Home & Leisure

We Wanted the Best for Our Kids -- But Made a Mistake

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

An article about to be published in the Journal of Pediatrics is titled, "Decline in Independent Activity as a Cause of Decline in Children's Mental Wellbeing: Summary of the Evidence."

The authors are three big names in child development: Anthropologist David Lancy, psychologist David Bjorklund and Peter Gray, a professor in the Dept. of ...Read more

The Kids are Owl Right

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Meet Flaco, the Free-Range Kid... who happens to be an owl.

At age 13, having spent almost his entire life in the Central Park Zoo where he was pampered, loved and educated (his home had a mural), this Eurasian eagle-owl was suddenly sprung from his cushy confines the night of Feb. 2. Someone -- not me! -- cut a hole in his wire mesh cage and ...Read more

NJ Dad Arrested After Letting His Child Walk Outside

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

This fall, just as Keith Kaplan was finishing up his first term as a town councilman in the New York suburb of Teaneck, New Jersey, he proposed a Reasonable Childhood Independence bill. It states that when parents allow kids to perform age-old independent activities, like walking or playing outside, they are not guilty of "neglect" unless the ...Read more

Adults Are the Reason Kids are Addicted to Phones

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

What to do about all the young people on their phones, growing depressed, anxious... and worse?

Well, there's an ancient plaything kids have loved forever (literally). It keeps them occupied for hours and can probably hold its own against TikTok. It's called "the world."

If we liberate kids from all the time they're spending in cars, classes ...Read more

Still Judging Parents, Even When They're Dead

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

A very long study of about 1,000 adults born in the '50s and '60s looked at how they were raised, and whether that upbringing had an impact on their longevity. The researchers found that folks who'd grown up overprotected were more likely to die before age 80 than, I guess, Free-Range Kids (now Free-Range Geezers).

As reported in ...Read more

My Spongy Valentine

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

As Cupid's favorite day draws near

It's time to give full-throated cheer

Not just to all the gals and guys

With whom we share our love (and fries)

But also to those other things

That buoy the soul like water wings.

Things so everyday-ish they

Get overlooked. But not today!

Today we frankly celebrate

The stuff we overlook that's great.

...Read more

The Dunkin' Donuts Case

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

It was Super Bowl Sunday in February 2019. Cynthia Rivers and her husband decided that their kids, 7 and 9, deserved a long-promised treat for cleaning their rooms: the chance to walk to Dunkin' Donuts, a mile away, by themselves. (I changed her name to protect the family's anonymity.)

This was in a suburban town in western Connecticut. The ...Read more

It's Not Just You

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

It is hard to stay sane in this crazy world! Luckily, many of the conditions plaguing Americans today are mild and temporary. Including:

Hairanoia: The suspicion that everybody is just saying they love your new haircut.

Kinsomnia: The inability to fall asleep once one starts thinking about one's family.

Rexhibitionism: Childhood ...Read more

Letting Kids Play Outside is Not Neglect

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

Each year, the nonprofit I helm, Let Grow, works with local advocacy groups, parents and sometimes even kids to get states to pass the "Reasonable Childhood Independence" law. This law says that "child neglect" is when you put your kid in serious, obvious and likely danger -- not anytime you take your eyes off them.

Want your kids to play ...Read more

More Stuff for Parents to Buy

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

"Walking Wings" aren't wings. The product is a vest that goes around your baby with long straps on the top that you can yank to pull them upright, like a marionette. According to its marketing materials, this vest ensures your kid will "take fewer tumbles, which will help to build his confidence." As if kids don't build confidence from learning ...Read more

Talking to Strangers

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

What a fantastic study: Research just published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that when people are prompted to talk to a stranger, surprising things happen:

They start to feel less awkward after doing it a few times.

They feel less likely to be rejected.

They are more willing to do it in the future.

They consider ...Read more

Safety Gone Overboard

Parents / Lenore Skenazy /

What happens when society get so concerned about child safety that it starts imagining danger EVERYWHERE, and punishes anyone remaining rational? Here are the child-safety follies of 2022:


Last year around this time, Heather Wallace asked her son Aidan, 8, to get out and walk the half...Read more



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