Free Range Kids

Free Range Kids

Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry

Book - 2009
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WILEY
FREE RANGE KIDS has become a national movement, sparked by the incredible response to Lenore Skenazys 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 childs 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.

Baker & Taylor
Examines the dangers that parents fear for their children and offers advice on how to raise safe, independent children.

Book News
Skenazy has drawn from her column for the New York Sun to offer advice to parents like her. Well, not like her, but who think they might want to be, at least in some ways. She begins with the 14 free-range commandments, which include avoid experts, eat chocolate, be worldly, get braver, and listen to the kids. Then she provides an alphabetical review of every possible danger to children that she has heard of at least twice (once if it is really funny). Among them are death by stroller, Internet predators and other skeeves online, toilets, school shootings, lunch spoilage, teen sex, playing in the woods, and walking to school or the bus stop. Strangers with candy get a section all to themselves. Jossey-Bass in an imprint of Wiley. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, c2009
ISBN: 9780470471944
0470471948
Branch Call Number: 649.1 Sk26f
Characteristics: xxi, 225 p. ; 24 cm

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silversabriel
Apr 25, 2016

I appreciate the concept, but this book hashes and re-hashes the same ideas over and over. You can tell the author wrote an article and got a book deal, so then flushed out her article/idea into a book. She also fills in with a lot of "humor" and asides, most of which don't exactly amuse me. It would also be more appropriate for the parent of an older child (7 or 8+) and my daughter is only 1.5 yrs right now. Maybe I will come back to this book but I read a few chapters and skimmed the rest.

h
Hyacinth22
Nov 01, 2013

Invite me to a baby shower, I will give this as a gift.
I find myself referring back to this book in my head all the time. I love the chapter on the supposed dangers of Halloween. I read this book cover to cover.
This book is funny (laugh at yourself because you're in it!) makes a lot of sense and really is a great manual for parenting.
We all need to support each other and also chill out a bit.
Lenore also has a blog and Facebook page which I also love.

ksoles Oct 23, 2012

The book guides the reader through 14 commandments, which includes ideas on how to give kids more freedom. Skenazy uses reassuring statistics to back up her reasoning: the likelihood of your child being abducted by a stranger are 1 in 1,500,000, violent crime rates have greatly declined since the early 1990s, no child has ever died from poisoned Halowe'en candy. Ever. She also spends a chapter addressing specific safety concerns parents have, such as choking, drowning, abduction, and "stranger danger" in general.

At times the author lets her personal feelings influence her writing and get in the way of evidence, as when she discusses breastfeeding. But, overall, she provides some useful information and reassurance . One example is her view on breastfeeding, which of course I must address considering my career choice (childbirth & lactation educator). I agree with her that babies who are formula fed are going to mostly turn out just fine. I don't agree with labeling the benefits of breastfeeding as "supposed" and downplaying the importance of nutrition in general. It sounds like she had a run-in over formula feeding when one of her kids was a baby, and it has created a 12-year grudge (her words). I hope she can one day work through those feelings. She ignores studies on breastfeeding and formula, and states that the only real benefit is that breastfed babies might have fewer ear infections. Of course, that's just one of many, many benefits to both mothers and babies. I'm sorry that she felt harassed by a lactivist at some point in her life; I don't believe at all that formula is poison or that mothers who bottle feed should be made to feel guilty. How we choose to feed our babies (and our older kids - she addresses nutrition in general in a similar way as well) is up to us. However, this was one area where she chose to ignore evidence in favor of a personal bias.

Overall, this book provides a worthwhile read. It contains some good information for parents and reassurance that the world is not as scary as it can seem.

debwalker May 21, 2011

From mom blogger to mega-guru, Skenazy is the force behind the Free-Range kids movement.

Facchintr Jun 23, 2010

I bought my kids some walkie-talkies after reading this book, and stopped analyzing and supervising their every move.

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