An article in Newsweek brings up an interesting topic. Are today’s kids over coddled compared to past generations?
The debate was fueled when a New York Sun columnist, Lenore Skenazy, wrote about how she let her fourth-grader ride the subway alone. She was bombarded with hate messages calling her a bad mom and practically accusing her of child abuse.
But, on the hand she did get some support from other moms for bucking the “helicopter parent” trend. In case you haven’t heard of that term, a helicopter parent is someone who constantly hovers over his or her child’s every move. Skenazy decided to start a blog, called Free Range Kids to promote the idea that modern kids deserve the same independence that our generation did.
I don’t consider myself a helicopter mom. Now, I don’t know if I feel comfortable letting my child ride the subway alone. But, then again, riding the subway is a little foreign to me since there’s no subway in my city to ride.
I do, however, let my 5-year-old play outside by himself. We live in a subdivision, at the bottom of a private drive. We know our neighbors, and just as long as he tells me where he’s going, he’s free to go outside and play by himself.
At a party, I’m usually the mom that lets her kids play unsupervised with the other kids while I kick back and socialize with the adults. They know where I am if they need me. (By the beer cooler!) But, just as long if they’re in the perimeter of the house, fence, or within earshot. They’re good. And I’m good.
Growing up, I remember playing outside with friends from sunrise to sunset, practically never seeing my mom until dinner time. I had free range of the neighborhood, and those times ended up as some of my greatest childhood memories.
So I consider myself more of a free ranger, than a helicopter. But, every child is different, and some kids need more supervision than others. Plus, the age of the child plays a factor, too. What’s your opinion?
Thanks to my friend, Adam, for sending me the link to the Newsweek article!