Helicopter Parents vs. Free Range Kids: Q&A with “America’s Worst Mom” Lenore Skenazy

“If you google ‘America’s worst mom,’ I’m there for 68…pages,” says Lenore Skenazy, proprietor of the controversial parenting site Free-Range Kids, a book …

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25 thoughts on “Helicopter Parents vs. Free Range Kids: Q&A with “America’s Worst Mom” Lenore Skenazy

  1. “If you google ‘America’s worst mom,’ I’m there for 68…pages,” says
    Lenore Skenazy, proprietor of the controversial parenting site Free-Range
    Kids, a book of the same title, and a syndicated columnist for Creators.

    Since 2009, Skenazy has been waging a non-stop battle against helicopter
    parents, nanny-state nuisances, and a media consumed by scare stories about
    everything from child abduction to food additives to sports injuries. The
    result is what Skenazy calls “‘worst-first thinking,’ which is coming up
    with the worst thing that could possibly happen and then proceeding as if
    it’s likely to happen.”

    Such a mind-set culminates in over-protective parents and a society that
    insulates children that has turned childhood from a time of fun and
    exploration into a version of 24-hour lockdown. “You have to admit that
    there’s a little bit of risk in everything and that there’s never been a
    safer time to be a child on this planet,” says Skenazy.

  2. Helicopter parenting is about NOT micro-managing kids playtime. Obesity is
    about making bad food available to them. Video games is about keeping them
    distracted indoors. This lady is trying to convey the message of trust,
    which is how I was raised. I’m not fat and I don’t play video games; one
    example of her method.

  3. I’ve found that people that adhere to the precautionary principle and are
    afraid of statistically rare crimes/events also tend to gamble. How does
    the saying go? Playing the lottery is a tax against people who are bad at
    math. Perhaps they are overestimating tiny probabilities of both positive
    and negative events.

  4. now it all makes sense. It is easy to see now why there are so many idiots,
    why they are idiots and why they are dumb enough to support things like
    drone bombings, NDAA, bailouts, war on drugs, war on terror,
    JEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSUS, universal healthcare, etc.

  5. Really? I haven’t seen a video on homosexual parenting from them. I saw one
    on pot & parenting. Can you reply with the link for the homosexual
    parenting video, I’d like to hear Reason’s take on it.

  6. Great video! I was a “Free-Range Kid” in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I survived
    and turned out OK (at least I think I did). And, my kids also survived and
    turned out OK.

  7. Let’s trust our children. Tell them its okay to talk to strangers, just
    don’t go off with them. How about neighbors talking to each other instead
    of calling the police for every little thing. Sheesh!

  8. She is worried about putting her child in the hands of a stranger. Gives
    child to the state to educate.

  9. Stop letting news stories and your own specific bad experiences ruin your
    outlook on the majority of the rest of the human race.

  10. Its not a ignorance is bliss attitude its preparing children to make their
    own mistakes and actually learn valuable life lessons from those mistakes.
    Kids today aren’t even allowed to make mistakes thats why they live with
    mommy until they are 40. As adults most of us are pretty good judges of
    character and know who they can trust in a grocery line, but what if we
    never acquired that skill? What if the first time our children actually
    step out into the real world its too late?

  11. 1-Scary people that harm children are, 9 times out of ten, their own
    family. 2-Teaching kids “stranger danger” causes them to have crippling
    phobias as adults. 3-If the person who watches your kid for a split second
    in the grocery store turns out to be a “scary person,” chances are the
    check-out clerk/other people in line/etc. will notice and speak up. What do
    you think the odds are that every single person in the store is “scary?”
    How do you leave the house?

  12. This mum really nails it on the head for me but is blaming the wrong people.

    It’s government and big media that are feeding this image of fear into
    parents and I reckon they do so to create a generation of docile, drugged
    up people that are easier to control than previous generations.

    It’s amazing what you can get away with when people are scared. Just look
    at the TSA and the CCTV surveillance measures…

    Disagree, why and how?

  13. When I was a kid I had to check in, but I was able to go all over and have
    adventures. I even walked to the store a mile away every week. My parents
    gave me knowledge to keep safe, not handcuffs.

  14. And people wonder why there’s an increase in child obesity. They blame bad
    food but fail to take into account that not being active plays a huge part
    in children being overweight. I ate a lot of junk when I was a kid but I
    spent most of my time outside whether it was riding my bike or playing tag
    with the kids in the neighborhood.

  15. I just think its also inconsiderate to the check out employee to leave your
    child while you get something. This person has a job to do and why burden
    her with the stress of watching your child when it should be the parents
    responsibility. Fine teach kids about independence but don’t rely on a

  16. Your child is safer now statistically than ever before in history and yet
    we trust everyone less. Sure bad things can happen so you need to teach
    your kids to look out for themselves and use their own best judgment. Don’t
    following them around, forcing them to always be dependant on an adult
    because lets face it kids eventually will have to become adults who need
    good judgement skills.

  17. just reading all these free range kids stories sound great, i have
    helicopter parents so ill never know.

  18. what about Patsy Ramsey she was suspected of murdering or being involved
    with her daughter’s murder

  19. thanks to todays justice system we have more criminals and sex offenders on
    our streets and I also blame today’s media for putting fear into the
    general public

  20. you should see it at my job, I work in retail and the majority of people
    dropping off resume’s are people who look 30 or 40, we have had a few
    people apply at that age before but these ones were helicopter parents
    dropping off a resume for their kid. One mother asked if my manager had a
    look at their own child’s resume when I saw my manager (the women left) I
    told her about the lady and she said ‘why couldn’t the kid do it himself?
    he’s the one applying

  21. could it be that single moms (single parent households), spanking (which is
    child abuse) & compulsory public schooling are a few of the major problems?
    maybe some women are projecting the sexual abuse they suffered? The
    statistics I’ve seen say 3 out of 5 women are sexually assualted before
    18yo. just saying