I follow many blogs. I have my top ten favorites that I make sure to check every day. One of the blogs I never miss is Free-Range Kids. If you are not familiar with Lenore Skenazy you can read more about her here, here, and here. If that's not enough type her name into Google and browse through tons of articles. She even has her own Wikipedia page.
In short, Lenore created a fire-storm in 2008 when she let her 9-year old son ride the New York Subway home unaccompanied. Honestly, I don't remember reading the story back then. I came to the Free-Range blog just this year. It very quickly became a top favorite. Lenore is smart, funny, and an excellent writer.
Yesterday, the blog caught my eye for something other than the post. Yesterday, the comments ruled the day for me. The post yesterday centered about a note sent to Lenore by a mother who identifies as being a Free-Range Kid, understands the theory, and supports raising Free-Range Kids. However, listening to a John Walsh interview totally overrides all of that for her. You can read Lenore's response in the post.
There were many comments directed at John Walsh, and those like him, implying that they make millions by instilling fear in parents. I never thought about this before. Has "child protection" crossed over to a money maker with little consideration to the children? Don't get me wrong. What happened to the Walsh family is horrific. It changed parenting.
When I was a child my mother would send me to the toy aisle when we entered any store. I was told to stay there until she came for me. I was 16-years old when Adam died: Long past time to alter my mother's choices. At 16, I was too young for Adam to affect my parenting. However, John Walsh is a different story. He had years to speak to me before my I had my child.
I struggled with fear as a parent. I had KAM in 1989. No internet. But plenty of TV. 20/20, Primetime, Nightline. There was no shortage of opportunities to hear what the worst of humanity looks like. It was easy to see monster's around every corner. I wanted to fight it. I tried to fight it. I likely failed as often as I succeeded.
I don't know if it is money that now motivates John Walsh. I hope that it not true. What I do know is that my child is expecting her first child. She is asking me questions about parenting. I want to give her the best advise possible. I want to be a supportive parent and a fantastic grandmother. Ultimately, she makes the choices regarding how she will parent.
I always plan a summer reading schedule. I re-read old favorites. Sometimes, I pick a new series. This year I picked four parenting book that caught my eye. Free-range Kids, French Kids Eat Everything, Bringing up Bebe, and How do Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm. I am looking forward to exploring parenting from the grandma side. I'll let you know what I learn.