This mom did. She let her 9-year-old son ride the NYC subway alone, giving him 20 bucks, a map and a Metrocard, along with some words of advice. Why? Because he wanted to.
Lenore Skenazy is a writer and mother of two who believes kids grow up better when they have some breathing room and space to explore. Her book is “Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry.”
In theory, I LOVE what she did. I absolutely respect the idea of raising independent kids. In fact, Beliefnet’s got a whole page of resources on bring up kids with courage and other great attributes to give them a strong moral compass and help them through life. It’s called the Family Values Toolkit, and I helped build the splash page and downloadable pdf guides for one of our sponsors, Liberty Mutual, as part of my work as a web producer for Beliefnet. (Sorry for the pander, folks, but I was very proud of the page I built!)
However. I also live in NYC. And I take the subway. As you’ll have seen from my prior posts on the subject, my commute is not exactly my favorite part of my day. And my faith in my fellow man is at a lowwww ebb whenever I head underground. I tend to see everyone around me as a perv, a stalker, and a loony. As a teen riding on the train to school, I can’t tell you the number of times I had my bum grabbed or saw some guy flashing his privates (or worse). Maybe I’m being a wuss, but I really could have done without those ‘learning experiences.’ So, stats or no stats, I don’t think I’d have done what this mum did.