The cover story in this week's Time is "The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting" It's really a terrific piece that features some of the bigger names in the backlash movement (including Lenore Skenazy, the woman behind freerangekids.com, which in some ways started it all). What's particularly nice is that Time takes a page from John Stossel's playbook and gets to the facts on what the REAL dangers to kids are, including a "there are no solutions, only trade-offs" moment from Skenazy:
But too many parents, says Skenazy, have the math all wrong. Refusing to vaccinate your children, as millions now threaten to do in the case of the swine flu, is statistically reckless; on the other hand, there are no reports of a child ever being poisoned by a stranger handing out tainted Halloween candy, and the odds of being kidnapped and killed by a stranger are about 1 in 1.5 million. When parents confront you with "How can you let him go to the store alone?," she suggests countering with "How can you let him visit your relatives?" (Some 80% of kids who are molested are victims of friends or relatives.) Or ride in the car with you? (More than 430,000 kids were injured in motor vehicles last year.) "I'm not saying that there is no danger in the world or that we shouldn't be prepared," she says. "But there is good and bad luck and fate and things beyond our ability to change. The way kids learn to be resourceful is by having to use their resources." Besides, she says with a smile, "a 100%-safe world is not only impossible. It's nowhere you'd want to be."
This is a heartening development. I'm not as convinced as the Time writer is that it's somehow related to the recession, but whatever the cause, let's hope this backlash grows.