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Tuesday, 30 June, 2009

Free Range Children

Roger Ebert on Raising free-range kids.

I wrote recently about my childhood growing up in Downstate Illinois. I mentioned me and my friends roaming all over town on our bikes, walking to the movies and the swimming pool on our own, and riding our bikes through rain water backed up after thunderstorms. Also, for that matter, through piles of burning leaves. One of my classmates wrote to mention that the Boneyard, the creek running through town, was a drainage canal. "What?" I asked. "Where we caught crawdaddies?

Another reader sent me a link to a web site advocating the raising of Free Range Children. I learned this has become something of a movement, cheered by a book by Lenore Skenazy. The movement believes we are punishing our kids by over-protecting them.

Certainly today we take for granted things that we never imagined in our own childhoods, like child car seats, bike helmets, bottled water, security guards, sunblock, hand sanitizer and childproof bottles.


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