Free Range Kids
How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry)
By Lenore Skenazy
(Jossey-Bass, Paperback, 9780470574751, 256pp.)
Publication Date: April 19, 2010
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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.