I mentioned that Lenore Skenazy’s book Free Range Kids had come out recently. Well, I was quite delighted when Lenore contacted me and offered a copy of it to review. You’d better believe I was interested in having her send me a copy.
I just finished reading it, and I loved it. Thanks, Lenore!
I know it’s really hard to not be overprotective of your kids. There are so many people encouraging parents to be overprotective. But, as Lenore points out in both book and website, crime stats as a whole and against children are down to the 1970s levels. It really is NOT more dangerous out there than when we were kids. We are simply more aware of the dangers and childhood in general has been made so much safer that we get a little nuts about even the small dangers.
A very good point is that kids need to be allowed to take risks. Children grow up and become adults, and if they haven’t learned to be safe on their own before they grow up, how will they cope?
And then there’s “Stranger Danger”. A point made in the book is that kids are far, far more likely to be killed in a car accident than by a stranger. They’re also far more likely to be abducted by family than by a stranger. Yet which do we worry about.
Yes, it’s dreadful that it happens to anyone’s child, and a nightmare for the parents who must live through it. But the odds are much against it being your kids.
Reading this book gave me some great ideas. I loved the idea of a camping birthday party, which was mentioned as something one mom would only let her daughter do if she came along and they camped together in a two person tent. I’m pretty sure her daughter would have been safe with all the other girls and I think as soon as I’m insane enough to want to deal with a sleepover with a bunch of sugar crazed little girls I will have to suggest this idea to my daughter. Because I am not as concerned with whether or not it would be safe as I am with how much sleep I would get.
Just think back to the things you did as a kid when you were 5, 6, 7, 8… a teenager… you get the idea.
Are you protecting your kids from doing the same, even the good, safe fun stuff? Why?
Free Range Parenting is not about letting your kids run wild and doing whatever they please. It’s about letting them do the things children have not only been allowed to do but been expected to do for generations. Giving your kids a combination of more responsibility and freedom is a good thing.
Even if you’re not sure that you’re up for a free range parenting style I encourage you to check Free Range Kids out. You’ll get some great food for thought about the many things you really don’t need to worry about, as well as some of the things you should be concerned with. After all, not every bit of protection you give your kids is unnecessary.