Calm Down, Your Kids Are Perfectly Safe

Writer/mom says parents worry, hover way too much
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2009 11:24 AM CDT
Some 9-year-olds should not be let out of their parents' sight, sure. But others could probably do fine on the train or subway by themselves, says Lenore Skenazy.   (©hoyasmeg)
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(Newser) – With a constant barrage of news stories and TV shows highlighting child abductions and murders, it may seem like a supremely dangerous time to be a kid. But don't believe the media, says Lenore Skenazy, the author of Free-Range Kids. In an interview with Salon, she explains why children today are probably safer than their parents were. Crime rates are down, and "we're living in really safe times," she says.

It's 40 times more likely that your child will die in a car crash than be hurt by a stranger, yet clusters of parents "wait at the bus stop in the afternoon to drive the kid home, even if it's on the same block, even if it's in a gated community." Instead, it's time to stand back and let kids move about the world on their own, Skenazy says. "The fun of childhood is not holding your mom's hand."