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Parents: Would You Let Your Kid Build This Backyard Setup?

The other day on the radio (fine, NPR), I was listening to a program about the concept of "free range children." The idea is that current parenting strategy in the US, in which it is understood that every second not spent holding your child, having them in eyesight, or teaching them Chinese means they will be abducted by a ruthless predator and/or suffer a deadly injury and/or not get into Harvard, is actually harming kids in the long run. In comparison, 19th-century kids had to either work for the farm at a ruthlessly young age or, as their labor became less necessary as economies modernized, had to find ways to entertain themselves from sun-up to sun-down, often out of the house and away from prying parental eyes. While this led to the occasional mutilation of an innocent animal or gingerly participation in the ol' race riot, they also learned a degree of independence and self-reliance currently considered dangerous for some innocent young fawns as today's youth. 

Anyways, what this has to do with biking is that Flagstaff native Tanner Leslie's parents have clearly grown comfortable with this free-range kid concept, letting their talented son build an awesome slopestyle setup in the backyard to learn all the tricks his heart desires. You know, backflip no-footers and such (?!?). As this edit points out, if you want your kid to go pro, giving them the freedom to explore their abilities without so much parental fear is what makes the difference. Along with giving them the right name, of course...

What do you rad-dad action sports parents think and what do you let your kid do when they get home from school?

About The Author

stash member Ryan Dunfee

Former Managing Editor at Teton Gravity Research, current Senior Contributor, current professional hippy at the Sierra Club, and avid weekend recreationalist.