A New York City mom who allows her nine-year-old son to ride the subway wrote an article about her mothering ways and became an overnight news story, cast as the “Worst Mom in America.” Many hate e-mails later, the mom wrote a book called “Free Range Kids” and now maintains a blog to argue that childhood is about discovering the world, not being held captive, and some of kids’ fondest memories are those on their own.Â With more mom’s thinking that children deserve more freedom, the less likely it is that power-hungry politicians hell-bent on showing they’re tough on crime will propose laws restricting the actions of teenagers. If kids deserve free range,Â they don’t deserve government schools with locked-down campuses. It wouldn’t be surprising if the author decided to home school her son, giving him “free range” to learn what interests him, rather than topics chosen by the federal and state government or the local school board.Â
Defending her practice to allow her son to take the subway along, the author argues abductions are about as common as they have been for decades. The chance of a child being abducted are less likely than falling off a bed or other furniture.
Before this book or this post inspires someone to run off to take the subway alone, bear in mind that abductions may be less likely because parents usually ride with their children on the subway. If every kid rode the subway alone, there might be more abductions.
As for teenagers, many already ride the subway alone and should have the freedom to leave campus during the lunch, use a cellphone at school, and many other fundamental actions unnecessarily restricted by busy-body voters and their politicians.
I can’t wait for the sequel to the book, perhaps it will be called Free Range Teenagers or let’s call it Emancipated Teenagers. Write the first chapter with some elbow grease: launch a campaign to repeal a restrictive local law or school regulation.