Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free-Range Kids

(Ready for a post not about a Lego kit?)

I ordered the book "Free-Range Kids" today, by Leonore Skenazy. She became famous and infamous for allowing her 9-year-old son to follow a well-traveled route on a subway in New York City by himself!!! She gave him a cell phone, pocket change for a phone call and 20 dollars, assured herself that he knew exactly what train to take and how to ask for help if he needed it, AND LET HIM GET ON WITH IT.

Anyone who has read "The Cricket In Times Square" will recognize Skenazy's kid. In that book, a kid goes across NYC to Chinatown all by himself to find out just how to take care of his pet cricket. No parents hovering around, no chauffeuring parental unit, no adult supervision. And that book isn't that old. The book is so entirely quaint, because no kid these days would be allowed to do what the kid in the book does.

Except maybe Skenazy's kid.

I also have been reading through her entire blog.

Back around September 8, she wrote:
"And so many moms pick their kids up from the bus stop these days, it’s like they’re raising kobe beef. "
And those are kids who live a couple of blocks from the bus stop--in one case she mentions a parent who gets yelled at by neighbors for letting her kid walk to a school which is within sight of their house.

Kobe beef kids. Or maybe fois gras kids. That's what people are raising. Unchallenged, pudgy, doughy, utterly-dependent-until-they're-30 kids.

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