Lenore Skenazy, dubbed America's worst mom, is visiting Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Kamloops this month to talk about 'free range' parenting.
Skenazy wrote about letting her nine-year-old son ride the New York subway alone in her New York Times column in 2008. Within days, she was on U.S. Talk shows defending herself.
“That’s what it took for me to learn just what a hot-button this is – this issue of whether good parents ever let their kids out of their sight,” said the columnist.
“All through the Valley, we celebrate 'Unplug and Play' week and the Catch (Community Action Toward Children's Health) Coalition in Kelowna was looking to bring in a speaker who would spark some real discussion about parenting,” said Darcy Calkins with the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society. “She's such a controversial figure who questions the whole concept of helicopter parenting and challenges the idea that kids are unsafe.”
Calkins' group decided to get on board and invite Skenazy to speak in Salmon Arm.
“In Salmon Arm, a lot of groups are saying we need to have this conversation. There's a lot of judging in parenting circles. I have a number of stories where a parent will tell another 'you can't do that, you are not a responsible parent'.
Calkins said there are some 17-year-olds in Salmon Arm who are not allowed to walk home after an evening movie.
“It conjures a feeling of imminent danger yet these kids are heading off to university the next year without necessary skills. They're more capable than we lead them to believe.”
Skeknazy will appear in:
- Kelowna, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Ave. Everyone is welcome, but must be registered.
- Salmon Arm, Jan. 25 at 6:30pm at Salmon Arm Secondary's Sullivan campus. The event is free, but seats must be reserved.
- Kamloops, Jan. at 6:30 p.m. at the Sandman Centre,300 Lorne Street. The event is free, but you must register for seats.