Friday, March 19, 2010

Free-Range Kids (Book)

I read an interesting book recently...Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. The book is about giving children more we had when we were kids.

You may recall hearing the story of Lenore's son a few years back...when he was just 9 years old she gave him some money and maps and let him find his way back home on the subway from a store.

Her son of course arrived home safely, and supposedly the "adventure" was his idea.

Many people applauded Lenore - others called her the worst mom and thought she was crazy.

Growing up in a small town, one of 5 girls - I don't remember there being many restrictions on us running around the neighborhood. I don't remember there being a lot of concern that one of us girls might be kidnapped and never seen again...(perhaps as in the story "The Ransom of Red Chief" my parents figured the kidnappers would be bringing us back).

My daughter is 10 and I know she would LOVE to have an "adventure" like Lenore's son...but we don't live in a small town and though I know the odds are greater that a meteorite will fall on her head while she is playing in our backyard, than getting kidnapped - I'm still hesitant to give her as much "free ranging" as she'd be happy with.

The book was encouraging to read and there is also a website that you can check out for more ideas about free-range parenting.


CanadianGrandma said...

Things are much different today and it is not wise to allow children to have "free range". I remember travelling on a streetcar at the age of 9 to go and pick up my 7 year old brother from Cubs. There is no way that I would allow my children to do such a thing if we had lived in a city!

Anonymous said...

I agree that in this day and age we cannot let our young children do things that we did as youngsters.It is no longer safe!


Anonymous said...

We live in a small town (2500) and my son has free range to go anywhere in town BUT he has a cellphone so we can make contact with him at anytime. He always goes with someone and they have to stay away from the river :) If we lived in the city things would be much different.

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