PJ Media

America's Worst Mom?

I saw this a href=”http://www.newsweek.com/id/133103/page/1″article from emNewsweek/em /a advertised at MSN with the provocative caption, “Is this America’s Worst Mom? Her crime? She let her son ride the subway alone:br /br /blockquoteWould you let your fourth-grader ride public transportation without an adult? Probably not. Still, when Lenore Skenazy, a columnist for the New York Sun, wrote about letting her son take the subway alone to get back to her Manhattan home from a department store on the Upper East Side, she didn’t expect to get hit with a tsunami of criticism from readers.br /br /”Long story short: My son got home, ecstatic with independence,” Skenazy wrote on April 4 in the New York Sun. “Long story longer: Half the people I’ve told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse. As if keeping kids under lock and key and helmet and cell phone and nanny and surveillance is the right way to rear kids. It’s not. It’s debilitating—for us and for them.”br /br /Online message boards were soon swarming with people both applauding and condemning Skenazy’s decision to let her son go it alone. She wound up defending herself on the cable news networks (accompanied by her son) and on popular blogs like the Huffington Post, where her follow-up piece was ironically headlined “More From America’s Worst Mom.”/blockquotebr /br /So, is this mom really America’s worst? In my opinion, that honor should be reserved for the likes of a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Yates”Andrea Yates./a This mom sounds like she knows her son and what he is capable of. When I was in graduate school in New York in the 80’s, it was a far more dangerous place. I saw kids ride the subway all the time. No one seemed to care. Now that it’s safer, no one thinks kids should come out of their homes.br /br /Sticking the title “America’s Worst Mom” on this particular mother, Lenore Skenazy, is rather ridiculous and alarmist given the things really bad mothers actually do to their children. The term should be reserved for people who deserve it.