American children have become increasingly over-scheduled, overworked, and over monitored in recent years. “Chasing Childhood” aims to change that with a simple, but earnest message: Let kids be kids. Margaret Munzer Loeb and Eden Wurmfeld’s upcoming documentary film takes a stand against helicopter parenting and, as one of its subjects states, notes that “when you mortgage your kid’s childhood, it’s a debt that can never be repaid.” The film explores the root causes of helicopter parenting and possible solutions for eschewing harmful parenting strategies and empowering the nation’s youth.
The “Chasing Childhood” synopsis notes that the film “explores a phenomenon affecting kids from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Free play and independence have all but disappeared, supplanted by relentless perfectionism and record high anxiety and depression. What’s lost goes well beyond our idyllic conceptions of childhood past. When kids don’t play unsupervised by adults, they don’t gain critical life skills: grit, independence, and resourcefulness. Though they may appear more accomplished on paper, by the time they get to college they are often falling apart, lacking the emotional tools to navigate young adulthood.”
The 80-minute film follows a variety of subjects, including a handful of sixth grade students who discuss the myriad extracurricular activities they’re involved in, as while as adult experts such as “How to Raise an Adult” author and former Stanford dean Julie Lythcott-Haims and psychology professor Peter Gray. Lenore Skenazy, who created the “Let Grow” nonprofit that advocates for children’s independence, and public school advocate and former superintendent Michael Hynes, also appear in “Chasing Childhood.”
“Chasing Childhood” will make its world premiere during the virtual DOC NYC festival that will run November 11-19. A $12 ticket to stream the film includes a pre-recorded Q&A with Loeb, Wurmfeld, and documentary subject Genevieve Porter Eason.
“Chasing Childhood” marks Margaret Munzer Loeb and Eden Wurmfeld’s directorial debut. The film is executive produced by Loeb and produced by Lisa Eisenpresser and Wurmfeld.
Check out the trailer for “Chasing Childhood” below.