Love this from an article titled “Why Utah now has first ‘free range’ parenting law”
She said she first realised there was a disconnect between what parents want and what they actually do when she was brought on a popular US morning programme to discuss a viral blog post about allowing her nine-year-old son ride the subway alone.
The staff of the programme all remembered having similar freedoms as children, but confessed they wouldn’t allow their own children to do the same.
“We’re being hypocrites because we’re coming to the erroneous conclusion that any time a child is unsupervised they’re automatically in danger and it’s not true,” she says.
So what’s changed? “Parents’ perception of how dangerous the world is has changed over the years,” says Dr Gail Saltz, a professor of psychology at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Parental anxiety, Saltz says, is inflamed by a global, always-on news cycle, as well as increased connectivity on social media platforms, which recycles “over and over again” kidnappings, rape and other threatening incidents.
While violent crime has dropped sharply in the US in the past 25 years, Americans generally perceive crime rates are continuing to climb, according to a recent survey by Pew Research Center.
Saltz also says present-day parenting is less communal than it used to be and has turned into a “competitive sport” for many. This results in parents’ tendency to “helicopter” their children more often, Saltz says, to appear as though they’re “winning” against their peers.