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 and the media jumped all over it. This book debunks dangerous myths and advocates rational care for safe and independent kids, using the Range Parenting Commandments, including:
Know When to Worry (And Not) -- Playdates and Axe Murders: How to Tell the Difference
Never Listen to Experts -- Who Says You Are Doing Everything Wrong. Them. Who knows less than you do about you and your kids. Them
Eat Chocolate -- Give Halloween Back to the Trick or Treaters. There's never been a single case of a razor blade in an Apple in history. Never.
Turn off the 24 Hour NewsTURN OFF THE 24 HOUR NEWS -- Go Easy on Law & Order too. The inflammatory hysteria will make you crazy.
Stop Thinking Like a Lawyer -- Some aspects of normal life will not lead to litigation.
Study History -- Your 10-year-old Would Have Been Forging Horse Shoes (or at least delivering papers)
Fail-- It's the New Succeed. How else are you going to learn.
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. This book strikes a happy balance for safe and self-reliant kids who must ultimately live without us.
Critical Praise for Free-Range Kids
"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
"A bubbly but potent corrective for the irrational fears that drive so many parents crazy."Robert Needlman, M.D., coauthor, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, 8th Edition
"Lenore Skenazy is a national hero."Mary Roach, author, Bonk and Stiff
Readers Rave Too
"I read the whole thing and feel so much better! The pressure of always trying to do the exact right thing for my kids was exhausting. In truth, I have two normal, high-energy boys who need to be able to explore the world. Thank you!"
"Your book had me laughing so hard that my husband had to come and see if I was okay! (I think my gasping sounded like sobbing.)"
"Just what the doctor ordered. I'm a single mother of two girls, 7 and 10, in a middle-class suburb that is very safe. I needed the advice in your book and had a lot of belly laughs reading it."
"I didn't even realize the path I was going down until I stumbled across your book. Letting go feels great, and I can really see a difference in my son. He plays outside all the time with his group, and he loves being able to run to all of his friends' houses, alone, to see if they can play. It's a proud moment for both of us."
"I was finding myself getting paranoid. I am so happy I read your book! It has really helped me relax."
"Now if I can just get my wife to read it."
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.
Part memoir, part manifesto, this exploration of the underside of Americaandrsquo;s obsession with safety is prompted by the authorandrsquo;s visit to a thrillingly alarming adventure playground in Tokyo.
andldquo;Amy Fusselman writes with a unique depth of feeling, and Savage Park is a fascinating and daresay essential meditation on childhood, parenthood, and the importance of wild spaces for those wild creatures known as kids.andrdquo; andmdash; Dave Eggers
Part memoir, part manifesto, this exploration of the underside of Americaandrsquo;s obsession with safety is prompted by the authorandrsquo;s visit to a thrillingly alarming adventure playground in Tokyoandquot;How fully can the world be explored,andquot; asks Amy Fusselman andquot; . . . if you are also trying not to die?andquot;
On a visit to Tokyo with her family, Fusselman stumbles on Hanegi playpark, where children are sawing wood, hammering nails, stringing hammocks to trees, building open fires. When she returns to New York, her conceptions of space, risk, and fear are completely changed. Fusselman invites us along on her tightrope-walking expeditions with Philippe Petit and late night adventures with the Tokyo park-workers, showing that when we deprive ourselves, and our children, of the experience of taking risks in space, we make them less safe, not more so.
Savage Park is a fresh, poetic reconsideration of behaviors in our culture that andmdash; in the guise of protecting us andmdash; make us numb and encourage us to sleepwalk through our lives. We babyproof our homes; plug our ears to our devices while walking through the city. What would happen if we exposed ourselves, if andmdash; like the children at Hanegi park andmdash; we put ourselves in situations that require true vigilance? Readers of Rebecca Solnit and Cheryl Strayed will delight in the revelations in Savage Park.
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
Introduction: Welcome to—Yikes!
Part 1 The Fourteen Free-Range Commandments.
1 Know When to Worry.
2 Turn Off the News.
3 Avoid Experts.
4 Boycott Baby Knee Pads.
5 Don’t Think Like a Lawyer.
6 Ignore the Blamers.
7 Eat Chocolate.
8 Study History.
9 Be Worldly.
10 Get Braver.
13 Lock Them Out.
14 Listen to Your Kids.
Part 2 The Free-Range Guide to Life.
Safe or Not? The A-to-Z Review of Everything.
You Might Be Worried About.
About the Author.