She knows it sounds "Abe Lincolnesque," but Lenore Skenazy can't help but remember the days when kids walked to school—and can't resist taking a look at how completely crazy shepherding our kids to school has become. These days, the bus quite often stops right at each child's house ... but the kids wait "in their parents' cars—cars the parents drove from the garage to the sidewalk so their children would be climate-controlled and safe from the predators so prevalent on suburban driveways." Arrival has become "drop-off," and "afternoon pick-up has become the evacuation of Saigon."
Seriously, what's our problem? The answer, she writes for the Wall Street Journal, is simple. "We bought the line that good parenting is the same as over-parenting," that more equals better. "We forgot the joy of scuffing down the street when we were young, and decided we'd do it all for our kids, independence be damned!" And independence is a good thing. Scientifically. Studies show that kids who walk to school are healthier, and may even do better academically. And there's a bonus: Kids who walk will grow up to be adults who can "tell their own kids something more than: 'When I was your age, I walked 10 feet to the SUV—and it was uphill both ways.'"