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Overly Cautious or Overly Crazy?

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"Soooooo, it happened. The police were called because my 8 year old was riding her bike on our street."

That's the email I got from Kay Eskridge, a Kentucky mom, former Child Protective Services worker, and fan of the Free-Range Kids movement. Over the years, she's written to me several times about our shared passion for childhood ...Read more

A Fun Way to Fight Childhood Anxiety

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Wouldn't it be great if there was a new, fast, even cheerful way to fight the tide of anxiety engulfing this generation of kids?

It sure would. And darned if the latest Journal of Anxiety Disorders doesn't feature one. It's called independence therapy: having kids do new things, on their own, without their parents.

A pilot study conducted by...Read more

Fear Erupts Over America

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Sometimes a gal's gotta rant (again), so here goes.

Shootings are devastating. Obviously! But I also wonder about the value of LUMPING shootings together and reporting them as such. My Yahoo newsfeed on Monday screamed, "GUN VIOLENCE ERUPTS OVER FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND."

Then, in a country of 333 million, it told of three shootings in three ...Read more

Making Recess Fun -- for Bureaucrats

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

A mom who wished to remain anonymous recently went to her daughter's Maryland elementary school to ask why the kids aren't allowed to play tag, or even close their eyes, at recess.

"We'd recently transferred from another district, and my daughter was taken aback by how many rules there were," said the mom.

There are indeed a lot of rules at ...Read more

What '70s Kids Did That Today's Kids Don't

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Louise Bates Ames is one of the psychologists who popularized the idea of child development milestones. In the late '70s, she wrote a series of books outlining what kids are capable of at different ages.

The one you may have heard about is "Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant." That's thanks to Chicago blogger Christie Whitley, who ...Read more

To Get Kids Off Phones, Open the Door!

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Sorry -- another rant. Or maybe it's more of a revelation. It's this:

Giving kids phones makes possible the impossible demands on parents, that they supervise, assist, drive and chaperone their kids everywhere, every day -- usually while holding down another job.

It's only because we can hand kids their electronic devices that we can get this ...Read more

How to Become a Clue on 'Jeopardy!'

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"Wow!!!!" "Congrats!" "Next step: New York Times crossword puzzle!"

The texts started coming thick and fast on Friday after I achieved the modern-day equivalent of immortality: I became a clue on "Jeopardy!"

The category was "Points of View," and the clue was this:

"Lenore Skenazy, who wrote of letting her 9-year-old ride the NYC subway alone...Read more

The Stealth Reason College Kids Are So Miserable

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

The Wall Street Journal reports that today's college students are so lonely, sad and socially anxious that they grab their dining hall food to go -- preferring to eat in their rooms.

Time spent in dining halls is down 40%, according to Degree Analytics, a company measuring students' time spent where on campus. Attendance at sporting events, ...Read more

The College Essay of Finn Fox, R.I.P.

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Today I devote my column to the college essay of Finn Fox. His parents, John and Erica, are sharing it in the hope that it encourages more parents to nurture their children's exploration and independence.

"Tragically and still unfathomably," they write, "our beloved Finn was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2023 and died in September, ...Read more

What Ever Happened to the Jolly Green Giant?

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Recently, I tracked down some of the most iconic spokescreatures in the advertising world.

What had become of Morris the Cat? Charlie the Tuna?

Well, even in this era of social media, it was hard to track down everyone. But I did manage to meet up with a few. Alas, life has not been kind to all our old favorites, including:

The Jolly Green ...Read more

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Toddlers

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Face it: a head start is a head start.

Parents know this -- and so do their toddlers. Underage overachievers can't afford to wait till kindergarten. They need to grab the cat by the tail. Savvy publishers, awakening to this huge (if pre-literate) market are busy preparing the very first self-help books for preschoolers. Some bestsellers in the ...Read more

 

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