When I say her name people begin to tell me about Lenore Skenazy’s show, Bubblewrap Kids. Others who know more of her career know her as ‘America’s Worst Mom’ or the woman who let her nine-year-old son ride a New York subway on his own.
Skenazy’s book is a little frightening for two reasons:
One, though she tried, she could not pursuade me that things like a little Patience riding the subway alone is OK. That stuff is scary.
Two, it’s a shame we may not let our children live based on media and fear.
Love her or hate her, she is right in saying things get blown way out of proportion in the media. Bottom line, fear sells. A teacher in my journalism course spoke of a newspaper that only had happy news, and it failed. You twisted people love scandal!
Skenazy writes of the good old days of fun playgrounds, playing outside, and Halloween Trick-or-Treating. I did all these things, you probably did too (except for my England readers- sorry you missed out!)
You know what’s sad? I’m really scared of Patience playing outside or walking to school one day. I’m not immune. Skenazy herself admits to her own fears, a refreshing candid approach.
Though crime rates are not rising, it seems that way since we are surrounded by 24/7 media. It’s kind of like how sharks get a bad rep because we hear the one time they attack a human as opposed to the years that go by with no shark attacks at all.
I may not be laid back enough to allow my kiddo to do some Free-Range suggestions, but I’m open minded enough to suggest you all give this book a read, it’ll be worth your time and may just comfort you in some situations (Like it did me when I lost Patience in a department store for a whole two minutes)
I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com