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Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry)
     

Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry)

4.5 31
by Lenore Skenazy
 

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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, spouses became uncivil with each other, and the media jumped all over it. A lot of parents today, Skenazy says, see no difference between

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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)

"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 overcoming irrational suspicions and, finally, differentiating between an axe murderer and a 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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470574751
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
04/19/2010
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
154,897
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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Free-Range Kids 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
ClassicRockFan More than 1 year ago
In the interest of full disclosure: I am not a father. I won't be for quite some time. But -- I am highly interested in self-reliance and I believe that one's childhood impacts the lens through which they learn. Skenazy's take on parenting is refreshing. She believes in allowing kids to learn about the world for themselves, which is essentially the complete opposite of helicopter parenting or micro-managing kids. While critics will call her cavalier, her use of statistics clearly defend her position. Yes, she worries for her children like all caring parents, but her fear is only proportional to the risk of a given activity. While her decision to let her child ride the subway was criticized, she backed it up with statistics about actual child abduction. Turns out, it's pretty rare. Her book effectively points out that the media's portrayal (intentional or not) of childhood dangers is is actual entirely disproportional to reality. Bottom line: It's a good quick read about letting kids just be kids again. Her cheeky sense of humor makes for a few chuckles, but sometimes she uses it a little too frequently, which distracts from the book. Her tone is very conversational.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is epic :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book that needed to be written. Funny and insightfull. The going free range tips and baby steps at the end of each chapter are silly and trite but designed with good intentions. A good critique of the hover parent style of many parents we've all expernced. The basic point of the book is parents relax,your kids are going to be ok. Let them ake risks, play, explore the world on their own terms and not worry so much about their standardize test scores, college choices, or organized sports. Just let them be kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I came to this book without knowing not only that there was someone who had let her nine-year-old ride the New York subway by himself, but also that that someone was the author of this book. So, I was unfamiliar with the author's blog and her other journalism. I think her humor, while often funny, probably works better in those shorter forms that in this longer piece. There are a few chapters late in the book where I felt she was stretching her point a bit. Still, I really enjoyed this book. It offers some refreshing perspective and a call for more perspective in parenting. I think this is a valuable message for those who are open to receiving it, as I was. I tend to be anxious (it is difficult not to be given what is reported in the news), but I also very much want to raise children who are confident and not themselves anxious. This book presents some facts and thoughts that I hope will assist me is better assessing what's really a risk to my children, and in so doing, help me let them go so they both fail on their own, and succeed on their own.
betterandbetter More than 1 year ago
This book is so entertaining and makes some excellent points. The takeaway is that we don't have nearly as much to fear as our culture would have us believe. Since reading, we've been letting up on the reigns in little ways and it's been working out great. I'm really noticing now other mothers comments about fears. There does seem to be an unspoken contest among some moms as to who's the "most concerned about safety". Unfortunately, it's the kids who pay the price...
EasyreaderDT More than 1 year ago
A very well researched book on a common sense approach to parenting that has been a long time coming. Skenazy takes "helicopter parents" and brings them back down to earth with humor, advice, and the experiences of bringing up her two children in the teeming metropolis of New York City. Taking all the fear out of parenting in practically impossible, but this book lays to rest numerous folk-tales of child abduction risks and other horrors that occupy our cable television channels 24/7. A must-read for parents who truly want to help their kids grow up to be safe, self-reliant adults.
MichaelAlbert More than 1 year ago
This is a call for sanity in midst of insanity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!
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