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
3 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, 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.

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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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Ignore the Blamers
Study History
Get Braver
Listen to Your Kids
Strangers with Candy
Helpful Books Blogs Web Sites and Some Inspiring
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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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