5 responses to “Just Jenny From The Block

  1. Aunt Sarah

    I honestly can’t imagine NOT having my banana seat bike, gathering up the kids – Tiffany, Roberta, Teddy, Mindy, Matt, and the list goes on and on… It is sad to think that the sense of adventure we were allowed to have is gone because all those nosey parents are no longer peeking through their windows to keep an eye on their kids, and everyone else’s too.

  2. I grew up in the Detroit area too – and miss those Jewish bakeries… You just can’t get a ‘real’ bagel over on this side of the state. 😦

    It’s weird isn’t it – I remember riding my bike down to the elementary school at the end of our street all the time, around the block and even over to the community center to play on the playground or swim in the pool there when I was a kid. Maybe it’s that my girls are less sure on their bikes so far since they only started riding without training wheels last year, but I don’t let them go too far out of sight yet. They can ride up and down the side street next to our house if there’s no adult outside with them or if either of us is out there then they can ride over to and down the next cul-de-sac street and back. I think I will let them go around the block this year too. We’re in pretty much a self-contained neighborhood and there’s not any through traffic.

    Abby has been asking to go to the park by herself – which isn’t too far from home since I can almost see it from here, but she has to cross a street that’s busier, and I just am not sure about having her playing out of my sight for that long yet. I guess we’ll see.

  3. Have you heard of Lenore Skenazy? She wrote a controversial article for the NY Times and has a blog called Free Range Kids. I have struggled with, and written about, the same issues you mention here. Thought you might find her blog interesting. It’s freerangekids.wordpress.com. Food for thought, at the very least!

    Happy spring!

  4. That Free Range Kids article is fantastic. I saw it when it came out and caused a ruckus. I don’t know I am torn. I think the media has freaked us all out. And though I believe things aren’t really more dangerous than they were before, I have fully given in to the hysteria. So yeah, we are cautious. Plus perhaps you have met my husband. 😉

  5. Growing up, I was neither free range or a wanderer. Either my mom was just premature in her terror to let us out of her sight or she realized early on what parents seem to fear today.

    My husband on the other hand was allowed (and encouraged) to go out and about. He would explore and play with friends all over his neighborhood. I hear the stories he tells me of what they used to do (bike wars, falling out of trees in the woods, wounds & cuts) and I wonder if my mom was right.

    I don’t think times have changed… you’re right. But our neighborhoods and lives have. People are too busy to pay close enough attention to kids riding their bikes past driveways. And there are a lot more people/cars out there than when we were little.

    My kids don’t really have many kids to play with in our neighborhood either. Not having a ‘neighborhood’ school restricts that, doesn’t it? But they love to play together and I set up times frequently with different kids. For now, that’s my solution.

    Honestly, I don’t know the right answer. I guess it’s all what you feel comfortable with. After all, you are the parent of your kids and if you feel good about it, isn’t that good enough?

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