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Helicopter Parents and the Loss of Childhood Autonomy


December 5,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Lenore Skanazy in , “The Helicopter Parents Have Good Intentions But Have Stolen Their Children’s Freedom And Created A Snowflake Generation.” Skanazy goes on to describe the loss of autonomy of our children and the negative impact .

The “helicopter parents” is a new term but the concept dates back over 45 years , and there has been a massive shift and the numbers are startling .

In 1971: 80% of kids age 7 and 8 walked to school or arrived independent of parents. In 1990 only 9%.
In 1971, approximately half of children’s journeys were made on foot. 80% of 7- and 8-year-old children got to school unaccompanied by an adult. This included buses, bicycles and mass transit.
In 1990: 30% of children under ten years old are allowed to travel alone to places (other than school) within walking distance. 9% of 7- and 8-year-old children got to school unaccompanied by an adult, whilst levels of car ownership and use were fairly similar.
13 percent of American elementary schoolchildren walked to school in 2009.

Skanazy asks , “Why don’t we see this for what it is? A heist! We have stolen children’s freedom. They are transported from locked space to locked space like prisoners. And we are expected to be their jailers.
Why is it so important for kids to walk around and play outside, independently?”

The loss of these mean:

• Considerable loss of autonomy.

• Decline in physical condition potentially leading to obesity and other health problems.

• Gaining insufficient practical and social skills owing to inexperience in acting independently.

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