Let's hear it for calling hysteria hysteria and not, "Just being safe." In a huge article about parental anxiety and what it's doing to kids, Stephen Marshe in Maclean's magazine (Canada's answer to Time), writes:
Recently I let my 11-year-old son walk home from his school in downtown Toronto. He walked four blocks through one of the safest neighbourhoods in one of the safest cities in the world, and he was stopped three times by other parents, who were worried about whether he was OK to be on the street by himself. This generalized anxiety over our children is, in the light of the facts and when compared against history, totally insane.
Children in Canada and the United States are growing up in unprecedented safety. According to the FBI, reports of missing children went down 40 percent between 1997 and 2014.... From 1993 to 2013, the number of children struck by cars dropped by two-thirds.... The rate of violent crimes against youth declined 77 percent... So, all in all, the kids have never been safer. And we’ve never been more worried about them.
Our kids absorb this worry. Childhood anxiety is climbing. What can be done?
At Let Grow, we believe that once parents see how capable their kids can be in the world, the worry gets crowded out by pride and joy. "Look at what my kid can do!"
But it's a Catch 22: Parents need the experience of letting their kids go before they feel comfortable letting their kids go. To give them that first, crucial experience, they need a little push. And that's what the Let Grow Project is:
Teachers tell kids to go home and do ONE THING ON THEIR OWN. The parents let them (after all, it's homework!). And that one independent activity breaks the ice.
Here's our latest 2-minute video about the Project, below. (Earlier video here.) We are choosing several schools to pilot our project in the 2018-2019 school year. Feel free to propose your school by dropping a note to Info@LetGrow.org .