REMARKS OF LENORE SKENAZY, AUTHOR OF “FREE-RANGE KIDS:
GIVING OUR CHILDREN THE FREEDOM WE HAD WITHOUT GOING NUTS WITH WORRY.”
Hi. It’s lovely to be here and I’m actually glad you let me through the doors because some of you may have heard of me: I’m “America’s Worst Mom.” Really – Google it!
What happened was last spring, I let my 9-year-old ride the subway alone and wrote a little column about it. Two days later I was on The Today Show, MSNBC, NPR and FoxNews with my son, who had – in case you were wondering -- survived. He loved it!
Why did this story hit such a nerve? Because I dared to say we can let our kids have the same kind of freedom WE had. Like, most of us walked to school, right? Today only 10% of kids do. Did you play outside? Less than a third of kids do now, because we’ve got them so scheduled. And even when they’re not, we’re afraid of what’s out there!
I’m a reporter so I decided to see which of our fears are based on reality and which have been foisted upon us by, well, Nancy Grace. AND parenting magazines and all those products we’re supposed to buy now that we never needed before. Like baby knee pads, to protect your baby’s knees when they’re crawling. Excuse me: don’t babies come with built in knee pads called BABY FAT?
Why are we supposed to believe that our children today are more vulnerable than ever before?
That kind of fear has led to “Helicopter parents.”
But what about parents who want to step back a little? We didn’t have a name yet, so I gave us one: We are Free Range Parents raising Free Range Kids.
We’re not daredevils. Come on – I’m a Jewish mom. We believe in car seats, helmets and carrying an extra sweater in case it’s cold. We do not believe our kids need a security detail every time they step outside. We’re sick of being brainwashed with fear, about our kids’ food, and toys and strangers.
That brainwashing is what my book is all about: exposing it, examining it, and finally -- fighting it, with chapters like, “Playdates and Axe Murderers: How To Tell The Difference,” and “Relax: Not Every Little Thing You Do Has THAT Much Impact on Your Child’s Development.”
The book is Free Range Kids. And I’m Lenore Skenazy, America’s Worst Mom.
THE BOOK ON AMAZON (PLUS A LITTLE VIDEO!): http://tinyurl.com/ksmaby
THE BLOG: www.freerangekids.com
And here's the website for Lenore's "Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook": www.dysfunctionalchristmas.com