Would you let your kids take part in unsupervised play time in New York's Central Park?
Former journalist and author of “Free Range Kids” Lenore Skenazy thinks it’s a great idea. For $350, she’d like your children, ages 8 through 18, to sign up for her new after school program. Skenazy says she wants to see parks filled once again with children at play, unsupervised for a time, in hopes that parents can overcome societal fears and kids get get a better sense of independence and childhood fun.
“It started as a class called 'I Won't Supervise Your Kids,' she told HLN’s Dr. Drew Tuesday night. “Once the children gather, they get to know each other and I greet them. Then I go to a coffee shop and I have a cell phone with me in case anybody really needs me.”
She continually emphasized that children today are missing out on play, explaining, “I'm not saying ‘let's do something radical.' I'm saying, 'let's do something that we did as kids that our parents allowed us to do when the crime rate was higher.' The crime rate was higher in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.”
Dr. Drew interjected, “What makes me uncomfortable with that is, in my profession, I'm dealing with the consequences of the play that occurred around the criminals that were lurking about in the '60s and '70s and it’s catastrophic. We have a pandemic of kids having suffered from abuse and we've learned from that.”
Marc Klaas, whose daughter was kidnapped and murdered, added, “I don't think we need to be helicopter parents by any means, but I think we need to take certain precautions to ensure our children's safety and turning our backs and depending upon the goodness of others to protect our children, I think, is really shirking our own responsibility to our own kids.”
Would you sign your kid up for Skenazy's program? Take our poll here.