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Let us teach our children to be curious and independent

Here's a story from The New York Times that I thought you'd find interesting:

A new law in Utah is the first in the nation written to protect parents who allow children to walk to school alone or play unsupervised.

Yeah for Utah!

We have become a country of terrified ninnies. Bad things happen. Sometimes we need police or social workers or, even, I must say it, lawyers.... we actually do an enormous amount at our firm for children and families who have suffered. But fortunately, most children grow up safely.

Much of the time for many American families, we are too anxious about bad things happening to our kids, and that anxiety causes harm. When we treat our children that way, they lose the ability to learn what is truly dangerous from what is not. That doesn't protect them. It makes them more vulnerable because they cannot tell what is a dangerous block, who is a truly scary person as compared to someone who simply looks different.

A society that teaches "stranger danger" is one that is not reflective of how most Americans treat each other. It is an America of watching nonstop CSI and local news and obsessing about scary social media feeds.

Let us teach our children to be curious not just in books and on screens, but in exploring our communities: in riding bikes, taking buses and walking. Let them get lost on their way home by trying a new route. Reward don't punish the instincts that led our ancestors to find food to eat and to cross oceans. It will foster entrepreneurship and poetry and scientific discovery. If we keep the children artificially safe, when they are free of that, they will make dangerous choices.

The Utah Legislature has told their protective services to stop harassing parents who aren't anxious and controlling about their children. Let other states join in soon.

Read the NY Times article, Utah Passes 'Free-Range' Parenting Law, March 29 2018

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