Lenore Skenazy

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Lenore Skenazy in 2015

Lenore Skenazy (born November 27, 1959) is an American columnist, author, and reality show host. A mother who lives in Queens with her husband and two sons, her controversial decision to let her then-9-year-old son take the New York City Subway home alone[1] became a national story and prompted multiple media spots as well as a book promoting slow parenting, specifically a less fearful attitude towards child safety practices.


A photo of Lenore Skenazy
Lenore Skenazy in 2008

Skenazy is a 1981 graduate of Yale University.

Skenazy spent fourteen years as a columnist for the New York Daily News, but was fired in December 2006.[2] She moved to the The New York Sun and wrote there until it shut down in 2008. Skenazy also wrote and reported for NPR and Mad Magazine, and was featured in the second episode of Bravo's series Tabloid Wars.

Skenazy's April 1, 2008 column in The New York Sun, "Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone," described her making the controversial decision to let her son take the New York City Subway home alone.[3] The piece resulted in a flood of reactions ranging from accusations of child abuse to fond memories of first-time subway trips and childhood freedom. The story was covered on The Today Show, Fox News, and MSNBC[4] two days after the column appeared, later becoming worldwide news and being featured on Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. The surrounding fanfare led to the creation of the Free-Range Kids blog[5] and a book, Free-Range Kids, published in 2009 by John Wiley & Sons. On the blog, Lenore proposed May 22, 2010 as the first Take Our Children to the Park & Leave Them There Day as a day for children to learn how to play by themselves without constant supervision.[6] Skenazy also became the host of the reality television show World's Worst Mom on TLC International.[7]


  • Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry (John Wiley & Sons), April 2009)
  • Who’s the Blonde that Married What’s-His-Name: The Ultimate Tip of the Tongue Test of Everything You Know You Know…But Can’t Remember Right Now (Penguin Books, June 2009)


  1. ^ The New York Sun: Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone
  2. ^ Gawker: New York Daily News Needs Women
  3. ^ The New York Sun: Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone
  4. ^ MSNBC: Mom lets 9-year-old take subway home alone
  5. ^ Free Range Kids Blog
  6. ^ Reason: It's "Take Our Children To The Park and Leave Them There Day."
  7. ^ "'World's Worst Mom' goes globe-trotting". 

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