Free Range Kids
How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)
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.
About the Author
Lenore Skenazy writes a bright, unpredictable op-ed column that appears in more than 100 papers. Her often cheery, sometimes chiding pieces look at everything from politics to family life to the strange times we live in - times that have brought us bottled water for dogs, pole dancing for grannies and the vocabulary-covered "S.A.T. Shower Curtain" for kids.
Her observations can be heard on NPR and read in Reader's Digest. She has also written for Mad Magazine and co-authored "The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook." Her quiz/joke book, "Who's The Blonde That Married What's-His-Name?" is due out in June and her topical humor contest, "What Next?" runs in The Week. She also spent several years as an on-air (younger, cuter) Andy Rooney, first at CNBC and then at the Food Network.
After she let her 9-year-old take the subway by himself and wrote about it in April of '08, she found herself on "The Today Show," "Dr. Phil," and even the BBC, defending herself against charges she was "America's Worst Mom." (Go ahead - Google it.) She launched the blog, "Free Range Kids" to explain her parenting philosophy and this proved so popular, she went on to write the book, Free Range Kids.
Skenazy lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons.