This article is based on Episode 3 of the 99 Parent Podcast.

One of the most challenging things parents encounter is how to communicate values and ethics to kids.

If you’re like many parents, it’s done in a very informal way.

However, doing things in an ad-hoc manner can be problematic. When we don’t clearly state what’s right and what’s wrong, we end up leaving that up to the rest of society to do.

And a lot of times the lessons our kids learn from society aren’t the ones we want our kids living by.

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The Stuff You Should Know Podcast has a great episode right up our alley. This topic of the episode? The Free Range Parenting movement.

Free Range Parenting centers around the philosophy that parents should give their kids freedom have time away from overseeing adults. This gives kids the opportunity to learn independence and how to participate in self-governing peer groups.

The movement arose in reaction to the popular culture trend of kids being hyper-protected and hyper-scheduled. This rigid environment has caused kids to grow up anxious and not very confident.

The Free Range Parenting movement makes recommendations such as allow your kids to walk to school by themselves, go to the store by themselves, or play in a park without a supervising adult.

Whether you are familiar with Free Range Parenting or not, this episode is worth a listen.
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In this episode, we discuss something that can lower your child’s anxiety, and increase their confidence: Self-Reliance.

Find out exactly what self-reliance is, signs that a child doesn’t have a self-reliant mindset, and how parents can create an environment which helps children become more self-reliant.

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The podcast is still new so we’re not in iTunes yet, but you can still subscribe!

Just go to the Add Podcast area of your player and choose Add URL or Feed and enter


The article this podcast is based on can be found here.

Books Referenced

Beyond Success and Failure: Ways to Self-Reliance and Maturity

Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgant World

This article is based on Episode 2 of the 99 Parent Podcast.

Self-Reliance is the greatest gift any parent can give a child, for it is a habit of mind that follows him all his life and levels the mountains as he goes.

-Willard and Margeurite Beecher, Beyond Success and Failure

Children face a lot of struggles in today’s world. From keeping up with mountains of schoolwork, to dealing with the stress of internet-fueled peer pressure, to being hovered over by helicopter parents.

Ironically, even though kids are growing up in a time of information abundance, one of the most important things kids should learn about while they’re growing up is one that is seldom taught: self-reliance.

What exactly is self-reliance? In short, it’s the ability of an individual to handle the problems required of them in life. But it’s even more than that. What comes with self-reliance is deep confidence in one’s own abilities, the knowledge that one can rely on an unchanging part of him or herself, and that one’s success or emotional stability isn’t reliant on the whims of others.

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In this episode of the Parenting in the Digital Age podcast, we’ll discuss what could be contributing to your child’s anxiety: Psychological Dependence.

Dependence most often shows up as anxiety in both kids and adults. The causes of dependence are everywhere in modern society.

This episode kicks off a multi-part series on self-reliance.

Subscribe to the Podcast

The podcast is still new so we’re not in iTunes yet, but you can still subscribe!

Just go to the Add Podcast area of your player and choose Add URL or Feed and enter

Related Articles

The article this podcast is based on can be found here.

Related Podcast Episodes

99 Parent Podcast episode 2: Self-Reliance as a Kid’s Superpower

Kid with rabbit hoodie crying

The following is based on the information contained in Episode 1 of the 99 Parent Podcast.

There are just so many challenges raising kids today. Today’s kids are growing up in a radically different environment than the one we grew up in. Networked electronics are everywhere. School is so demanding. More demanding than when I grew up, that’s for sure.

So many after-school obligations. Both parents working. That’s just scratching the surface.

This new environment is really impacting our kids. And many times in not a great way. Lots of kids are really stressed out and unhappy.

The stats bear this out. Suicide rates among children are up 34% since 2010. And self-injury Emergency Room visits by girls are up 40% in the 5 years between 2010 and 2015.

What exactly’s going on here?

That’s a complex question that requires a lot of digging. The 10,000 foot view of it is that the impact of technology on society has fundamentally changed what it means to be a kid. Or even to be a human for that matter.
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Teens playing Pokemon Go

We live in an age where we’re more connected than ever before. This comes with a lot of obvious benefits but it also comes with some rather large negatives.

One of the major negatives is the absence of solitude. We’re rarely, if ever, alone with our thoughts. We never have to experience the “boring” times because there are always more than enough digital distractions to keep our minds constantly occupied.

This problem seems to impact children and teens the most. In his latest book Digital Minimalism, Professor Cal Newport claims rates of anxiety are skyrocketing in children in large part because this generation is even more connected than adults. In fact, many in the youngest generation have never experienced solitude for any length of time and have had electronic distractions nearly every day of their lives.

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I’m fascinated by artists and entrepreneurs whose visions of what can be had a significant impact on our culture. One of these interesting individuals is Steve Jobs. While I don’t agree with some of the personal choices he made (based on the stories I read in Walter Isaacson’s book and elsewhere),  I really liked his independent spirit.

What does this have to do with parenting? I feel that too often, parents just go along with the expectations of the culture rather than trusting their instincts or the instincts of their children. Remembering a bit of Steve Jobs’ independent thinking can be a helpful antidote.
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