Summary of “How to Grant Your Child an Inner Life”

So many of the worst nightmares of parenting start with a phone call: a child out of arm’s reach, not in the house, not in her bed.
There probably are teen-agers out there who could face an existential fear without a single Internet search, without texting or posting or sharing, who could cover their tracks sufficiently to prevent a determined parent from snooping, but I haven’t met any.
A motivated parent can give their young driver a car that shuts off the radio, won’t go above a certain speed, and sends text alerts home if the car goes outside a pre-approved area.
A movement for “Free-range parenting” has pushed back against this culture of obsessive supervision, which also criminalizes the dilemmas faced by single parents, two-career parents, and parents who don’t earn enough to pay for constant childcare.
Its leaders point out, among other things, that U.S. crime rates have fallen dramatically over the last twenty years, and it’s safer for children to be alone now than it was in the nineteen-seventies and eighties, when today’s parents were young.
Kids her age seem to accept, reluctantly, that the price of having a social life is having their parents one step away from everything they do, sharing the same accounts, playlists, search histories.
Anxious parenting is an optimization economy with no upper limit, which turns every second of a child’s life, in and out of school, into a commodity: from nanny-cams to high-impact strollers to Kumon to internship consultants to college-essay tutors, and it privileges those who have the least to worry about.
That kind of laissez-faire parenting, bordering on neglect, seems diametrically opposed to the hyperattentive parenting of my generation, but these approaches share one instructive point: they’re primarily concerned with how to succeed and how not to die.

The orginal article.