Did you catch the 7.30 Report interview with Lenore Skenazy last night ? She is the author of a book titled 'Free-range Kids'. If you missed it, take the time to watch the whole interview with Kerry O'Brien ( who I am secretly in love with and devastated that he is leaving soon!)
Do you think that it is strange that this topic has become SO CONTROVERSIAL ?
I congratulate Lenore for being brave enough to take on the topic of 'helicopter parenting' and the issue of 'blame'. I LOVE her position that you can't go to the park and play because it is too dangerous, yet it is okay to let them sit on the lounge and watch television, become obese and develop poor habits and health issues that stay with them for life.
We won't accept caged eggs, but we readily accept caged children ! We fight for free range eggs, but are quite happy to raise 'battery hen' children.
Think back to your own childhood. Were you roaming the streets on your bicycle without a helmet ? Off playing down the street knowing that it would be okay as long as you were home in time for tea ?
Do you remember lots of kids, at some stage, having a broken arm, or skin off from 'stacking' their bike ? Eggs on their heads where they were running around the house and crashed into each other ?
Do you remember when kids were 'dirty' ? They were literally covered in dirt because they were building bike jumps, dig outs, cubby houses or burying treasure maps ?
How does the way you raise your children to compare to your own childhood ?
Think about times back even further. Was my Grandmother hovering over her children to make sure they played nice, didn't get their feelings hurt or (god forbid!) scuff their knee on some grass and get a graze ?
It seems crazy when we compare.
Are you a helicopter parent, a lawnmower parent (the parent that smooths out all obstacles) or a free range parent. I think I am in the middle ground, but with my boys now 9 and 12 I think I can swing a little more free range now that the Lenore has done such a great job of putting language on the issue.
Let's get some dialogue happening, people. Where do you sit on the free range parenting scale ?