Here in this delightfully theatrical talk at the Sydney Opera House, Lenore Skenazy explains how the rise of experts, fear of litigation, and the media have all led to a culture of overly cautious parents.
Skenazy points out that in the West our children's lives are safer in nearly every respect than ever before. So why do we treat them with such "kid" gloves and deny them basic freedoms like walking to school alone? Is ordinary life too dangerous for our children?
Skenazy argues that in order for children to grow up to be well-rounded, creative and responsible people, we have to set them free.
She is joined onstage by Richard Glover.
Lenore Skenazy appeared at the 2010 Festival of Dangerous Ideas, presented by the Sydney Opera House and St James Ethics Centre.
Richard Glover is the author of the book Desperate Husbands, which has been a best-seller in Australia and is published in translation in Italy and Poland and he has also written two short novels for children The Dirt Experiment and The Joke Trap.
Lenore Skenazy writes a nationally syndicated column that appears in more than 100 papers through the Creators Syndicate. Her work offers commentary on everything from politics to family life to popular culture phenomena, and includes My Dollar Store Addiction and Don't Call Me From Your Car Just Because You're Bored.
Lenore Skenazy, founder of the Free-Range Kids movement, points to the opening disclaimer of the "Sesame Street Old School" DVD as a telling example of how drastically times have changed in regards to society's preoccupation with child safety. The disclaimer reads: "The following is intended for adult viewing only."