For the past 10 years Free-Range Kids’ Lenore Skenazy, New York City journalist and mom of two, has been taking one for the team. The Free-Range Kids author and blog founder has been on a one-woman mission to give kids back the freedom and autonomy they need to grow into self-actualized adults.
I can’t get enough of every single thing she has to say, including stats like:
- Crime is back to the level it was when gas cost 29 cents a gallon, says the Christian Science Monitor.
- Crime is back to the level it was before color TV, says The Week magazine.
- 2013 gun crime rate back to level of early 1960s, says Pew Study.
- 2014 violent crime rate down another4.4%, says USA Today.
- Pedestrian, bicyclist and car deaths ALSO at lowest rate in decades, says The Council on Foreign Relations.
- And here’s an overall report on crime over the last 25 years, which includes the graph below: Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School
- All violent crime in the U.S.: Down 48% 1993 – 2012
- All homicides: Down 50.5% 1993-2012
- Forcible rape: Down 34.5% 1993 – 2012
- Violence Against Children 2-17 is going down too (and not just because we are helicoptering. Crime is down grown men and women too, and we don’t helicopter them):
- Physical Assault: down 33% 2003 – 2011
- Rape, attempted or completed: down 43% 2003 – 2011
In fact, the most dangerous thing your kids can do? RIDE IN A CAR!!
I love Lenore’s informed candor about what is happening in the world, and what you and I can do about it. Examples:
- Let your kids walk to the bus stop alone.
- Let your kids play at the playground alone.
- Let your kids stay home unsupervised while friends are over — unsupervised.
- Let your kid do their own homework.
My only problem with the Free-Range Kids movement is that it isn’t adopted widely or quickly enough — despite my eff-you nature I still feel pressure from other parents to hover, coddle and bake way more cupcakes than are good for my time management or public health. I resent that when I am forced to spend time with my kids at the playground, those are hours I cannot work — or do something less mind-numbing.
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