Lenore Skenazy is a New York City newspaper reporter who wrote a column in 2008 about letting her 9-year-old son take the subway, alone. In response to the incredible media blowback, she then founded the book and blog, “Free-Range Kids,” which launched the anti-helicopter parenting movement.

Her feisty belief that our kids don’t need a safety detail every time they leave the house has landed her on talk shows from Dr. Phil to The View. Now she lectures internationally and has written for everyone from The New York Daily News (on staff for 14 years) to Mad Magazine. Yep. The Mad Magazine. As host of World’s Worst Mom, a reality show on the Discovery Life channel, she helps overprotective parents loosen the reins, a job she now does on her own, too, as the founder of Free-Range House Calls. (

A graduate of Yale, she lives in New York City with her husband and two sons, who are half Free-Range, half Facebook addicts. Then again, so is she. One thing she understands: None of us is a perfect parent — and that’s okay.