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The New Schools

29 EpisodesProduced by The New SchoolsWebsite

Empowered Parents, Innovative Educators, Happy Learners!


Lenore Skenazy - Raising Free-Range Kids

Lenore is the Founder of Free-Range Kids and President at Let Grow, the national nonprofit promoting childhood independence.

After her newspaper column “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” created a media firestorm, Lenore got the nickname “America’s Worst Mom.” She went on to write Free-Range Kids, the book-turned-movement. Second Edition coming in June! She has been profiled in The New Yorker, and lectured everywhere from DreamWorks to Microsoft to schools across America -- and let’s not forget the Bulgarian Happiness Festival. On TV, you may have seen her on The Today Show, The Daily Show or her own reality show, World’s Worst Mom (cancelled after one season, but suddenly available on YouTube!).

She lives in New York with her husband and beloved computer. Her kids are gainfully employed.

Key Takeaways:

20:18 Mad Magazine and World’s Worst Mom

25:00 Free-range Kids Blog

36:37 Exposure Therapy

38:52 Working with Dr. Peter Gray, Daniel Shuchman and Jon Haidt

53:02 The Free Range Parenting Bill

57:45 Advise to Scared Parents

01:01:21 Metaphor to compare Overprotection and Free-Range Parenting


“That's like my giant psychological insight that I wish everybody shared because it holds the possibility of changing everybody really fast, making everybody much more lighthearted, much more calm, much more confident kids, more mature and grateful and parents more free time. And all it requires is letting go.”

“It's almost like a part of the game. What's the worst, the very worst thing that could happen?”

“Punishment was restricting your freedom and to preserve your freedom, you persevered, you discovered your own resilience, you held it in, you hid the scars in every which way. And, I think that's what is missing from childhood that is hurting kids.”

“Overprotection is not an unalloyed good. It's not like it keeps getting better, better, better, better, better. The more we protect, the more bumpers we put on everything.”

“Rather than changing minds, change behavior.”

“The Let Grow project is a revelation.”

Social Links:

Lenore Skenazy

Twitter -

LinkedIn -

Let Grow

Free Range Kids

I let my 9-year-old ride the subway alone. I got labeled the ‘world’s worst mom.’ Article

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