FDR’s famous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” is still true in America — and perhaps more so. We have become a nation of fear-mongers, trained by politicians, media, and authority figures to worry about bad things happening to us and particularly our children. Unfortunately, the things that we’re supposed to be afraid of are based on anecdotal evidence, not real data. And that hurts kids more than anything else.

Today on KTRS/St. Louis, I spoke with Lenore Skenazy, who has been fighting back against the paranoiac beliefs that keep our children from playing outside, have turned parents into 24-hour watchdogs, and taught those fears to a new generation. Her site, FreeRangeKids.com, is a bastion of relief from a world that says your kids are in danger every moment they’re out of your sight (and often when you’re looking, too). We discussed the untrue horror stories that keep kids from trick-or-treating on their own, the media’s misguided attention to stories of an abducted child while ignoring all the good things that happen to kids every day, the impact of eliminating recess in schools and outside play at home, and much more.

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Here’s the op-ed piece Skenazy wrote for the Wall Street Journal, which I referenced during our conversation.