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Feb 6, 2015

Word BalloonOn this week's group chat, we revisited free-range parenting in light of a Slate article that seemed to want to declare a Free-Range Revolution over the police response to a couple of kids walking home by themselves. We discussed where we personally draw the line between appropriate and inapproprite independence; our own fears that people might fear for our kids' safety; the importance of parenting to the abilities of your own particular kid; the dangers of parenting with a capital P; and the many technological solutions available for discreet child surveillance.

Next, we considered giving kids a little classroom freedom by pulling them out of school for family vacations. A recent New York Timearticle suggested that some schools might consider that illegal, and we talked about the times when it might really be okay (say, for sporting events) and really might not be (if you're teaching your kid that school rules are stupid).

Finally, we shared our recommendations for the week: Catherine directed readers to's children's books site for the latest book award winners, and to her own list on great sports books for tweens and teens, which includes this year's Newbery honoree; Amanda offered snowbound parents her personally tested list of activities to help hyperactive kids beat cabin fever; Nicole recommended Life 360, MamaBear, Find My Friends, and Tile for all your child-spying needs; and Terri was happy about the way actors Chris Pratt and Chris Evans used a fun Super Bowl bet as a way to give sick kids a special experience (and raise money for Christopher's Haven and Seattle Children's Hospital).

Thanks as always to Jon Morin for producing our episode and Kristin Eredics for our happy in-and-out music. (If you're reading this description somewhere without hyperlinks, come to for the full recap experience.)