Free-Range Kids, Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 20, 2009 - Family & Relationships - 256 pages
4 Reviews
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


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Free-range kids: giving our children the freedom we had without going nuts with worry

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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 NewAYork CityApublic transit alone in ... Read full review

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Finally, someone injects some sanity into modern parenting debates! Skenazy reminds us of the importance of letting kids live and learn from the world around them, instead of surrounding them in bubble wrap and coddling them to death.
If Skenazy is right in arguing that most parents now behave as if "normal childhood has just become too risky to permit" and have adopted a "Total Control" mentality, think of the long-term consequences that will have on our kids. Such a relentlessly fear-based mentality breeds distrust, even loathing, of the outside world and all others in it. Moreover, excessive coddling makes it impossible to learn life lessons and build resiliency and responsibility into youngster such that they can go on to become productive citizens.
Overall, the book is beautifully written and immensely enjoyable. Skenazy is an insanely gifted writer that will keep you thinking and laughing at the same time. That's a rare gift, and her book is a much-needed gift to over-worried parents everywhere. Read this book, stop worrying, and then tell you kid to go outside and play!
Read my complete review over at the Tech Liberation Front blog:


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About the author (2009)

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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