Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy

genre: parenting non-fiction

I heard some buzz about this book a while ago, and even just from what a good friend wrote about the book, I knew it was something that would interest me.

Let me start off by saying this is not your average parenting book. It's not really "un-parenting" either - it's about taking the nitty-gritty of parenting seriously but knowing when your job as a parent is to just let go and let your children do things on their own. It's about giving your kids skills and then letting them actually USE those skills in the real world.

Lenore Skenazy is all about the real world.

She lays all the facts out on the table, and in a zany and humorous way she lays many parenting, nay, societal myths onto the chopping block. She tackles everything from the safety of Halloween candy to educational dvds to, yes, the infamous scenario of letting her nine year old ride the subway alone. What she hammers into us (and yes, it's sometimes a bit repetitive) is that the world is NOT REALLY A COMPLETELY UNSAFE PLACE. Through the media and our own collective, technologically advanced fear, we have convinced ourselves that all horrible things that could happen have a very good chance of happening to us, at any moment, and our sureness of this fact has really hampered our ability to teach our children confidence, competence and independence.

I know that's a really long sentence. But I'm kinda thinking it works.

I enjoyed listening to this one. The reader was pretty hilarious - the book has a really conversational tone and does a great job of giving baby step tips on how to start giving your children small bits of independence, some of which I've already started trying at home. I think, if nothing else, this book offers a great second opinion on so so many of the issues out there - and makes you stop and think: what if maybe I don't REALLY have to be so terrified about "blank?"

It's worth reading, I do think. I really do want to raise confident and independent people and this book is certainly a good place to start.

4 comments:

Veens said...

Sounds really good! But I am not sure if I will get it here.. :)

bermudaonion said...

Sounds like a good book, but I'm sad to say, I'm past the point of needing it. :(

morninglight mama said...

So glad that you found things in here that spoke to you. I was nervous that after I hyped it so much, you were going to read and think I was CRAZY! :)

Lenore said...

This review strikes me as incredibly insightful, smart, well-written and RIGHT!
Then again, please sign me --
Lenore Skenazy!

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