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Lenore Skenazy: Overcoming Helicopter Parenting and Raising Free Range Kids

What can “America’s Worst Mom” teach us about helping kids become happier and more resilient? Quite a lot, it turns out! Lenore Skenazy is the co-founder and president of “Let Grow,” a nonprofit organization promoting childhood independence. Back in 2008, her column entitled “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” created a media firestorm. And ever since then, Lenore’s been shouting from the rooftops that our kids are smarter and stronger than our culture gives them credit for. She is the author of Free-Range Kids and has lectured everywhere from Microsoft to DreamWorks to the Sydney Opera House. Let Grow’s school programs, online community, and legislative efforts all promote the idea that when adults step back, kids step up. Best of all, research is even starting to show that concepts from Let Grow’s curriculum may have a potent effect on combatting childhood anxiety perhaps even exceeding the effectiveness of traditional therapy!

Our conversation with Lenore spanned a range of fascinating topics, including the pressures and perils around helicopter parenting, and how granting more independence to children can help them grow into more mature, confident, and happier adults. We also explore how the “participation trophies for all” culture, while well-intentioned, can lead to an increased sense of fragility in kids that may lead them to become less tolerant of opposing viewpoints and less resilient well into adulthood. We loved getting a chance to talk with Lenore about these important topics, and hope you enjoy our conversation as well!

Links & Resources:

Check out Lenore’s website: https://letgrow.org

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To learn more about Jonah, visit his website at www.jonahpaquette.com 

To learn more about Supria, visit her website at www.supriagillphd.com