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)

by Lenore Skenazy

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470574751
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/19/2010
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 240,672
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

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.

11 Relax.

12 Fail!

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.

Conclusion.

About the Author.

Index.

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Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) 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.
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!
molugum on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really appreciated reading a book like this, even though my own kids are grown. I share with the author a personal parenting philosophy that kids are safer if they engage with other people, have the ability to negotiate their environment and have less fear. After all, if the world really is such a dreadful place, why even have kids? On the downside, it's a serious topic, and the constant side comments, although humorous, diminish the important research cited throughout the book, supporting her argument.
karieh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clicking on the fifth of the five stars of the rating for this book was a no-brainer. This was a fabulous book¿not only very informative but a very entertaining read. I took SO much from author Lenore Skenazy. She backs up all of her suggestions and presents her material in a very interesting a humorous way.I do need to stress the humor ¿ because she is incredibly effective at getting the reader to take a step back from the crazy-making new world of parenting. I am the ultimate helicopter parent ¿ even allowing my 9 and 6 year old children to cross the street to get the mail seems like a dangerous endeavor. This is me:¿¿a lot of parents are really bad at assessing risk. They see no difference between letting their children walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. When they picture their kids riding their bikes to a birthday party, they seem them dodging Mack trucks with brake problems. To let their children play unsupervised in a park at age eight or ten or even thirteen seems about as responsible as throwing them in the shark tank at Sea World with their pockets full of meatballs.¿She using the very successful technique of presenting a situation, describing the way parents used to deal with it and comparing to how some parents deal with it now, and then gives the facts. Using the example of letting children walk to school (which now only 10% of children do) ¿ she points out that children are about 40 times more likely to die in a car trip home from school than a walk home from school. That by making choices (based on fear) that we think are making our children safer ¿ are actually making them less safe. Again and again, she points out that, ¿Mostly, the world is safe. Mostly, people are good. To emphasize the opposite is to live in the world of tabloid TV. A world where the weirdest, worst, least likely events are given the most play. A world filled with worst case scenarios, not the world we actually live in, which is factually, statistically, and, lucky for us, one of the safest periods for children in the history of the world.¿Her explanation of where this societal fear comes from is very well laid out and makes complete sense. She doesn¿t blame any one person or organization in particular but points out the individual pieces of the puzzle that make up the world of exploitation and misinformation we live in now.I would recommend this to ANY parent or parent-to-be. Having these facts at hand (she even provides a sheet called ¿I Am a Free-Range Parent¿ to keep with you when other parents react negatively to choices you make for your child. (And the mere fact that this is needed, and it is, is pretty sad¿)I checked this book out from the library but will be buying my own copy this weekend. I will be reading this again soon, and have recommended it to all of my friends with children.
sylvatica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
RECOMMENDED to everyone who will ever have anything to do with any child ever.
herdingcats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a funny book full of serious advice about child raising. Today's parents have become overly cautious about our children fearing that they will be abducted at any moment, largely due to the media frenzy that surrounds such rare events, and we have become so over-protective that we do not allow our children the freedom to become responsible and mature on their own.Despite the increase in media coverage, there has not been an increase in child abductions since I was a kid and I was allowed to run and bike ride all over the neighborhood by myself with no cell phone - they were not invented yet - and my parents had no idea where I was and I survived. Do I let my kids do that? No way. And, according to the author of this book, I am stiffling them and harming their future and self image and independence which will lead them to a lifetime of therapy. Or maybe not. But, there is hope for me and my children! The author has filled her book with free range baby steps, brave steps and giant leaps to help us to give our children the independence that they need. This book is funny and practical and I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.
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