Etan Patz and the End of Carefree Parenting

This is my Time.Com piece today on the advent of helicopter parenting. It’s about the confluence of high profile kidnapping cases and the rise of our “prevention society”:

People over 40 love to regale one another with stories of their outlandish childhood freedoms. Walking a mile by themselves at the age of 7 to the bus stop, testing the semifrozen ice on a neighborhood pond, operating table saws, jumping from rooftops, swimming in the open ocean. We did many such things unsupervised and unregulated, and most of us survived.

Life is different now, needless to say. Experts point to the Etan Patz kidnapping, still unresolved and recently reopened after 33 years, as a watershed moment in American culture, the beginning of an age of anxiety in which parents exerted ever greater vigilance over their children. But this is not the full story…

Read the rest at here:

About ErikaChristakis

Yale Lecturer in early childhood education/Licensed teacher/Former preschool director/author. In possession of: unmarketable bachelor’s degree (Harvard, anthropology), semi-marketable graduate degrees (public health, education…). Rewarding career at the intersection of family, society, and schools (including long stint in parenting vortex). Forging a new path to connect all of the above.
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