June 23, 2008 in Features

Parents Council: Are we too paranoid?

The Spokesman-Review

When New York Sun writer Lenore Skenazy wrote a column about how she lets her 9-year-old son take the subway alone, she received a barrage of criticism. The Huffington Post not only labeled her “America’s Worst Mom,” people also wanted to turn her in for child abuse.

“Somehow, a whole lot of parents are just convinced that nothing outside the home is safe,” Skenazy wrote on her blog, titled Free-Range Kids. “At the same time, they’re also convinced that their children are helpless to fend for themselves. While most of these parents walked to school as kids, or hiked the woods – or even took public transportation – they can’t imagine their own offspring doing the same thing. … “They have lost confidence in everything: Their neighborhood. Their kids. And their own ability to teach their children how to get by in the world. As a result, they batten down the hatches.”

What do you think? Are cities and towns less safe and kids more vulnerable to crimes like child abduction and sexual abuse than in previous generations? Or are some parents just overprotective?

How do you strike a balance between making sure your kids are safe and giving them the freedom to explore and become independent?

Share your thoughts at spokesman review.com/ blogs/parents.

– Virginia de Leon

Things to do

For ideas on low-cost summer fun, turn to the Stay & Play feature inside today’s “A” section.

You’ll also find a family calendar on page B3, and a listing of family-friendly activities is posted daily at spokesman review.com/ blogs/parents.

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