Free-range Kids
Free-range Kids Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry By Skenazy, Lenore Book - 2009 | 1st ed

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.

ksoles's rating:
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