Synopses & Reviews
FREE RANGE KIDS
has 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.
Library Journal Starred Review -
Skenazy flies the black flag of ?America?s Worst Mom,? a title this syndicated columnist and NPR commentator earned by allowing her nine-year-old son to ride the New?York City?public transit alone in 2008. Here, she puts parents? fears to bed by examining the statistical likelihood of the dangers we most fear (murder, baby-snatching, etc.). Drawing on facts, statistics, and humor, she convincingly argues that this is one of the safest periods for children in the history of the world, reiterating that ?mostly, the world is safe?and mostly, people are good.? Even the lowest-flying helicopter parents would have trouble disagreeing that ?we have entered an era that says you cannot trust yourself. Trust a product instead.? Skenazy argues that it?s time to retire the national pastime of worrying and that ?childhood is supposed to be about discovering the world, not being held captive.? The obvious has never been so hilarious.
?Skenazy will find plenty of supporters for her contention that, in a world where the rights of chickens to roam freely are championed, it's time to liberate the kids.? (The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2009)
"Skenazy advocates for a child's right to separate gradually from a parent's assistance and to learn the joy and self-confidence that comes from trying out independence." --Christian Century (November 2009)
“In an age when the pressures are all against kids spending time outdoors, it takes a determined and resourceful writer to go against this tide. Peter Brown Hoffmeister is one such writer and this book deserves to be read very widely.” —Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator
Praise for Free-Range Kids
"Lenore Skenazy is a national hero."
—Mary Roach, author, Bonk and Stiff
"This book is a bubbly but potent corrective for the irrational fears that drive so many parents crazy. Skenazy is witty, perceptive, persuasive, and above all, sensible."
—Robert Needlman, M.D., coauthor, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, 8th Edition
"Free-Range Kids is the best kind of manifesto: smart, funny, rigorous, sane, impassioned, and bristling with common sense. If you're a parent, or planning to become one, read this book. You have nothing to lose—apart from your anxiety."
—Carl Honoré, author, In Praise of Slowness and Under Pressure
"Even scaredy-cat parents like myself now have a how-to manual on overcomingirrational suspicions and, finally, differentiating between an axe murderer anda play date!"
—David Harsanyi, syndicated columnist and author, Nanny State
"Free-Range Kids makes the perfect baby shower gift."
—Nancy McDermott, parenting blogger, Spiked Online
"Moral insight without moralizing—how rare is that?"
—Amity Shlaes, author, The Forgotten Man
"Keep Free-Range Kids on your bedstand next to your Bible and the TV remote, and refer to as needed during the 11 o'clock news."
—Jordan Lite, news reporter, Scientific American Online
"Read this book—Mommy said you could."
—Penn Jillette, Penn & Teller
FREE RANGE KIDS has 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. 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.
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:
KNOW WHEN TO WORRY Play Dates and Axe Murderers: How to Tell the Difference
BOYCOTT BABY KNEE PADS And the Rest of the Kiddie Safety-Industrial Complex
RELAX Not Every Little Thing You Do Has That Much Impact on Your Child's Development
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.
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.
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.