As a parent, you are bombarded with dangers your kids can fall prey to like molesters, cyber-stalkers, drugs and bullies. But how far should you go to ensure your child's protection? Where do you draw the line between hovering over your children, and giving them enough freedom to learn independence? Dr. Phil drills down on this hot topic with moms on both sides of the issue.
America's Worst Mom?
Lenore put her own theory to the test. She left Izzy in the handbag department of Bloomingdale's in New York City with $20, a map and a metro card for the subway.
"I let Izzy take the subway by himself when he was 9, because first of all, he asked us if he could," Lenore says.
"I wanted to feel like I was part of everybody else, not just a little kid who has to do everything their parents tell them to," Izzy says.
"He knows how to read a map. He can speak English. He's familiar with the subways. We feel the city is safe, and especially the subways are safe," Lenore explains. She and her husband decided Izzy was capable of completing the challenge. "I didn't think there was anything difficult about taking a subway ride on a sunny Sunday afternoon [with] lots of people around. What is so weird about a kid being able to get around his own city? It didn't seem dangerous, and it didn't seem crazy. It seemed fun."
Shortly after Izzy's ride, she says, "All hell broke loose." Headlines in newspapers were calling her the worst mom in America.
"It's kind of amazing to me that people are calling me America's worst mom, because I'm not," Lenore says.
"I think all of the parents are making too big of a deal out of it," Izzy says.
"I just think of it as living your life as a normal kid, as opposed to being hovered over. He's capable of getting out there and enjoying life, without us watching every second," Lenore says.