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Oct 10, 2018

For the past 10 years Free-Range Kids' Lenore Skenazy,  New York City journalist and mom of two, has been taking one for the team. The Free-Range Kids author and blog founder has been on a one-woman mission to give kids back the freedom and autonomy they need to grow into self-actualized adults.

I can't get enough of every single thing she has to say, including stats like:

  • Crime is back to the level it was when gas cost 29 cents a gallon, says the Christian Science Monitor.
  • 2013 gun crime rate back to level of early 1960s, says Pew Study.
  • 2014 violent crime rate down another4.4%, says USA Today.
  • Pedestrian, bicyclist and car deaths ALSO at lowest rate in decades, says The Council on Foreign Relations.
  • And here’s an overall report on crime over the last 25 years, which includes the graph below: Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School
  • All violent crime in the U.S.: Down  48% 1993 – 2012
  • All homicides: Down 50.5% 1993-2012
  • Forcible rape: Down 34.5% 1993 – 2012
  •  Violence Against Children 2-17 is going down too (and not just because we are helicoptering. Crime is down grown men and women  too, and we don’t helicopter them):
  • Physical Assault: down 33% 2003 – 2011
  • Rape, attempted or completed: down 43% 2003 – 2011

In fact, the most dangerous thing your kids can do? RIDE IN A CAR!!

I love Lenore's informed candor about what is happening in the world, and what you and I can do about it. Examples:

  • Let your kids walk to the bus stop alone.
  • Let your kids play at the playground alone.
  • Let your kids stay home unsupervised while friends are over -- unsupervised.
  • Let your kid do their own homework. 

My only problem with the Free-Range Kids movement is that it isn't adopted widely or quickly enough — despite my eff-you nature I still feel pressure from other parents to hover, coddle and bake way more cupcakes than are good for my time management or public health. I resent that when I am forced to spend time with my kids at the playground, those are hours I cannot work -- or do something less mind-numbing.