I’m very excited to share today’s episode with you! I’ve followed Lenore’s work for over a decade and she’s been a big influence in how I parent my children. You may have heard about her on national news networks like the Today Show, the Daily Show, MSNBC, and more after she let her 9-year old son ride the subway alone. That one subway trip earned her the title of “World’s Worst Mom” by those who disagreed with her parenting decision.
We talk about her experience being thrust into the limelight this way and how it brought about the birth of her book Free Range Kids, which has since turned into a movement. Lenore has lectured everywhere from DreamWorks to Microsoft, and schools across America. She’s also the co-founder and president of a project called Let Grow (which I love!).
In our age of constant news media, a litigious society, and helicopter parenting, it can be shocking for some to think that leaving our kids alone more can be a good thing. Lenore discusses how creative play alone and with other groups is vital to social, emotional, and mental development in kids. Why organized sports and adult led after school clubs don’t cut it and why kids need time to be bored. How this ties in with the rising depression and anxiety rates in children and what we can do about it.
I’ve learned so much from Lenore and I’m sure you will too!
Episode Highlights With Lenore
- How she initially rose to fame by letting her child ride the subway alone and how she got the title “America’s worst mom” because of it
- The way we got to a point where we’re afraid to let our kids do things that many of us remember doing
- Crime is lower now than when we were kids so why are we more worried?
- Two big things that happened in the 1980s that shifted parenting in the US
- Big factors that have influenced why we have more fear around parenting now
- Why we all have the desire to keep our kids safe but the downsides of an over curated childhood
- The negative effects of over curated childhood for children
- Why more kids are having depression and anxiety and how kids feeling underestimated can contribute to this
- How too much control is harming children and why kids need an internal locus of control
- Independence, responsibility, and trust all help contribute to this internal locus of control for kids
- What the Let Grow Project is and the free resources they have
- How to rewire your own fears as a parent to feel safe in letting our kids have more independence
Resources We Mention
- Free-Range Kids: How Parents and Teachers Can Let Go and Let Grow by Lenore Skenazy
- Let Grow Website
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- Free to Learn by Peter Gray
- The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
- Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
- Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports–and Why It Matters by Linda Flanagan
More From Wellness Mama
- 579: My First Principles Parenting Approach and What Works for Me
- 390: How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kids for Success With Julie Lythcott-Haims
- 544: Amy McCready on 5 Hard Truths About Parenting (& Steps to a Calmer Home Life)
- 471: Dr. Jen Forristal on Umbrella Parenting and Raising Children With Strong Coping Skills
- 414: Ancestral Parenting, Biological Norms, Wild Food, and Foraging With Arthur Haines
- 663: Mental Health, Time Management and Learning Together With Our Kids With Sara Olsher
- Overprotected Childhood: How Keeping Kids Safe is Actually Harming Them
- My Parenting Rule to Foster Independence (& Save My Sanity)
- 9 Important Skills We Should Teach Our Kids
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