Tag Archives: free range kids

In praise of the emerging Aussie free range childhood movement

Kids at play traffic coneI have been mulling over the series of events that I took part in whilst over here in Australia. What strikes me is the level of commitment, energy, enthusiasm, activity and progress that I have seen on this trip (my sixth tour of the country over the same number of years). I have a strong sense of something in the air: an opportunity moment. So in no particular order, I want to pay tribute to the following people:

National Trust shares my plea for benign neglect

child on a beach at sunsetToday the National Trust’s Outdoor Nation website posted a piece from me that aims to win parents over to the goal of expanding children’s horizons. I had to think carefully when writing it.

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Lenore ‘Free Range Kids’ Skenazy speaks!

Lenore Skenazy in BendigoLast week I spent some time with Lenore Skenazy, and took the opportunity to interview her. Lenore is well known to many readers as the author of the blog and book, Free Range Kids. Continue reading

It’s time to take a thoughtful approach to bullying

bully movie logoIn a post on her ‘Free Range Kids’ blog last week, Lenore Skenazy questions whether the US is in the midst of a ‘bullying crisis’. She quotes statistics from a piece in the Wall Street Journal that showed dramatic declines in both the fear of attack (down from 12% in 1995 to 4% in 2009) and actual victimisation (where rates have fallen fivefold). Continue reading

Is a taste of freedom the key to a good childhood?

Yesterday’s launch of the Good Childhood report from the Children’s Society has prompted more soul-searching about childhood. Coverage has focused on the report’s finding that half a million of the country’s children aged 8 to 16 – nearly 10 per cent – had a low sense of well-being. This is indeed a troubling finding – even if some of those children will become happier over time. Yet this media focus, while understandable, misses out a far more important message: the crucial value of a taste of freedom and autonomy. Continue reading

Moving on from the zero risk childhood

Girl climbing a treeThe ‘cotton wool kid’ – cosseted, watched over, insulated from all possible harm – has become a potent symbol of our fear-filled, risk-averse times. Across the rich nations, children are statistically safer today than at any time in history [pdf link]. But the insidious question ‘what if…?’ crowds out common sense, and clouds our good judgement. Continue reading