Remember when kids were free to be kids?


This Sunday, Lenore Skenazy - aka the “World’s Worst Mom” - returns to the show to discuss the latest trends in coddling vs. free range parenting.

My home movies from Queens, New York circa 1947 show me and my best friend Susan playing with cap pistols, water pistols, a ping pong ball gun, a Red Ryder B B gun, toy tin soldiers, a boy scout knife, and a toy machine gun with blinking red lights.

Yet not one of my friends died of gunshot wounds. In fact most of us are afraid of guns.

Maybe zero tolerance is not that necessary. Perhaps some of the societal measures we are taking to protect children are even backfiring.

We hear non-stop coverage of school shootings and child predators while the threat of Childhood Lack of Resilience Syndrome (CLORS) goes virtually unreported.

Symptoms of CLORS include easily bruised feelings, obesity, depression, lack of curiosity, and fear of exposure to new ideas once the child leaves home for college. Professor Jonathan Haidt (founder of Heterodox Academy and a co-founder with Lenore Skenazy of has observed many patients in the advanced stages and found the condition notoriously difficult to cure.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Lenore Skenazy has been offering the equivalent of a CLORS vaccine since her national debut as “World’s Worst Mom” in 2008 when she wrote an article titled, Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone, (New York Post, April 1, 2008).

Since then, she’s been leading the Free Range Kids movement – defending victims of a false hysteria that presumes all strangers “guilty until proven innocent,” despite falling crime rates. She last joined me to discuss her LetGrow initiative – helping parents let go of their helicoptering, and letting kids grow into functioning adults.

I’m thrilled to welcome Lenore back to the show this Sunday to review the latest threats our kids’ freedom to be kids – from the War on Recess to reading logs.

Mark my words – the “War on Recess" will fare just like every other government “War on [fill-in-the-blank].”

As this article in Harvard Health Publishing confirms, kids need sunshine, risk, and socialization to become functioning adults.

Lastly, we discuss Utah’s new law that protects parents from the charge of neglect when they let their kids play outside by themselves. Ahh, the sweet smell of Federalism!

Follow her latest project at, and tune in live to the show of ideas – not attitude.