As Helicopter Parenting Crashes, Free-Range Parenting Takes Off

As Helicopter Parenting Crashes, Free-Range Parenting Takes Off

Jason Akel paced outside a junkyard on Governors Island in New York Harbor, where his son and daughter were among dozens of children gleefully dashing around with saws, hammers and nails. “Hey, Ty, don’t destroy the structure,” Akel called over a fence as his son, Tyler, 12, sawed through a rickety wooden frame. “I’m not!” Tyler responded, his eyes fixed on the plank he was grinding through. “I’m improving it.” The Akels, vacationing in New York City from Orinda, California, were at The Yard — one of America’s few “adventure playgrounds.” At this one on a former military base just...

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