Let Grow. With Lenore Skenazy

Let Grow with Lenore Skenazy

Today’s guest was named “America’s Worst Mom” for supporting her son’s desire to take the subway home 16 years ago. Since then, she has been on a mission to support parents and schools to help children regain their independence through her organization, Let Grow, leading the movement for childhood independence.

What We Talked About

  • Why fostering independence in children is crucial for their development, resilience, and confidence
  • How societal changes have increased parental fear and overprotection
  • Practical ways parents can encourage independence in their children
  • Balancing safety and freedom
  • How modern technology is reducing family communication
  • Benefits of Unstructured Free Play
  • Balancing technology and real-world experiences

Things to Remember

“Parenting is recognizing that kids are going to be who they are. We have got to give them space and time to figure that out on their own.”

“Independence is so crucial to children and so natural. It’s like a vitamin.”

“With parents being away, kids are called upon to do new things and recognize just how competent they can be.”

“The more control you think you have doesn’t actually make you more calm.”

“Give your kids chances to help you and to show you how capable, competent, and kind they are.”

“There’s too much pressure on parents to know everything and to shape our children when we can’t.”

― Lenore Skenazy

“The child looks for his independence first, not because he does not desire to be dependent on the adult. But because he has in himself some fire, some urge, to do certain things and not other things.” Dr. Maria Montessori

Additional Resources

The Let Grow Experience

Let Grow Play Club

The “Let Grow Kid License” kids can carry around

Books mentioned in the show:

Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy

The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness by Jonathan Haidt

Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans by Michaeleen Doucleff

The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik

Be the Best Parent You Can Be interview Free Range-Kids author Lenore Skenazy

Let’s Continue the conversation…

Now, Lenore and I want to hear from you!

How can you empower your child to embrace independence? Listen in to my guest, Lenore Skenazy as she shares her time-tested insights.

Remember, The Art of Parenting was created for you. If you have any suggestions for experts, I should have on the show or parenting questions you want to be answered. Please let me know here.

More About My Guest

Two days after her column “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” ran in The New York Sun, Lenore Skenazy was on The Today Show, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR, garnering the nickname “America’s Worst Mom.” (Google it!) 

She went on to write Free-Range Kids, the book-turned-movement. 

She has lectured everywhere from Disney to Microsoft and hosted the reality TV show World’s Worst Mom. Now, Lenore is co-founder and president of Let Grow, a national nonprofit that promotes childhood independence. She lives in New York with her husband and beloved computer. Her kids are gainfully employed.

Show Sponsor

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Let Grow. With Lenore Skenazy

Today’s guest was named “America’s Worst Mom” for supporting her son’s desire to take the subway home 16 years ago. Since then,

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