I just finished watching several clips of Lenore Skenazy on youtube. I remember when she let her 9 year old ride the New York City subway by himself (a few years ago), but hadn't heard much else about her. I've only watch a few clips and I've not yet read her book "Free-Range Kids", but I do agree with much of what she says. It's a very interesting topic that I think is worthy of more discussion.
I read one time that a child is more likely to be struck by lightening in their front yard than kidnapped from their front yard. Reading that had a big impact on me (or "struck me", pun intended :)). I had this inner struggle over whether or not I could let my kids play outside, in the front yard, by themselves. I decided I had to let this go. I was basing my decision on whether or not a big white van, with no windows, was going to pull up to my house and whisk away my children. Really? Talk about letting fear do my parenting for me! My kids know their boundaries, they know how far down the street they can go, etc. They know to look both ways before going after the runaway ball in the street. I check on them often. I'm pretty sure that my neighbors think I'm a horrible mom for letting my kids do this.
I find this a fascinating subject. I really wish my kids had the same freedom I had as a child. Then I find myself thinking "do they?", is this fear all in our heads? What do you think? Have you given this much thought?