Free-range Kids : How to Raise Safe, Self-reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry), Paperback Book

Free-range Kids : How to Raise Safe, Self-reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


FREE RANGE KIDS has become a national movement, sparked bythe incredible response to Lenore Skenazy?s piece about allowingher 9-year-old ride the subway alone in NYC.

Parent groups arguedabout it, bloggers, blogged, spouses became uncivil with eachother, and the media jumped all over it.

A lot of parents today,Skenazy says, see no difference between letting their kids walk toschool and letting them walk through a firing range.

Any risk isseen as too much risk. But if you try to prevent every possibledanger or difficult in your child?s everyday life, that child nevergets a chance to grow up.

We parents have to realize that thegreatest risk of all just might be trying to raise a child whonever encounters choice or independence.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Advice on parenting
  • ISBN: 9780470574751

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Clicking on the fifth of the five stars of the rating for this book was a no-brainer. This was a fabulous book…not only very informative but a very entertaining read. I took SO much from author Lenore Skenazy. She backs up all of her suggestions and presents her material in a very interesting a humorous way.I do need to stress the humor – because she is incredibly effective at getting the reader to take a step back from the crazy-making new world of parenting. I am the ultimate helicopter parent – even allowing my 9 and 6 year old children to cross the street to get the mail seems like a dangerous endeavor. This is me:“…a lot of parents are really bad at assessing risk. They see no difference between letting their children walk to school and letting them walk through a firing range. When they picture their kids riding their bikes to a birthday party, they seem them dodging Mack trucks with brake problems. To let their children play unsupervised in a park at age eight or ten or even thirteen seems about as responsible as throwing them in the shark tank at Sea World with their pockets full of meatballs.”She using the very successful technique of presenting a situation, describing the way parents used to deal with it and comparing to how some parents deal with it now, and then gives the facts. Using the example of letting children walk to school (which now only 10% of children do) – she points out that children are about 40 times more likely to die in a car trip home from school than a walk home from school. That by making choices (based on fear) that we think are making our children safer – are actually making them less safe. Again and again, she points out that, “Mostly, the world is safe. Mostly, people are good. To emphasize the opposite is to live in the world of tabloid TV. A world where the weirdest, worst, least likely events are given the most play. A world filled with worst case scenarios, not the world we actually live in, which is factually, statistically, and, lucky for us, one of the safest periods for children in the history of the world.”Her explanation of where this societal fear comes from is very well laid out and makes complete sense. She doesn’t blame any one person or organization in particular but points out the individual pieces of the puzzle that make up the world of exploitation and misinformation we live in now.I would recommend this to ANY parent or parent-to-be. Having these facts at hand (she even provides a sheet called “I Am a Free-Range Parent” to keep with you when other parents react negatively to choices you make for your child. (And the mere fact that this is needed, and it is, is pretty sad…)I checked this book out from the library but will be buying my own copy this weekend. I will be reading this again soon, and have recommended it to all of my friends with children.

Review by

I really appreciated reading a book like this, even though my own kids are grown. I share with the author a personal parenting philosophy that kids are safer if they engage with other people, have the ability to negotiate their environment and have less fear. After all, if the world really is such a dreadful place, why even have kids? On the downside, it's a serious topic, and the constant side comments, although humorous, diminish the important research cited throughout the book, supporting her argument.

Review by

RECOMMENDED to everyone who will ever have anything to do with any child ever.

Review by

This is a funny book full of serious advice about child raising. Today's parents have become overly cautious about our children fearing that they will be abducted at any moment, largely due to the media frenzy that surrounds such rare events, and we have become so over-protective that we do not allow our children the freedom to become responsible and mature on their own.Despite the increase in media coverage, there has not been an increase in child abductions since I was a kid and I was allowed to run and bike ride all over the neighborhood by myself with no cell phone - they were not invented yet - and my parents had no idea where I was and I survived. Do I let my kids do that? No way. And, according to the author of this book, I am stiffling them and harming their future and self image and independence which will lead them to a lifetime of therapy. Or maybe not. But, there is hope for me and my children! The author has filled her book with free range baby steps, brave steps and giant leaps to help us to give our children the independence that they need. This book is funny and practical and I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.