Free-range Kids

That’s the name of columnist Lenore Skenazy’s New blog. You know, the Manhattan mom who (Gasp! Horror!) let her 9-year-old come home on the subway by himself. Background story here.

I used to ride the bus to school myself at 7 or so. Admittedly, Jerusalem in the 70s was a pretty quiet place…well, except for the occasional bus bombing (this was before the days of suicide bombers; the terrorists would leave a bomb in the bus’s wastebasket or under a seat and get off before it detonated). But this was how even sheltered, overprotected me lived at the time. Nowadays, some of my neighbors won’t let their teenagers ride the bus. 9/11 notwithstanding, I don’t think Ms. Skenazy’s son really has to worry about that. As she points out, the chance of his getting abducted is extremely small, though it’s uppermost on the mind of every overprotective parent. and there is a definite benefit to a child who can prove him/herself a reliable, independent human being. Too much coddling can’t possibly be good for any child. And I wish I wasn’t speaking from experience…

But why shouldn’t a 9 year old be able to navigate around Manhattan himself? Depending on the child, of course. My eldest ( 10 ) would take to it with ease. My younger son ( 8 ) is somewhat more flighty, but he could probably manage in a year from now, with a little initial guidance.

Anyway, definitely a blog to watch and potential blogroll fodder.

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2 Responses

  1. I am worried about my 23 year old running around Manhattan! Now maybe Boston? Boston is a more civilized city. We do not push each other! In Manhattan elderly ladies will kick you a$$!

    I don’t agree with sending out your 9 year old to fend for himself in the USA. Yes, it will be an interesting blog to follow. Yes, the 70s were a different time.

    I gotta tell you the Bombings scare the crap out of me!!! I just can’t wrap my brain around someone leaving a bomb in a crowded place….

  2. It may be a “the devil you know” kind of thing…in this case, Skenazy’s son is a native Manhattanite. He’s roaming about on his own turf.

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