If you’re a regular reader, you know I love the Free-Range Kids blog, by Lenore Skenazy. (If you’re not a regular reader, here’s the feed). Recently, when I got the itch to read a hard copy book, I purchased Skenazy’s book, Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children, Without Going Nuts With Worry.
The idea, which I’ve discussed here before, is that giving kids age appropriate freedom is good for their development, good for parents, good for communities. She advocates that parents teach their kids about freedom and responsibility, give them the tools they need to confidently explore the world, starting first with their local neighborhoods. And I agree.
Skenazy is hilariously irreverent and equipped with the stats anyone needs to combat the fear that makes us want to lock our kids in the house. I’m already planning to buy a copy for my sister (who is raising three boys she’s afraid to let out of her sight) so that when her boys are old enough, she’ll have a tool to help her break free of her fear and teach them independence.
My feeling is that parents are afraid and want to give their kids freedom, but don’t know how. In Free-Range Kids, Lenore addresses those fears and provides ideas for taking baby steps or a big leap into going free-range. She also makes in clear that this concept isn’t about being lazy and uninvolved. Quite the contrary. If we’re going to send out kids out into the world, its our job as parents to prepare them. We shouldn’t live in fear and neither should they. This book is a gateway to reversing the trend of childhood lock-down and distrust of our neighbors.
Lenore Skenazy helped me gain perspective and I have watched my son develop in such an amazing way as a result of our free-range practice. As far as I’m concerned, Free-Range Kids is a must read for any parent, especially those who want their kids to grow up competent, confident and ready to take on the world.
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