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Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worryby Lenore Skenazy
Synopses & Reviews
FREE RANGE KIDShas become a national movement, sparked by the incredible response to Lenore Skenazy’s piece about allowing her 9-year-old ride the subway alone in NYC. Parent groups argued about it, bloggers, blogged, spouses became uncivil with each other, and the media jumped all over it. This book debunks dangerous myths and advocates rational care with Free Range Parenting Commandments, including:
KNOW WHEN TO WORRY (AND NOT) — Playdates and Axe Murders: How to Tell the Difference
NEVER LISTEN TO EXPERTS — Who Knew You Were Doing Everything Wrong — Them
EAT CHOCOLATE — Give Halloween Back to the Trick or Treaters
TURN OFF THE 24 HOUR NEWS — Go Easy on "Law & Order" too
STOP THINKING LIKE A LAWYER — Some Risks are Strength Builders
STUDY HISTORY — Your 10-year-old Would Have Been Forging Horse Shoes (or at least delivering papers)
FAIL — It's the New Succeed
LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS — They're sick of Being Babied (except the actual babies, of course)
LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS — They raised you, right? And you're still alive.
RELAX — Not every little thing you do impacts your child's development, unless you smother or inspire rebellion
A lot of parents today, Skenazy says, see no difference between letting their kids walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. Any risk is seen as too much risk. But if you try to prevent every possible danger or difficult in your child’s everyday life, that child never gets a chance to grow up. We parents have to realize that the greatest risk of all just might be trying to raise a child who never encounters choice or independence.
Book News Annotation:
Skenazy has drawn from her column for the New York Sun to offer advice to parents like her. Well, not like her, but who think they might want to be, at least in some ways. She begins with the 14 free-range commandments, which include avoid experts, eat chocolate, be worldly, get braver, and listen to the kids. Then she provides an alphabetical review of every possible danger to children that she has heard of at least twice (once if it is really funny). Among them are death by stroller, Internet predators and other skeeves online, toilets, school shootings, lunch spoilage, teen sex, playing in the woods, and walking to school or the bus stop. Strangers with candy get a section all to themselves. Jossey-Bass in an imprint of Wiley. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Get ready to go out and play
Based on the authors acclaimed Integrated Outdoor Program, Let Them Be Eaten by Bears is Peter Hoffmeisters inspiring guide to helping kids enjoy nature and appreciate the great outdoors. Drawing from his personal and professional background as an educator, guide, writer, and father, and focusing on fun rather than fear, Hoffmeister offers an approachable, fun reintroduction to hiking, camping, and all-around exploring that will help parents and kids alike feel empowered and capable.
Whether youre a veteran outdoorsperson, a first-time hiker, or anything in between, get ready to put on your sneakers, turn off your video games, and rediscover the simple, powerful joy of going out to play.
How come we had so much more freedom when we were kids? How can we give our kids that freedom now?
When Lenore Skenazy wrote a newspaper column about letting her nine-year-old ride the subway alone in New York City, little did she realize that the response would spark a national movement. Her outspoken, commonsense approach to parenting galvanized a huge wave of supporters—and a counterstorm of protest from others who dubbed her "America's Worst Mom."
In this funny, fed-up book, Lenore encourages parents to let their kids be kids. She's all for helmets and car seats but insists children do not need a security detail every time they go outside. Armed with stories, wisecracks, and a battery of facts, she gleefully punctures modern-day myths about rampant kidnapping, marauding germs, and poisoned Halloween candy. After exposing where these worries come from, she gives tips on how to break free. Her Fourteen Free-Range Commandments include:
The book reads like a conversation with your funniest, most honest friend. Readers will find themselves laughing out loud while shedding their fears. For anyone who remembers the days of walking to school, playing outside, or eating a kernel of unwrapped candy corn—and longs to bring them back to childhood—this book is a must-read.
About the Author
LENORE SKENAZY is a syndicated columnist, humorist, and founder of Free-Range Kids. She has written for periodicals from Reader's Digest to The Times (of London) to Mad magazine, and been a commentator on CNBC, the Food Network, and NPR. Her books include The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook and Who's the Blonde That Married What's-His-Name? She lives with her husband and two sons in New York City.
Table of Contents
Welcome To - Yikes!.
The Fourteen Free Range Commandments.
1. KNOW WHEN TO WORRY.
Playdates and Axe Murderers: How To Tell The Difference.
2. TURN OFF THE NEWS.
Go Easy On The ‘Law & Order,’ Too.
3. AVOID EXPERTS.
Who Knew You Were Doing Everything Wrong? …Them.
4. BOYCOTT BABY KNEE PADS.
And The Rest of the Kiddie Safety-Industrial Complex.
5. DON’T THINK LIKE A LAWYER.
Some Risks are Worth It.
6. IGNORE BLAMERS.
They Don’t Know Your Kid Like You Do.
7. EAT CHOCOLATE.
Give Halloween Back To The Trick-or-Treaters.
8. STUDY HISTORY.
Your 10-Year-Old Would Have Been Forging Horse Shoes (Or At Least Delivering The Paper).
9. BE WORLDLY.
Why Other Countries Are Laughing at Zee Scaredy-Cat Americans.
10. GET BRAVER.
Quit Trying to Control Everything. It Doesn’t Work Anyway.
Not Every Little Thing You Do Has That Much Impact On Your Child’s Development.
It’s The New Succeed.
13. LOCK THEM OUT.
Make Them Play - Or else.
14. LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS.
They’re Sick of Being Babies (Except The Actual Babies, Of Course).
SAFE OR NOT? THE A-Z GUIDE TO EVERYTHING YOU MIGHT BE WORRIED ABOUT.
STRANGERS WITH CANDY.
Even the Folks Who Put The Faces On Milk Cartons Aren’t Too Worried.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.
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