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Free Range Kids : How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) - Leonore Skenazy

Free Range Kids

How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)


Published: 26th March 2010
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Published: 26th May 2009
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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.

Library Journal Starred Review - 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 New York City public transit alone in 2008. Here, she puts parents? fears to bed by examining the statistical likelihood of the dangers we most fear (murder, baby-snatching, etc.). Drawing on facts, statistics, and humor, she 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. Even the lowest-flying helicopter parents would have trouble disagreeing that we have entered an era that says you cannot trust yourself. Trust a product instead. Skenazy argues that it?s time to retire the national pastime of worrying and that childhood is supposed to be about discovering the world, not being held captive. The obvious has never been so hilarious.

"Skenazy will find plenty of supporters for her contention that, in a world where the rights of chickens to roam freely are championed, it's time to liberate the kids." (The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2009)

"Skenazy advocates for a child's right to separate gradually from a parent's assistance and to learn the joy and self-confidence that comes from trying out independence."
?Christian Century (November 2009)

"Free-Range Kids is the best kind of manifesto: smart, funny, rigorous, sane, impassioned, and bristling with common sense. If you?re a parent, or planning to become one, read this book. You have nothing to lose?apart from your anxiety."
?Carl Honore, author, In Praise of Slowness and Under Pressure

"Even scaredy-cat parents like myself now have a how-to manual on overcoming irrational suspicions and, finally, differentiating between an axe murderer and a play date!"
?David Harsanyi, syndicated columnist and author, Nanny State.

"Free-Range Kids makes the perfect baby shower gift."
?Nancy McDermott, parenting blogger, Spiked Online

"Moral insight without moralizing?how rare is that?"
?Amity Shlaes, author, The Forgotten Man

"Keep Free-Range Kids on your bedstand next to your bible and the TV remote, and refer to as needed during the 11 o'clock news."
?Jordan Lite, news reporter, Scientific American online

"Read this book?Mommy said you could."
?Penn Jillette, Penn & Teller

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Welcome to-Yikes!p. xi
The fourteen free-Range Commandmentsp. 1
Know When to Worryp. 3
Play Dates and Axe Murderers: How to Tell the Difference
Turn Off the Newsp. 12
Go Easy on the "Law and Order," Too
Avoid Expertsp. 21
Who Knew You Were Doing Everything Wrong? ...Them!
Boycott Baby Knee Padsp. 31
And the Rest of the Kiddie Safety-Industrial Complex
Don't think Like a Lawyerp. 41
Some Risks Are Worth It
Ignore the Blamersp. 50
They Don't Know Your Kid Like You Do
Eat Chocolatep. 59
Give Halloween Back to the Trick-or-Treaters
Study Historyp. 68
Your Ten-Year-Old Would Have Been Forging Horseshoes (or at Least Delivering Papers)
Be Worldlyp. 80
Why Other Countries Are Laughing at zee Scaredy-Cat Americans
Get Braverp. 91
Quit Trying to Control Everything. It Doesn't Work Anyway
Relaxp. 103
Not Every Little Thing You Do Has That Much Impact on Your Child's Development
Fail!p. 114
It's the New Succeed
Lock Them Outp. 125
Make Them Play-or Else!
Listen to Your Kidsp. 135
They Don't Want to Be Treated Like Babies (Except the Actual Babies, of Course)
The Free-Range Guide Lifep. 145
Safe or Not? The A-to-Z Review of Everything You Might Be Worried Aboutp. 147
Animals, Being Eaten By
Bats (Metal)
Bats (Vampire)
Bottle Feeding: Formula for Disaster?
BPA Poisoning in Baby Bottles, Sippy Cups ... and Everything Else
Cell Phones and Brain Cancer (but Not, Alas, "Cell Phones and How Come Your Kids Never Answer When You Need Them To")
Choking on Food and All the Other Little Things Around the House
Cough and Cold Medicinitis
Death by Stroller
Eating Snow
Germs, Antigerms, and Shopping Cart Liners
Halloween Candy: Hershey's Kiss of Death?
Internet Predators and Other Skeeves Online
Lead Paint, Lead Toys, and Lead Everything from China
Licking the Batter off Beaters While They Ace Still Plugged In
Plastic Bags and Why There Are Warnings All over Them
Playground Perils
Pools and Water and Kids and Toilets (Not the Fun Part)
Raw Dough's Raw Deal
School Shootings
Spoilage (of Children)
Spoilage (of Lunch)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Sunscreen, Vitamin D, Skin Cancer, You Name It
Teen Sex (Yes, Kids, We Know You're Reading This. Now Come and Ask Us All About Contraception)
The Woods, Playing In
Walking to School (or at Least the Bus Stop)
Zoo Animals (in Cracker Form and Otherwise)
Strangers with Candy: Even the Folks Who Put the Faces on Milk Cartons Aren't Too Worriedp. 180
Conclusion: The Other Problem That Has No Name-and Its Solutionp. 191
Sourcesp. 197
Helpful Books, Blogs, Web Sites, and Some Inspiring Family Moviesp. 211
About the Authorp. 215
Indexp. 217
Free-Range Membership Cardsp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780470574751
ISBN-10: 0470574755
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 26th March 2010
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.5  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1