ParentMap Magazine

July 2023

Ever since free-range parenting advocate and author Lenore Skenazy’s 2008 New York Sun column titled “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” sparked a media firestorm, she has been declaring that our kids are far smarter and more competent than our fear-based culture gives them credit for. 

Skenazy notes in the July feature that a major cause of the increase in anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts among young people in recent decades is “correlated to the continuous decline in opportunities for children to play and roam independently from their parents and caregivers.” Gulp.

So, this summer, counteract your urge to overprotect to give your kiddos the freedom to develop confidence and resilience the natural way: through unstructured, unsupervised, child-directed play. And for the enjoyment of the whole family, you’ll also find plenty of play inspiration in our July Play List and annual Insiders’ Guide.