Free-range Kids

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

Skenazy, Lenore

Book - 2009
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Free-range Kids
Free Range Kids has become a national movement, sparked by the response to the author's piece about allowing her 9-year-old ride the subway alone in New Yok City. 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, she 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.

Publisher: San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0470574755
Branch Call Number: 649.1 S627f 2009
Characteristics: xxi, 225 p. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

Drawing on facts, statistics, and humor, Skenazy 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." Let's let kids get out there and discover the world. This isn't... Read More »

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Nov 01, 2013
  • Hyacinth22 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Oct 23, 2012
  • ksoles rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

May 21, 2011

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

Jun 23, 2010
  • MerrilyatEP rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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


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