want to stir up a little ridiculous controversy that serves only to underscore your central point (that parents today be cra-zay)? New York Sun columnist lenore skenazy has the recipe for you.
step 1. let your 9-year-old son ride the subway all by his badself under the theory that parents today are waaaay to overprotective. ("i gave him a subway map, a MetroCard, a $20 bill, and several quarters, just in case he had to make a call.")
step 2. write an excellent, thoughtful column about it. "half the people i’ve told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse. as if keeping kids under lock and key and helmet and cell phone and nanny and surveillance is the right way to rear kids. it’s not. it’s debilitating — for us and for them."
step 3. let simmer on the interblogs.
step 4. serve hot-headed.
skenazy is totally on to something here. the over-propensity among parents (usually Of a Certain Means) to hover and helicopter over their kiddies' every move is a serious bugaboo of mine (awful stroller pun intended, sadly). but more importantly it does the kids a disservice. the real world is not a baby-proofed, rounded-corner, anti-bacterial rubber room. thank god. so why raise kids as if it were? they'll be sorely disappointed. (as it is they're going to have to grapple with the fact that they're not the Specialest Little People on Earth they've been told their entire childhoods, but that's another source of irritation for another time).
now skenazy has now bequeathed the internets with a special gift: Free Range Kids (LOVE the name). a snip of her blog's mission statement: "At Free Range, we believe in safe kids. We believe in helmets, car seats and safety belts. We do NOT believe that every time school age children go outside, they need a security detail. Most of us grew up Free Range and lived to tell the tale. our kids deserve no less." the blog's first post was april 1 and there's only been one more since, which does not inspire great confidence that this brilliant idea will yield an especially robust site. but we'll reserve judgment for now.