Lenore Skenazy is president of Let Grow, the national nonprofit promoting childhood independence and resilience, and founder of the Free-Range Kids movement.

454: Relisten: How To Promote Independence (283) 

Lenore Skenazy

Do your kids have the opportunity to be independent?

Many of us have become so fearful of the world around us, we have drastically limited our children’s ability to grow their independence.

In this episode, I talk to Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids about her Let Grow Movement and why allowing our kids to explore their independence is so important for their development and self-esteem.

Relisten: How To Promote Independence - Lenore Skenazy (283) [454]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Hey there, it's Hunter, and welcome to Throwback Thursday. Most Thursdays, we are going to re release one of my favorite episodes from the archives. So unless you're a long time listener of the show, there's a good chance you haven't heard this one yet. And even if you had, chances are that you are going to get something new listening to it this time around.

[00:00:16] Lenore Skenazy: There's a culture out there that is constricting their lives to the point where they really don't know what they're capable of.

[00:00:30] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 283. Today we're talking about how to promote independence in your kids with Lenore Skenazy.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clarkfields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years, I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day. 50 simple ways to press pause, stay present, and connect with your kids. Welcome to this episode, dear listener.

I'm so glad you are here. Welcome, welcome. This is going to be a great episode, but first a special welcome. If you are new, woot woot! Good for you. I'm glad you are joining the tribe. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with the wonderful Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow, the national non profit promoting childhood independence and resilience.

I'm founder of the Free Range Kids Movement, and we're going to be talking about how to help kids be more independent and like, do your kids have the opportunity to be independent? You know, a lot of us have become so fearful in the world around us that we really drastically limit our children's ability to grow their independence.

And so we talk about why allowing kids to explore their independence is. So important for their development and self esteem. And I want you to look for some big takeaways as usual that I got from this conversation. And one is that learning independence and self sufficiency really builds resilience.

These are life skills that they need. Why Stranger Danger isn't what we should be teaching and how to get your community involved in getting all the kids more independent. So I'm so excited for you to dive into this conversation. And of course, in Mindful Parenting, we love independent children. Yeah, we want some independent, resilient kiddos.

So, this conversation is going to be powerful for you to listen to. I can't wait for you to dive into it. So, let's just do it. Join me at the table as I talk once again to the wonderful Lenore Skenazy. All right, Lenore, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast. 

[00:03:17] Lenore Skenazy: Oh, well, you're welcome. I'm happy to be here. Obviously, why wouldn't I be?

[00:03:22] Hunter: Well, I'm happy to talk to you too. Welcome back because you have been on the Mindful Mama podcast before. You guys can listen to, go back and listen to episode 140.

[00:03:31] Lenore Skenazy: No, no, no. Don't. Oh, listen. What if I'm saying the exact same things? That would be just be, you know, you're supposed to grow.

What if I didn't? Fine. Okay. 

[00:03:40] Hunter:  No, it's just be able to reinforce, it'll be reinforcing.

[00:03:42] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah. Right. Just get a recording.

[00:03:47] Hunter: Um, so, you know, I want to dive into this because Uh, this generation, we seem to be, like, this super protective generation of parents. And, and actually, it's with our kids, too, like, they're, they, so, they've kind of can even, like, um, have imbibed the culture in, in such a way.

So, for instance, like, my kids. Who I have raised in a very free range kind of way and have done a lot of different things. They don't want to, like, they wanted to, one of them wanted to get candy for something and we've got like a convenience store that's

[00:04:24] Lenore Skenazy: like, I, I, I salute that. Yes to candy. Yes.

[00:04:27] Hunter: And so. I said, why don't you just go bike there and get some candy?

They're like, no. They're like, I'm not going to go in a store by myself and get candy. And I was like, why not? Like, I don't know. Like, I went to stores by myself when I was seven and got myself candy. But they feel really weird about doing that because there are no other kids that are just around like going into stores by themselves.

[00:04:51] Lenore Skenazy: So I, I, I just, this is only for me. This is fascinating to me because I did, you know, we do, I'll get into what Let Grow is after a while. Let Grow is the nonprofit that grew out of free range kids. But one of the main things we do is we Encourage schools to have the students do the Let Grow project, which is, they get the homework assignment, go home and do something new on your own without your parents.

And I usually, I don't have it up today, but I usually keep the list of the kids projects on my other screen here. And I read aloud from them, they, they filled out a little form of what would you like to do, but you're a little hesitant to do. And one of them is, I am, I'm hesitant to go into a store without my mom because it is filled with strangers.

And I always read that like, isn't that the weirdest thing you've ever heard? But now it is confirmed that it's not just them. And, and, you know, when I've done this project in different schools, at first I thought that the kids were being Um, Histrionic, you know, just overly dramatic to have something to say.

As opposed to this, you know, I decided to make some scrambled eggs, cause why not? Which is what I thought they meant, but they would always say, they'd be writing things like, I wanted to scramble some eggs, but I was afraid, cause there's an open flame, or cause it could be hot, or I could burn the house down.

The first school that I read these in, I thought, God, they're really teaching them terrible writing. I know they're trying to get them to be, understand that like there have to be high stakes or nobody will read your piece, but this is terrible, right? Don't make everything into World War III. And then I'd started going to other schools that were not in touch with these schools and they were saying the same.

I wanted to, you know, to make toast, but what if I burned the apartment down? What if I burned the house? I think the only thing to change is somewhere in an apartment that they were going to burn down and somewhere in a house that they were going to burn down, but somehow. This inflated sense of danger and drama was not because of the English teaching or because of the lessons they'd been taught in dramatic structure.

I think it was something. They felt, and if you're kids who you're raising as free range as you can, and I never blame parents or whatever they're doing, you know, your kids are alive, as Roseanne Barr said, that's enough, um, you know, there's a culture out there that is, that is constricting their lives to the point where they really don't know what they're capable of and what's awaiting them that they might love doing and might be great at and might be excited by and might be frightened by, but that's good.

Because the doors never open. 

[00:07:26] Hunter: My daughter's like us, a Boy Scout and, you know, and has like, we went ice hiking together and she's does leadership things and like goes into the woods and like puts up a tent and, and like, you know, has been making a shelter in the woods by herself. You know, like she does all these things, but then it was like, I don't want to go into a convenience store.

It was so, it was just like, I was totally shocked and a little. Sad. And now they don't want to go into the convenience store by themselves because I really want them to.

[00:07:59] Lenore Skenazy: Oh, right. Now it's a bone of contention. It's like practicing piano except it's getting a slushie. I will not get a Hershey bar. You can't make me.

Maybe that's good. Maybe you, maybe this is like a brilliant technique that everybody's going to want to copy. Okay. So our kids aren't eating candy all the time. That's great.

[00:08:18] Hunter: But you know, this, this started way back. I mean, this started a lot earlier because. I remember when you were in the news for your son taking the subway to school.

And that was, that was 14 years ago. 

[00:08:35] Lenore Skenazy: My daughter was 18, 72. When was it? It was a long time ago. Yeah. It was when my daughter was being born and, and I remember getting so mad at the world for the way they got mad, so mad at you.

Hunter: So I know that everybody, you know, all the listeners don't know the story. So if you don't mind just repeating the story briefly.

[00:08:55] Lenore Skenazy: I will repeat the story and then you'll let me know. When is this airing? This, this, I don't

[00:09:00] Hunter: know, we're scheduling up into like June, July and June at the moment. 

[00:09:04] Lenore Skenazy: Oh, okay. So, um, no, no, I'm just thinking about, we're waiting for some laws to pass and I would tell you a story, but I want to make sure the law passes before I tell the story, so come on.

So, uh, when our son was nine, uh, which is hard to remember, my husband and I, you know, started, he was just asking us, uh, if we would let him take the sub, take him someplace he'd never been before and let him find his own way home on the subway. And we live here in New York City. And so that was something we had to consider because we really are on the subways all the time.

On the other hand, we have an older son and was 11 and still had never asked to do that. So it was a little weird. Um, my son, my older son called himself the control group. And, and so we did obviously let the nine year old do this. I took him to Bloomingdale's one day, which is a fancy schmancy department store right back in the middle of a fancy schmancy Manhattan neighborhood.

We lived in Manhattan at the time. And I left him in the handbag department cause I knew that that was right above the entrance to the subway. And I went home a different way. And sure enough, he took the subway home, took the subway down to 34th street, took the bus across town, came into our apartment, levitating with joy and pride.

And I didn't write about it right away, even though I'm a newspaper columnist cause it wasn't that big a deal. But when I didn't have a topic to write about, like a couple of months later, I said, I'll write about Izzy taking the subway. You know, but some, you know, he's in fourth grade and some of the other fourth grade parents were like, Hmm.

So, so I wrote, Why I Let My Nine Year Old Ride the Subway Alone. And two days later I was on the Today Show, MSNBC, Fox News and NPR, um, and defending myself and, um, that was the beginning of this. So I started, I started the Free Range Kids blog. That weekend to say I love safety and I actually am a nervous mom and I, I just, um, the only thing I'm not nervous about is strangers.

Ask me about cars. I'm terrified. My son now drives to work. I hate it. I wish he was taking the subway by himself as a three year old rather than driving on the Long Island Expressway. 

[00:11:09] Hunter: It's actually more dangerous. I mean, it's the most dangerous thing to do.

[00:11:12] Lenore Skenazy: I gotta put my fingers in my ears. I know, I know.

I think I have like, I have a rational yet hysterical sense of driving as being the real enemy. of life. So, you know, one of the reasons I grew up in the suburbs, I moved to New York City, so I wouldn't ever have to drive again. So it's really rather fanatical on my part. But anyways, the, the blog was there to say, you know, safety is good, but children don't need a security detail every time they leave the house.

And that's sort of where we've gotten to. And to the point where I was just I was just writing to yet another child psychologist before we got on because there was an article in the Guardian two days ago that there'd been a study done in Britain that said that this was true. This generation is not allowed to go outside unsupervised until two years older than their parents were.

And, you know, I'd say I'm grandparent age now. So that, so my kids were probably going out two years later than I was. I mean, and, and if we keep doing that, I mean, we're really undermining childhood because childhood is an age of, you know, exploring and playing. And if there's always an adult there, it's, it's inevitably changed because an adult makes things.

In, in some ways better, you know, here, let me throw it to your board, I'll keep throwing the ball to you or I'll, you know, I'll pay whatever game you want or I'll be there with a snack or I'll be there if you get hurt. And all those things that you're not dealing with as a kid because somebody, you know, more, more experienced and careful and caring is taking care of you means that you don't get that same foundation that they got that made them into this nice, caring adult.

So we can't keep. Whittling away at childhood and, and expecting kids to be able to march into, you know, the 7 Eleven. And I don't think that your kids are ruined for not being able to march into a 7 Eleven. And there's a bunch of things that my kids didn't do. There's something I was thinking about today that my kids didn't do.

Um, Sleepovers. I don't think my kids went on more than a, if they went on a handful of sleepovers, that was it. And, you know, that was like one of my favorite things as a kid. And those are gradually evaporating from, Um, from the landscape. So it's, it's not individually we're hurting our kids. It's that this society has decided that kids can't handle anything.

And that is, uh, you know, underestimating them and overestimating danger. And it's not, you know, it's, it's making us have no freedom because we have to be with our kids every single second. And it's giving them no freedom to screw up, to, to climb a tree, to, to fall off their bike and get back on it because we're helping them just too much.

Yeah, it's like

[00:13:52] Hunter: we're in this helicopter hovering parenting place in general, but people, you know, some listeners would argue like, but the world is dangerous, right? Like the, it's, it's dangerous for me to let my kids go out in the neighborhood by themselves and they, you know, things could happen. What, what are some of the big dangers?

That parents are, are worried about that, that we may not have to worry about so much.

[00:14:22] Lenore Skenazy: I'm going to flip it. I'm going to say some of the dangers that we aren't worrying about. Um, so you mentioned that your daughter is a Boy Scout, which is cool. Um, my kids were Boy Scouts too. Um, they were boy Boy Scouts.

That's how old, how long ago. And, um, the thing they teach you in Boy Scouts that is What I think is helpful is that, um, you know, in general, the, the, the big dangers to kids are not strangers. People focus on stranger danger, I think in part because it rhymes, but also because we've been taught it the whole time.

I mean, you were probably growing up when there were the missing children on the milk cartons, right? Oh yeah. Yeah. I remember that. Right. And you probably thought they were all kidnapped, right? Yeah. Yeah. That was scary. Yeah. Well, they weren't is the thing. I mean, most of them, the vast majority of kids who go missing are runaways, um, or taken in, um, like divorced parents are having a custody dispute.

You know, so actual stranger danger at the hands of a stranger is, um, vanishingly rare, thank God. On the other hand, you know, there are dangers to kids and most of them come at the hands of people they know. You know, family and family friends, and so, so what the Boy Scouts teach is the three R's, um, which is to recognize that no one can touch you where your bathing suit covers.

They just can't. You can start teaching kids, they don't have to be boys gut age, you can start teaching them that at age three, just like you're teaching them to stop, drop, and roll. Uh, so recognize, resist, Uh, if anybody tries to hurt you or touch you or do something bad or whatever, you're allowed to scream, run, kick, you know, you, you don't have to be polite.

You can do whatever you want, resist them, you know, and, and predators like everyone else don't want to be bothered. They would like something easier. And then finally it's report and report means tell me even if they said, don't tell anybody or if you tell anybody, I'm going to hurt somebody. You can always come to me.

I'll make sure that nobody gets hurt and I won't be mad at you. And so, by taking away, like, the shame and fear of talking to me, I have really taken away the predator's greatest asset. The greatest ally of them is secrecy. So if you've told your kids what to look out for, what to do, and, you know, what to do if the worst does happen, you have made your kid and, and all kids so much safer because You know, to tell your kids never go outside, you can't wait alone at the bus stop, you can't walk to school.

Um, statistically, we sort of got it backwards, you know, actually they're, they're sort of safe walking to the bus stop and sort of unsafe until you've taught them what to, you know, what to watch out for amongst the people they know.

[00:16:57] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Well, this is so important what you're saying because we, we want to protect our kids. We want to protect their innocence. So a lot of people have a lot of reticence to have those incredibly important conversations that you're talking about. And we also talked about this recently in the episode of Amy Lang, but that how incredibly vital and, um, preservative, that is, of your kid's health, physical health, mental health, all of that stuff.

Preventing trauma, how incredibly important that is. But we want to protect them and kind of keep their innocence so we feel uncomfortable having those conversations, so we don't have those conversations. But then we don't, we, we kind of hold them in from doing things out in the world.

[00:17:50] Lenore Skenazy: That's so good if they were a little protected, yeah.

[00:17:54] Hunter: So really the big thing that we're all, all these parents are worried about is our other adults in Stranger Danger. Maybe because we were raised with the kids on the back of the milk cartons, like the generation that were raised with that. So it's like deep in, in, in there. 

[00:18:10] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah. Yeah. So, um. The other thing is that, I don't even know what category this fits in, but it was a story that made an impression on me, which is that my friend's mom, 80 years old, and I guess I must have been talking to her about the same thing I'm talking to you about, which is kids and what they're allowed to do, and of course everybody starts reminiscing about their own childhood, and she grew up in New York City, and she and her sister were at, um, a public playground, and some guy said, You know, sort of motioned to them to come over to the car, and they didn't know what to do.

They came over to the car, and he rolled down the window, and then he pointed down, and guess what was there? And she said, yeah, right, right, right, and she said, and to this day, We giggle about it.

[00:18:58] Lenore Skenazy: And that was just such another generational response. I mean, just imagine, I mean, I don't want my kids to be exposed to creepy guys, you know, pulling down their pants.

Uh, for all I know, they happen. Um, but we can't. Assume that everything that's uncomfortable or even icky is a trauma, right? So, if you want to keep your kids trauma free, um, you know, try not to, I don't know, have your house burned down, try not to have something really terrible happen, but the little You know, icky things, discomforts that they have.

I mean, we, we really have to remember that the children like the rest of us are, are built to deal with some things and because they do, then they get this layer of. Protection, like insouciance, like, that was bad, I can laugh it off, what a jerk. My sister and I, you know, we bonded over this, as opposed to, now I'm damaged goods, my innocence is shed, I'll never be an okay person, perhaps I'll never love, the end.

It doesn't have to be that way, we've sort of been, um, fed this, I always think of it as Parents Magazine fault, but, um, you know, so many articles on all the terrible things that can happen. And then finally, you get down to the like, The smaller and smaller things that are considered terrible traumas and Winston Churchill said we did not come all this way because we are made of something like spun sugar, something your children will never get because they will never go to the candy store, but we aren't.

And there's this idea that the kinder we are, the more we think of our children in terms of how vulnerable they are. And I'm not saying they're not vulnerable. I'm saying they're vulnerable and resilient. 

[00:20:45] Hunter: Hmm. Yeah. And we, we can. Teach this resilience. And one thing I learned from you, which I think is so valuable in Free Range Kids, I got my copy way, way back when.

Um, is the idea that to teach your kids to talk to strangers.

[00:20:59] Lenore Skenazy: Oh, yeah. Yeah. No, strangers are good. That is so brilliant.

[00:21:03] Hunter: Like, to talk to strangers, you know, which is so, like, like that was so driven into us. Don't talk to strangers.

[00:21:11] Lenore Skenazy: Look at this. Look at this. This is my mask that I wear. I don't know if it's coming.

[00:21:14] Hunter: Oh, hello. It says, I talk to strangers. I love  it. 

[00:21:19] Lenore Skenazy: Because I do talk to strangers. I mean, frankly, I wouldn't be a reporter if I couldn't talk to strangers. Um, but what we, what I meant by that then and what, what you're talking about now is that since the vast majority of people are good. If your kid does feel threatened by someone, you know, if there's a, you know, the car is rolling along very slowly, not a car, sorry, a white van with no windows is, is following you quietly down the street.

And there's a guy who's dressed like a clown, you know, inside. And guess what? He happens to have lost his puppy too. Does he understand he's overkill here? Um, you know, you don't have to, uh, not talk to strangers. You can run across the street. To the guy who's raking his leaves or somebody who's walking their dog, some giant hulking stranger who is not following you in a car and say, I'm going to stand next to you until that creep with the, the, the clown guy goes away.

Because most people are good. And, um, I don't even like the advice, like go find a mom or go find a mom of little kids. Like, Oh, let's see, your child is seven. Could I trust you? Oh, your child's nine. Forget it. You know, people. You know, people who weren't following you down the street are not going to say like, well, I guess, you know, I have the rake, but better to have a child.

I guess I'll just go steal him since he's fallen into my lap. People don't work that way. So don't take all the good people out of your children's lives, the people who could help them if they are ever in a difficult situation, um, by saying, don't talk to them. You know, there's that famous Boy Scout story again of the, the Utah Boy Scout.

Who was lost on the trail and I can't remember his name. So we're going to call him Timmy and, and all the people like fanned out for three days, Timmy, Timmy, and whenever you hear his name, he'd go and hide. Because they were strangers. Yes, don't talk to strangers. But, right, finally, I guess he was starving or something, I mean, they found him.

And it's not an apocryphal story. You can Google Utah Boy Scouts stranger danger. Um, but anyway, so the point is that teach your kids that they can't, you know, you can't tolerate a person doing something creepy, but you can definitely talk to people, um, because they're interesting or because you need them.

And the whole key is that you can talk to strangers, you can't go off with strangers. Because little kids don't even know who's a stranger, right? You know, this nice guy on the park, he says he knows mommy. Is that a stranger? It's not going to seem a stranger to a five year old, but I can't go with you. No, I cannot go with you.

Simple as that. 

[00:23:40] Hunter: Yeah. I love that. So we can teach our kids, I cannot go with you. The three R's, but what you're describing, Lenore, really requires like a major mindset shift for parents because I think that we, as a culture, tend to be so fear oriented. You know, we're fed this 24 hour news cycle. We have a natural, innate negativity bias where we're on alert for threats.

[00:24:06] Lenore Skenazy: I just pressed send on my article on this. Why are people afraid of their unvaccinated parent or their vaccinated parents? Visiting with the unvaccinated grandkids. And it's like, there's this negativity bias and also the 24 hour news cycle. Also the 24 hour news cycle about COVID. I mean, there's just, oh my God, there goes the bird.

Um, sorry, we have this bittern in our backyard, our courtyard. It's amazing. Um, so yes, everything you're talking about is true. I mean, do people know about the negativity bias? Cause you should explain it. 

[00:24:37] Hunter: Yeah. So way, you know, we evolved as a species to survive, right? Those who survived were able to, had an ability to remember where danger was and what was most dangerous and where the, the poisonous thing was and where the dangerous river crossing was.

And those were the ones who survived and passed on their genes. So our, it was much more, much more important for us to do that. then to remember where the delicious strawberries were. It's much, much more important to remember where the poisonous thing was or the danger was. And those are the, the ones who passed on their genes.

So we just all have this natural bias towards negativity. The neuroscientists say that our brains are like, uh, they're like, Teflon for positive things and like a Velcro for the negative things. So it's important to recognize that and, and we have to kind of start to notice that. Notice that I'm always worrying.

I'm always thinking about the negative thing and start to actively interrupt that pattern and counteract that if we're going to have any peace at all, I think. 

[00:25:43] Lenore Skenazy: Right, so, uh, I could go into advertisement mode, but I feel not bad because, um, what I'm advertising is free. So, so, so I did Free Range Kids for 10 years, right?

Just me and this very same computer that you're interviewing me on, writing all the time, giving lectures all around the country, and actually sometimes the world. And so many people would nod along. I would say, you know, like, Uh, do, what do you remember doing that you loved doing as a kid? And I said, oh, they loved, whatever.

And then I said, that you don't let your own kids do. And everybody would laugh and go, oh my God, it's true. We love playing in the forest. We love making the, the forts. We went to the candy store. You know, whatever it is, people would talk about that. And then I would give all my statistics like, If you wanted your child to be kidnapped and held overnight by a stranger, how long would you have to keep them outside, unsupervised, for this to be statistically likely to happen?

[00:26:37] Hunter: Oh, I love this statistic. I have no idea. Something like 40, uh, 40, I don't know, like 40, 000 hours or something crazy. Like, I don't remember.

[00:26:44] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah, it's, it's, it's crazy. It's 750, 000 years. Um, oh my God. Yeah. You know, just like how many, how many Powerball tickets would you have to buy to be statistically likely?

So it's, it's a huge number. And actually I just read another number that was like 8 trillion. One in eight trillion for something, but I don't remember what. But anyways, the point is that we're afraid of things that have, um, a very small likelihood of happening. And, and so you say these things and people laugh and people reminisce and people try to do the numbers and then they go home and nothing changed because of exactly what you just said.

It is really hard. You can't be the only person. Sending your kid to the park, if nobody else is going to be playing with the kid in the park, except a stranger, except the guy who lost his puppy. So, uh, you know, and if your neighbors are going to say like, I saw your kid outside, is that okay? She's only 15, you know, whatever it is.

So, so what you have to have is You, you, you can't change a single person at once, or you can, but it's, um, it's really retail. But if you can change a community at once, or a group of people at once, so they're all going through this experience together, including the kids, then it is much more fun, much more organic, much less scary, um, and just normal.

So when I say that, so, so, so 10 years, Free Range Kids, me on my computer. And then about three or four years ago, Jonathan Haidt, who wrote, um, The Coddling of the American Mind, uh, was talking to Daniel Schuchman, who used to be the head of something called FIRE, which fights for free speech on campus, and they were both bemoaning the fact that on campus, kids seem fragile.

You know, like, I was just listening to a seminar last night from some psychologist at Yale, saying that there's, there's just too many kids for the slots that are available. for the mental health services they have. Sometimes you're put off for weeks or months. And so what is going on? Um, so one good thing is that it, it is no longer embarrassing to ask for help.

You know, to, to say, I want to get some mental health is not considered like you weakling or you crazy person. So that's good. But it also seems like simple things are making kids feel more afraid and, um, tense and nervous and anxious than in other eras. Like going into a store. So, um, the idea of we have to change childhood somehow, but changing childhood was not working with my brilliant lectures and amazing statistics.

So when we formed our new nonprofit called Let Grow, not let it grow, not let's go, let grow, we decided we would focus on behavior. And our two main, um, initiatives are through the schools because there's a bunch of people in schools, it's not house to house combat. And so one of them is what I was just mentioning before, the Let Grow Project, where all the kids in a class, a grade, a school, a school district, get the homework assignment, go home and do something new.

on your own without your parents. And we give a big list. It looks a little babyish, but it's a big list. And you don't have to do something that's on the list. You can make up anything that you want to do. You can go to the creeks, you can ride your bike, you can make dinner, you can walk the dog, you can, um, you know, whatever it is that interests you, that your parents agree to.

And the parents who normally might not be ready to agree do because everyone's doing it. And the school is endorsing it. 

[00:30:17] Hunter: We did this in my school. We did it. You know.

[00:30:21] Lenore Skenazy: Oh my God, tell me, Oh my God, I should interview you. Okay. Tell me when, really, we never hear, you know, these schools that everybody downloads the stuff we see, you know, 50 states, people have downloaded our things, but do they write us?

Do they call us? No. So tell me about what happened. Never call. Never call. Really. I agree with children.

[00:30:41] Hunter: No, we, we got the list sent home and for us, They had already done most of the things on the list in my family. Throw out the list. Yeah. But it was, uh, we were really happy that we did it as a school. I think we just did it the one year.

I mean, then we had the whole pandemic, so I don't know what, yeah, it's bad timing, what the, the timing was not good for that. So, but, but yeah, it seemed like, uh, at least in my own family, I didn't talk about it with a lot of the others, but I guess, and I could, I could actually ask the principal if you want, but.

[00:31:12] Lenore Skenazy: Um, and it's all to do with this coming year, you know, and I, and I'll talk to you on the phone. That'd be great. Sure.

[00:31:19] Hunter: Sure. I'd be happy to, because exactly that, like we want our kids to, who, you know, are allowed to go out and explore the world and do things to, we want their friends to. Be able to join them, you know, we want them to be able to go out and find their friends, but then now I'm just worried that the pandemic has just set all the kids back into, like, just, you know, playing video games all the time, so.

I don't know. I'm a little worried about the, uh, the future of their, their, their exploration, their time exploring outside and in the neighborhood and in various things. But they did as a couple of friends, some friends of them and my daughter and some friends, they biked to the comic book store. Whoa. So they did do that.

Comic books with a friend, that was enough motivation. But as somehow the, the convenience store was.

[00:32:11] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah, and too daunting, but all those, all those nice middle aged guys are hanging out at the comic book store. Now, so, um, that is very cool. Did they do it just once? Just once, yeah. Mm hmm. That's interesting.

So, when I first, I mean, I don't come up with any of my ideas. Let's just be frank. The, the, the Let Grow Project started out as the Free Range Kids Project. It was invented by a sixth grade teacher in Manhattan. And then, um, when it became the Let Grow Project, we sort of, you know, interviewed other people who were doing it.

And there was one teacher who did it 20 times in a year. Yeah. And there are ones who do it every semester. There's ones who do it every other week and every month, or as much as the kids want, I mean, it was really. There's this book called The New Power and the idea is like you give up your power so that people all take these things and do them themselves.

And I'm trying to give up power. Do the Let Grow project however your school sees fit. But the ones, I have to say, that the teacher who let her, who had her kids do 20 projects in a year, those kids changed so dramatically, we made a little video about it, but also there's like a book coming out with a chapter on them and it's not my book, my book has a chapter on them too.

Tell us about them. What happened? Oh my God, it was so great. And you know what I'll do? I'll also send the, um, we have a two minute video. And so, first I just went out to meet them, um, while they were still in seventh grade, uh, towards the end of the year. And these were the most lovely kids. They're just You know, maybe all kids are lovely and charming, but they would just sit with me and tell me what they did and what they were afraid to do.

And they kept saying things like, you know, I was afraid to get out of my comfort zone, but Ms. Marichi, who's their teacher, you know, told me I had to. And then for the let grow, they kept calling it the let grow. So for the let grow, I, you know, at first I, I decided I would make breakfast and I, you know, I Googled some videos on how to make breakfast and I did it and I realized I loved cooking.

And then I decided I would do something else. This one girl, she's not in the video, so I'll just tell you about her. She said that she's very, she didn't use the word shy, but she said like, I don't like talking to people, you know, and I'm really quiet. And I, basically, she's scared when she has to go up to people.

Um, but she did the, she did the cooking. And then one morning, um, her parents. I guess for her Legro project, let her stay home alone with her younger sister. So seventh grade, she's 12 or 13 years old and her little sister I think was kindergarten or first grade and the parents had to go I think to an eye appointment early in the morning.

So that morning she got up and she made breakfast for her sister and she helped her get dressed and she got her backpack ready and she took her to the bus stop and then she stood at the bus stop and while the little girl gets on the bus and then she's waving through the window. And then the girl talking to me, the 7th grader said, and she said, I don't know why, but I was practically crying.

And, and it was, it was that I felt important to someone. And I think, you know, in our, in our desire, and also not our desire, we've been told to do so much for our kids. To be there at the, you know, pick up and drop off and at every play date and at every soccer meet and at every practice. Um, You know, we're told that that's what a good parent should do.

But what we're depriving them of is the chance for them to see. They're important and they're competent and they are part of the world. Another girl told me she was really excited because she was with her mother and their twin younger sisters. And she said, mom, can I walk home instead of sitting here with you watching the younger sisters at the soccer game?

And the mom was like, no. And she's like, let group project. All right. So she walked home and then after that, her mom let her walk to church one day. And there was something about the combination of the independence. And church, you know, which is such a significant thing. And she said, I prayed by myself.

It's just so interesting. Right? It's like you have a, God is watching, not just your parents watching you, that is direct to you. Anyways, that seemed like a new thing. Yeah, a personal relationship. Yeah, yeah. And, and then she did other things after that. She got her ears pierced, with her mom's permission, and um, oh, she joined the, she tried out for the swim team, which she'd never tried out for anything before.

I mean, so all these kids were like, I guess you can't say literally blossoming, because they didn't grow leaves, but they were opening up. In a way that they had literally been like shut down before. And it was just, it was not only cool for me to see, but their parents were seeing somebody new. And the girl who did the, went to the church by herself, got the ears pierced.

She said, now she started to realize what her parents life was like. You know, they had to do all these things. They always had to be at everything. And they always had to walk you and wait and watch and congratulate. And she said, I understood more what their life was like. And she said, and that improved our relationship.

[00:37:11] Hunter: Wow. You know, an amazingly self aware kiddo. That's beautiful. I mean, and that's, I mean, one of the reasons like when I, I talked to you again recently, I wanted to bring you back on the podcast was because this. Moments that we're in, you know, where we have all been shut down, like we've been all told by higher authorities to stay inside, to not contact people, and to not take risks, and to really be, um, cautious and conservative in, in every way we can, and that has been the right thing to do during this pandemic.

But now we're at a place where the many communities, and it's different everywhere, but we're starting to move out of this. We're starting to, oh, I can like hear like the angels singing as I talk about it. But we're starting to move out of this, but, and what, there are things maybe that we want to take with us from the pandemic.

Like we, maybe we want to take with us a slower pace of activities and stuff and things like that. But. Do we want to break out of that that pandemic has molded us into and one of them is this super cautious, conservative place where we are with ourselves and our kids and I wonder if you have any thoughts on that for how we can start to, I mean, yet we can do the Let Grow Project like you, this is what I did is I reached out to my principal.

I said, let's do this thing and then we did it. Now I'm going to reach out again and say, let's do it a couple more times. Let's But anyway, we can do that, but what else can we do maybe as individuals or as in conversations and groups with other parents to help facilitate all this opening up from this closed space that we've been in for so long with the pandemic?

Do you have any ideas on that, Lenore?

[00:39:11] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:39:19] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah, I have a couple and then I have a question for you. Um, one is You know, the thing that kids have been most deprived of this year is obviously hanging out with other kids. And actually at Let Grow, we thought that that was happening even before the pandemic, because so many of the times that kids would get together.

They wouldn't be coming up with what to do. They wouldn't be solving any problems. They wouldn't be creative together. It was, you know, it was soccer practice or it was chess club, or it was something that might be fun and enriching, but it wasn't, um, by them. It wasn't them organizing their time and even just hanging out, you know, you can't just hang out and talk if you're supposed to be playing soccer.

So I would say the goal would be to give kids, you know, once you feel comfortable, um, COVID wise, to let kids have free time together. It's just, it's something that has been seeping out of kids lives for a generation or two, as every moment is structured. And I work with Peter Gray, um, who wrote the book Free to Learn, one of my very favorite books.

He's a psychologist and a genius and a guru, and I love him. Um, and an avuncular guy with a twinkle in his eye. And the thing is that he says that as. As children's free time and sort of freedom, freedom not just to roam, but to be with other kids, to waste time, quote unquote waste time, has shrunk, so has their resilience.

You know, we've been seeing kids getting more anxious, depressed, passive, self harm, all this bad stuff. And, um, one of the real antidotes to that, or maybe it's the opposite, one of the reasons they're feeling that is because they don't have this time to just, Figure out what they're interested in, hang out, just talk with a friend, and not just all over social media, like go together for that walk or play a game, um, you know, maybe your 12 year old will not be playing a game, but you know, seven year olds can get together with chalk, right?

Or a ball or a jump rope. And um, one, there's a couple of ways to make that happen. One way that I've very slightly tried to popularize is the work date, play date. Like, I'm always working, you know, it'd be nice if I could take my computer over to your house and we would both sit there and we would, you know, take breaks and laugh and talk and not just be stuck writing all the time.

And then the kids would be in the backyard, don't come in for an hour, I'm locking the door. And so the kids have someone to play with. They don't have to be the same age. In fact, mixed ages is great. And then, so it's like, we have a play date and they have a play date, but never the twain shall meet. We're not watching over them.

We're not saying, do you need a snack right now, honey? You feel a little warm? Do you need to hydrate? They're fine. They're fine. And once they get absorbed in something, they won't be asking every second for, you know, a drink, a snack, whatever, because it's fun is playing with each other. So I would say try to do that.

And then maybe this is the one I want your help with is that one of the things I haven't done to my chagrin in all these years of Free Range Kids and Let Grow is figure out how to make Local groups, you know, I mean, you're a mom who would like to be with, I would guess, some other moms and who all thought that it wasn't crazy to let your kid walk to the store or play outside or ride a bike.

How do, how do we get people together to do that? I mean, they don't have to be in the same room, but they can be, you know, you can have a barbecue or whatever, but how do you, how do you find another set of parents so that at least, you know, even if most of the parents on your block wouldn't send the kids to the park?

Learn You have, you know, two close friends nearby who do.

[00:42:53] Hunter: Yeah, it's tough because our, our, our social circles are not like geographically centric, you know, I happen to have a group of moms in my neighborhood that we are all on a text chain together because. Someone started a book club, and we've given, we gave up on books a couple of years ago.

[00:43:14] Lenore Skenazy: Excellent, yeah. That's what I hate about book clubs.

[00:43:18] Hunter: We don't do the books anymore, but we do, we do have this sort of text chain. And we have, the problem I find, I guess, now that my kids are older, is pulling them away from, uh, where their friends are, which is Minecraft. Um, other online social media, not necessarily in person so that the kids are a little awkward when they get together because they're so unused to talking to each other in a normal space.

But, um, I know, I guess I would love, I, this needs to be a bit, a bigger conversation, you know, like how do we reach out and create groups where we can. You know, we can say, you know, because sometimes what we do is we say, we're all meeting at the, you know, in our neighborhood, like the big green, you know what I mean?

Or we take the dogs out and the dogs are playing in the circle and like bring the kids, we'll bring some snacks and the kids run around like crazy, you know? So I think we need to kind of create those moments, but definitely those moments of like, um, Where it's like, yeah, here, you guys go over here and we'll be over here.

Creating a little separation between the parents and the kids is important. And I know, I think we often don't think about that as parents.

[00:44:33] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah, I, you know, that, that, that is one of the questions I ask in my lectures is, you know, remember the thing that you loved doing as a kid and everybody reminiscence for a second.

I said, raise your hand if your mom was there. You know, not a lot of hands. Um, so a couple of ideas. One is from Richard Louv who wrote Last Child in the Woods. And he recommends, even for like a local neighborhood, to um, I guess have a sign up sheet or something, obviously it would be online. Where like, Monday afternoons from 5 to 7, I'll be on my stoop.

And Tuesday afternoons from 5 to 7, you'll be on your stoop. So that there is an adult out there, and obviously it'd be more fun if you and I were on the same stoop together and we could just talk. But, um, that way the other parents feel safe sending their kids outside, and, and yet it's not you having to be, you know, playing one on one security detail with your own kid all the time.

So, that's one idea, and I, I, I haven't used Nextdoor, but that might be a way to do it through Nextdoor or through a Facebook group. I wrote down Camper. Why? Oh, I heard this idea from, um, Audrey Monk, who wrote, like, Happy Campers, or Oh, yeah, yeah, Audrey Monk, Happy Campers. Happy Campers. She's on the podcast.

Yeah, yeah. Very soon. Oh, she's great. Yeah. She's so knowledgeable about practical things. And one of her ideas was that, um, you set aside a time each day that is outdoor time and say it's on Saturdays from, you know, 12 to three, or it's on, you know, after school days from four to five or whatever it is, it's something that.

You guys set up, a parent sets up with a kid, and that way, it's not you nagging the kid, Oh my god, you've been on Minecraft forever, you know, how many Roblox can you, you know, play? Instead, it's like, oh hon, it's six, it's outdoor time. Just like it's six, it's time to go to bed, or, or wake up. Whatever, six is a terrible time for anything.

But the point is that it's just a, it's part of the daily schedule as opposed to a daily fight. Because it's just It's less like you have to brush your teeth before you go to bed, you have to, you know, at 6, 6 o'clock it's time to go outside.

[00:46:42] Hunter: This is just something we do and so parents, we can talk to our kids about that by saying like let's have a talk about like we all need time to be outside, we all need outside time, we need time to just run around and.

Do whatever, and you guys can do whatever you want, let's, let's figure out together when, when is the best time for us to do this as a family, like when in our week can we do that, you know, and that can be a good conversation, and when you can have that conversation with your kids and invite them for, into the conversation for their feedback, then there's not a fight, you know, then you don't have the fight.

[00:47:18] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah, now that seems really good. Um, and so the, the third idea is our other Let Grow initiative, which is the Let Grow Play Club, where I was just talking this morning to, to Boston schools about this. So where you have the school stay open before or after school, uh, However many days a week they can do it.

Uh, for mixed age, loose parts, no device, free play. And so anyone who wants to, I mean this works in the neighborhoods that are too dangerous for kids to play in parks. Or they work in the neighborhood where, you know, the, the fanciest of neighborhoods. It doesn't matter because kids are already at school or they come a little early to school.

And at the schools that have done play clubs where you just have a hundred kids or however many, you know, that, that fit. Um. Zooming around, there's an adult there for legal purposes, but they're like, I always imagine them in the corner with an EpiPen in one hand and a cigarette in the other, but Peter Gray lostily says, imagine them like a lifeguard at the oceanfront.

I'm like, okay, I'm imagining them with the cigarette and the EpiPen, but okay. So then the kids, if they, you know, they have to make up their own games, they have to figure out who they want to play with, they have to solve their own disputes. And what we've heard from schools that have done these, is that at first the kids come and say, like, he was, he tucked them all, and it's like, thank you for letting me know.

And, and after a while, the kids realize, like, the adult is not going to, Be Solomon, I better go and do with this, do this on my own. And we've heard amazing stories of kids, especially like an awkward kid, you know, the fourth grader who might be a little slow or even just a genius, but nobody likes. So what?

They start playing tag with the first graders. And suddenly, everyone they see, you know, the first graders see him in the hall the next day, it's like, That's Hector! There's Hector! Remember? Chase me, Hector! I mean, it just, it can change the kid's entire experience of school. They can make friends, if they haven't had a lot of friends.

Teachers, the one crouching in the corner, see the kid who is like, you know, he's terrible at math, but boy, he's getting everybody organized for the basketball game. You know, you can, you can have the, the, the, we've seen schools where there's children who are normally in a, um, I forget the word for it, but it's like a closed classroom or a segregated classroom.

Special ed kids are not segregated at playtime and everybody just finds new empathy. The older kids like playing with the younger kids and they're not bullying. They're actually nicer to the younger kids. They're actually nicer to their own peers than they are when there are no younger kids around. And the younger kids.

Are so excited that the older kids are playing with them, that they don't want to be like babies, so they start holding themselves together. And instead of just whining or crying, they're like, I can handle this. You know, they brush themselves off and they play some more. So this is nothing new. This is what human beings did for the first 3 million years we were on earth.

But it hasn't happened lately because it's been. They've been in organized activities where they do have somebody to decide if the ball was in or out. They do have somebody to decide how you're going to play the game and what the game is and who's on which team and who goes first. But learning all those things, negotiating all those things are these amazing social emotional skills that I would say have probably rotted this past year, if not just rusted.

And to bring them back, you know, we can't wait to see what happens when, you know, if It's, um, allowed in terms of, you know, in terms of the disease, if kids can be interacting again by the fall, which I'm pretty sure they will be, to have a Let Grow Play Club is a The simplest way to have kids Unselfconsciously get back to normal.

[00:51:07] Hunter: I love this. I I want this so badly. So then the, so dear listener, Lenore has a lot of amazing resources on the Let Grow side. Do you wanna just tell 'em real quick? Yeah. Like what, what are the resources?

[00:51:19] Lenore Skenazy: So, yeah, I'd love to. Sure. So, um, if you go to Let Grow L-E-T-G-R-O w.org. And you click on the school programs, you'll see the Let Grow Play Club and you can just bring it to a teacher or a principal or whatever.

And there's, you know, it doesn't take a lot to start one, but we made a lot of pages, so it looks like it's very official. And it also explains like the benefits of free play and a little pledge that the kids sign, which is. Um, I'm not allowed to leave without asking somebody and I'm not allowed to deliberately hurt somebody.

Right? And they sign that. And then the parents sign a little pledge saying that I know my kid is not going to be happy every single second. That's the way it goes. And, and then if, and then we have suggestions, like if a kid does act out and, or is, you know, hitting somebody or doing something bad, which is rare, um, they don't get to play for the rest of that day and they get to come back the next day.

So it's not this permanent mark against them, and generally the drive to play is pretty darn strong in kids, and so that's, What sort of brings them along? We've heard great stories about fewer kids going to the principal's office and stuff once play club comes. I mean, not to say that it's a panacea, but I think the reason that all species play is that it provides something really important for the growing.

You know, Mouse, Spider, Uh, Lion, and Human. So, uh, Spiders play? Ants play. I don't know about spiders. Ants play fight. I know, I know. I didn't do the research myself, and I can't imagine how glad I am, uh, not to be the researcher who's studying ant play. And my god, dinners at that house. You know, guess what I saw today?

Let me ask. There was an ant. It was fighting. Yes! It was so great! Um, but, uh, let's, let's put it this way, for sure all mammals play. Yeah, definitely all mammals. But I definitely read about ants play fighting. Wow.

[00:53:08] Hunter: Yeah. So there's a ton of resources there. And one of the resources you have there that I've really enjoyed is the like, Um, the list of statistics page that, yeah.

[00:53:17] Lenore Skenazy: Yeah, I have a couple of front pages. Yeah, there's, there's one that's the, there's the Crime Stach page, which has all these fantastic graphs of crime going. We're back and down, down, down, down, down, down. Listening. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. That was like stairs. Dun, dun, dun dun. Um, with a slight uptick, I have to say, during covid, but I'm hoping that that's just.

COVID craziness. And then we have a page on urban myths, like, is it true that, you know, sex trafficking is rampant in America and children are getting taken from their parents when they go shopping at Target? And, in fact, I interviewed the head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center to ask him how many instances Does, you know, have been recorded through the FBI through local police departments in America of children taken from their parents while they were shopping in a pub or in a public place and and sold into sex trafficking and the answer is

[00:54:13] Hunter: I have no idea.

I'm probably, oh God, I have no idea. I know this has like been a big worry for people in certain circles recently.

[00:54:22] Lenore Skenazy: It is a big worry, but it's zero is the number. Oh, then the head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center. He works with the Department of Justice, you know, looking at the numbers and the FBI statistics.

So some of our worries, you know, your brain is filled with Images and ideas, and they float in from a lot of places, including Liam Neeson movies, and, and, uh, those are really scary, you know, and, and they're fiction, they're fiction. Not that there isn't, you know, sex trafficking in Thailand and stuff like that, but children taken from their parents.

Um, and sex traffic in America is something that has, there, there's no recorded instance of it in the Department of Justice statistics.

[00:55:08] Hunter: That's a heartening statistic. Yeah. I mean, I really find that page helpful because when, sometimes as I've talked about some of these ideas, people say, but did you know blah, blah, blah, and they'll spout something that's.

Completely wrong. And I was like, actually, this is really, it's good to know. Like it's, it's way safer in our world than it, than it used to be. And so I love that. I love the let grow school stuff. I'm going to be reaching out to my principal again.

[00:55:33] Lenore Skenazy: Tell us when you do it for God's sake, you know, and also we'd love to give you our survey so that parents could take it.

And so we would have more data on it because it really does seem like. Um, the parent's anxiety level goes down, and the kid's level of anxiety goes down. Um, but it would be nice to have more statistics, we have like tiny studies we would like to have more. 

[00:55:56] Hunter: Okay, well, there you go dear listener, if you do this, reach out to Lenore.

Thank you so much for coming back on the Mindful Mama podcast, and thank you for doing this work. It's so needed, and you have a wonderful, strong voice that, you know, and you bring a wonderful sense of humor to it, but it's like so needed. I really, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today, and I appreciate the work that you do.

So thank you. Well, you are not only welcome, I would say to any of your listeners, if they want, you know, if your school does something or if you have a particular question, you can write to info at letgrow. org, but frankly, it comes to me anyway, so you can write to Lenore at letgrow. org and, um, you know, I really, all I care about is just getting us to the point where we can breathe again and so can our kids.

So, um, if you're doing that, let me know. Lenore. Yeah? Book. 

[00:56:56] Hunter: Coming out again.

[00:56:57] Lenore Skenazy: Is it not? Yes, it is. It is the long awaited, by hopefully some people, second edition of Free Range Kids. And now it says, How Parents and Teachers Can Let Go and Let Grow. And it has all these new chapters. There's a chapter for teachers, or I guess we call them educators.

And, um, new statistics and studies, a lot of jokes and, uh, just stories from, look, I've been doing, I've been rowing this, uh, what have I been doing? I haven't been hoeing, please. No, I've been hoeing the row, um, for 12 years and there's a lot more stories to tell, so they're in, in free range kits.

[00:57:38] Hunter: Yay, that's awesome.

I'll, I'll look for my second copy too and I'll pass on my first one. So what date is that

[00:57:44] Lenore Skenazy: coming out? Do you know the date? I believe it's June 16th. Yeah. All right. June 16th. Awesome. Let's call June 16th Free Range Kids Day. Free Range Kids Day.

[00:57:53] Hunter: Go get your copy, dear listener. It is a great book and then you can help spread the word.

Thank you so

[00:57:58] Lenore Skenazy: much, Lenore. Oh, thanks. Thank you, Hunter.


[00:58:10] Hunter: love what Lenore has to say about independence because it's so true. Our kids, we need to let them have this resilience. And it's really interesting because it takes a lot of that inner work of letting go, right? Our fear response wants us to slightly hover and

[00:58:26] Lenore Skenazy: control

[00:58:27] Hunter: and all that, but it does take some inner work to let it go.

And that is definitely some of the inner work that we do. Mindful Parenting. A lot of parenting coaches out there, you know, they talk about like the best ways to respond to your child, but guess what? They actually don't walk you through the research proven practices that it really takes to make those inside out changes.

What's so wonderful about that is that as we do that, as we gain more awareness from the inside out, you know, we work on both of those things at the same time. We work on that inner work and we work on that outer communication. And parenting gets easier and easier as time goes on, which is so cool. So, if you want to learn more and get on the wait list, take it deeper.

Go to mindfulparentingcourse. com. And if you got something out of this episode, if you thought that, you know, you have some questions, maybe you got some objections to what Lenore and I talked about, I would love to know. If you found it helpful, or if you're going to do the Let Go Project in your school, you should totally do it.

Talk to your principal. You know, it makes such a difference for me to know the impact this podcast is making. It really helps me to keep going and, and, you know, and have me and the team do all the work that we do to get this to your ears. So please, please let me know. It makes such a big difference. And of course, if you want to take it deeper, learn more at mindfulparentingcourse.

com. And what else do I want to tell you as we do this outro, my friend? I'm just glad you're here. I'm glad you're, you're here as part of this Mindful Mama tribe. You know, and Mindful Mama doesn't mean you can't be a papa or whatever you want to call yourself to. It's for moms, it's for dads. I know that if you're here, if you're listening to this, I know that you are smart.

[01:00:16] Lenore Skenazy: You're

[01:00:17] Hunter: thoughtful and you really care. You want to be part of the healing and that's amazing and I appreciate that about you and I want to water those seeds in you because those are the best seeds in all of us, those seeds of wanting to be part of the healing and wanting to be part of the change for that next generation.

So good for you for being here, I'm so glad you're here. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me. I'm wishing you a beautiful week, my friend. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate

[01:01:02] Lenore Skenazy: better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent. To your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I had this.

[01:01:44] Hunter: You can

[01:01:45] Lenore Skenazy: continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and Gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[01:02:00] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You will be joining Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparentingcourse. com To add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.

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