis of a new law in Utah....
And The New York Times:
Utah Passes ‘Free-Range’ Parenting Law
It is not a crime for parents to let their children play unsupervised in a park or walk home from school alone under a law signed by Utah’s governor last week.
The law, which reflects a movement known as free-range parenting, goes into effect on May 8 and is the first of its kind in the nation. But its backers say lawmakers in several other states are considering introducing similar bills....
Lenore Skenazy, the former New York Daily News columnist who is credited with starting the free-range parenting movement, has been advocating for such a law for four years. Ms. Skenazy was called “America’s worst mom” after writing a column 10 years ago about why she let her 9-year-old son ride the New York City subway by himself.
“No one should have to second-guess their decision if they feel their kids are safe, the neighborhood is safe,” she said....
And The Wall Street Journal (I wrote this one):
Parents, You Can Stop Helicoptering
...The Utah law redefines neglect to exclude letting kids walk to school, play outside, remain briefly in a vehicle under certain conditions, stay at home as a latchkey kid, or engage in any “similar independent activity.” It adds that children should be of “sufficient age and maturity to avoid harm or unreasonable risk of harm,” which could leave the door open for overzealous officials. But clearly the law leans in the direction of giving Free-Range parents the benefit of the doubt.
In America, we keep talking about how we need to raise a generation of kids who are smart, resilient problem-solvers ready to take on the chaotic, robotic economy ahead. We can’t do it by standing always by their side, solving all their problems.