“World’s worst mom” on why there really is no such thing as bad publicity

We have hit peak worry regarding our children. There is a rising culture of fear surrounding kids, and they can feel it — annually, 5.8 million children are diagnosed with anxiety, and 2.8 million with depression.

“We’re treating children as fragile, and ironically, doing that is making them fragile,” says Lenore Skenazy.

Back in 2009, Lenore took action to combat this, and to some, it seemed radical. When her then 9-year-old son asked to ride the New York City subway alone, she let him. And networks across America branded her “The World’s Worst Mom”.

But the controversy started a movement. Her nonprofit Let Grow equips parents and teachers with activities and discussion points aimed at encouraging independence and self reliance in children. Kids are given assignments to explore their interests and expand their abilities, by themselves. Parents learn to deal with it.

Whether it’s through mowing the lawn, cooking a new recipe, or babysitting a family member, Let Grow is showing kids and parents alike that children can blossom into independent adults, with just a little space and freedom.