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Ep. 13: Lenore Skenazy, Creator of the Free Range Kids Movement, Talks Fear in Modern Parenting

"You can't lean in to your work if you're leaning over backwards every single second for your child."

This episode features Lenore Skenazy: author, mother and founder of the Free Range Kids movement.

They say when one door closes, another opens, and that's what happened with Lenore Skenazy. Like many journalists who have lost jobs in recent years, Lenore was not seeking career change. But she pivoted brilliantly, founding an entire movement that seeks to lessen fear's grip on modern parenting and restore childhood to its former state of greater freedom and independence. Lenore also talks about doing the unexpected and how leaning over backward for our children makes it harder - if not impossible - to "lean in" to our careers.

"One message I want to get out to moms is that not only can you try to ween yourself off the culture that's telling you you have to be with your kid and supervise them every single second, but when you do you get to raise kids that are more competent because they have to make some of the decisions it really works great for the kids too."

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Free-Range Kids is not a parenting movement; it's a change of attitude surrounding the fear we have for our kids.
  • Fear is generated by the media because if you're afraid you'll buy/read/subscribe/watch/hire what they're selling.
  • We're living in one of the safest eras of human history, but we feel more unsafe.
  • Being told the only good mom is the one who hovers over their kids is not good for moms either.
  • Letting your kids play is of benefit to you and them; you get more free time, and they become more competent adults.
  • The things that people enjoyed doing as kids have informed their career choices today.
  • After losing her job, Lenore wrote an article about letting her 9-year old ride the subway on his own. After the article raised attention, she started a blog and had people write to her with their own insights.
  • Lenore's career is a collaborative effort and was completely unexpected. 
  • Lenore has also worked for Disney, interviewing guests to find new insights that corporate marketing may have missed.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is life after getting fired.
  • You don't know where your next career is coming from.
  • Fear is an easy way to sell everything.
  • Our kids are more safe and successful than we think they are.

Find out more:

  • Twitter: @freerangekids