My latest for Grist is all about why I love mine.
Not necessarily. From my latest for Grist:
Cities have a bad reputation with parents, for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest: crime. Ask the average suburban parents why they’ve chosen to raise their family far away from the urban core, and chances are good the topic will come up early in the conversation. Cities might be enriching and green and beneficial for kids in all kinds of ways. But what most parents want to know is, are they safe?
Last week, I chatted with Lenore Skenazy, author of Free Range Kids, about this very topic. You remember Lenore. She’s the mom who was crucified by the national media back in 2008, after she let her nine-year old son ride the subway alone and then wrote about it for The New York Sun. A self-described “worrier mom,” Skenazy encourages parents — no matter where they live — to move beyond fears and focus on facts.
So I ask you: Where is the woman who wrote an entire book about risks to children (and knows a thing or two about safety) choosing to raise her own family? Yes folks, a city. Actually, the city: Manhattan.
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My latest for Grist: “Driving a car doesn’t mean being in control”:
It’s during the times we are not able to drive that it becomes clear just how little “control” a car-dependent life provides. Driving a mile or more to buy a gallon of milk or a box of Band-Aids may not seem especially remarkable until your alternator dies. Or gas prices rise above $4 per gallon. Or the roads are covered in a foot of snow.
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In my latest Grist column, I present a different take on “green” parenting.
Most environmentally aware parents would say that we’d like to keep the planet in good shape for our kids. We’d like them to have clean air to breathe, healthy sources of food and water, and the good fortune to coexist with a variety of species of plants and animals. We’d also probably prefer that they not be drowned by rising sea levels before they reach retirement. This is somewhat (OK, a lot) ironic, since many of the environmental ills that threaten our children’s futures have been exacerbated by our attempts to keep them safe in the here and now.
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Sweet Chicklet turns three today. In honor: my first Grist column is all about busing with babies–er, I mean big kids.
Since our daughter, Rosa was born, three years ago today, we’ve been Metro parents. Rosa took her first bus trip home from the hospital at one day old and has ridden almost daily ever since. What I’ve learned is that there are significant challenges to parenting without a car. This is not because there’s anything inherently unhealthy or inconvenient about taking kids on public transit, but because most U.S. cities, including mine, were built (or rebuilt) to accommodate cars. I’ve also learned that opting to continue our bus-based life was an excellent choice for our children’s health and well-being. Here’s why. Read the rest…