It’s natural for parents to worry about their children, but today, some take being protective to extremes. A new reality show aims to help these worried parents give kids back their childhoods.
She’s been called “the world’s worst mom” by her critics, but Lenore Skenazy has a dedicated following of parents who share her zest for releasing families from the paranoia that surrounds them. Now she is hosting the new series “World’s Worst Mom” (the program is known as “Bubble Wrap Kids” in Canada).
Skenazy, a journalist based in NYC, wrote about her decision to let her son ride the subway alone when he was nine years old. Before long, the incident made national news. After making the talk show rounds, she wrote a book called Free-Range Kids and began writing a blog by the same name.
“We have ‘dangerized’ almost every aspect of childhood, so I don’t blame parents for being crazy. All I’m suggesting is that because we live in the safest times in human history, parents should do a reality check,” said Skenazy in a Toronto Sun article.
Shot in Toronto and New York, each episode features Skenazy visiting a family frustrated by their current lifestyle. She offers advice and takes each family through a series of challenges designed to push the parents’ boundaries.
It seems that Skenazy and her supporters advocate parents’ appraisal of risk versus reward to be based on fact rather than fear.
Unescorted playtime outside not only decreases children’s BMI, it increases their ability to judge appropriate risk. The question is: How can we as parents determine the appropriate level of risk for our children?