Fact: According to the FBI, the United States today is as safe, or safer, than it has been in more than forty years.
According to the New York Times:
The number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years. In all regions, the country appears to be safer. The odds of being murdered or robbed are now less than half of what they were in the early 1990s, when violent crime peaked in the United States. Small towns, especially, are seeing far fewer murders: In cities with populations under 10,000, the number plunged by more than 25 percent last year.
Fact: Just one generation ago, when todays parents were kids, children were given much greater freedom and responsibility than they are allowed today.
Author Mitch Albom describes a childhood much like that which I, and the majority of today’s parent, enjoyed:
I walked half a mile to school as a 6-year-old, rode a subway and two buses to school when I was 11 and was told by my mother, repeatedly, “Go outside and play somewhere. Anywhere!
Fact: In most places in the world, childhood independence and freedom are still the norm.
As Clemens Wergin, Washington bureau chief for Die Welt, explains:
…Germany is generally much more accepting of letting children take some risks. To this German parent, it seems that America’s middle class has taken overprotective parenting to a new level, with the government acting as a super nanny.
So, why do American parents think that their kids are incapable of handling the same level of independence they enjoyed when they were kids?
Why do they believe that their kids are less competent than their peers in other countries and in earlier times?
And if today’s kids are in fact less competent, whose fault is that?
Danielle Meitiv is a scientist, writer, “free-range” mom, and very passionate, opinionated person. She is currently working on a book called “Fighting For the Future: A Parent’s Rebellion.” You can find her on Twitter: @DanielleMeitiv , Facebook: Danielle Meitiv, and YouTube: Danielle Luttenberg Meitiv. She lives with her husband and her two famous, free-range kids in Silver Spring, MD.