As a kid, I was allowed to ride SEPTA all by myself. And I was much younger then this columnist's 4th Grader. I believe I was 6.
Long story short: My son got home, ecstatic with independence," Skenazy wrote on April 4 in the New York Sun. "Long story longer: Half the people I've told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse. As if keeping kids under lock and key and helmet and cell phone and nanny and surveillance is the right way to rear kids. It's not. It's debilitating—for us and for them."
Online message boards were soon swarming with people both applauding and condemning Skenazy's decision to let her son go it alone. She wound up defending herself on the cable news networks (accompanied by her son) and on popular blogs like the Huffington Post, where her follow-up piece was ironically headlined "More From America's Worst Mom."
You could argue "it was a different time then," but seriously, it was the late 1980s, and crackfiends and other scary people were everywhere.
Yet at the same time in my generation, helicopter parents hovered over their kids and now those kids can't get jobs without mom and dad holding their hands. And they're my age---26! 30 is only 4 years away, folks!
It is OK to teach your kids to watch out for strangers. My mom sure did. Again, it WAS the 1980s. But folks, your kids will not survive in the real world if they are overcoddled and incapable of any independent thought or action. Especially if peak oil pans out to be the catastrophe the catastrophe pornographers keep saying it will. I'll survive. The ones incapable of it will not.