“Free-Range Kids” Book Talk

The other night I gave a book talk — second in my life — at the Barnes & Noble in Park Slope, Brooklyn. If you’d like to hear some of the highlights, here you go. Two little videos of me doing my Free-Range thing:



Meantime, a very happy three-day weekend to all! — Lenore

11 Responses

  1. I just read an article in The Week. Thank you. In looking at your site I say an even stronger thank you. I’m sorry I missed you talk at the Park Slope B and N since I live near there. I’m marking your site to follow it.

  2. Also read The Week article and have been enjoying the blog and the discussions that arise in the comments!

  3. So, any chance that you’ll be appearing at Powell’s Books in Portland? Or maybe at Wordstock this October?


  4. I’m sure you gave a great talk. I just heard your interview on Quirky Nomads. Good job!

  5. I too, just read about you in The Week. Good for you!

    I’ve only read the one article that brought me to your blog, but I wanted to bring up something that might have some bearing on the anti-free-range attitudes of most parents.

    I’m 34 and have no children, but many of those my age do. The sitcoms of the 80’s had me convinced that I, or one of my siblings, was either going to get kidnapped, beaten, sexually molested, or become an alcoholic (check out episodes of After School Specials, Webster, Diff’rent Strokes, Punky Brewster, etc.). These shows meant well, but I can tell you that I was personally traumatized, and this would certainly have an impact on parenting.

    Those were the years during which I thought life was exactly what was portrayed on TV – hence, the abuse/abduction/addiction scenarios seemed imminent, both then, and for any future children I might bear.

    P.S. I had what I would call a free-range childhood, with the ability to ride my bike, call on friends as I liked and walk home from the bus stop.

  6. I just finished the conclusion of your book. I felt the comparison you drew from the Feminine Mystique was quite profound. While women who have selcted to be at-home mothers think they are protecting their children, in a way we are only exerting power that has been deined to us through hours of boredom. The goal of performing perfectly in the only real job one has can certainly make the educated woman who chose this, hope for a certain amount of power. I believe your comparioson of rights denied to children being akin to the rights denied women after WWII is directly on point. While I also agree that we are driven insane by the very shows I love (Criminal Minds, Law and Order 1,2,3,4,5,and SVU and CSI–next season CSI:Insert your suburb here.) I also think many of us may be reaching for control we do not have. If you can just raise the ultimate child, that would almost be the “Most Likely to Achieve” Award that you were awarded for a ridiculous ACT/SAT score. So we chose not to go to law school–we still have a 5 year old son who plays the violin,multiplies and can explain the probability of hitting an inside straight while sculpting a replica of an early Rodin work. Your comparison was profound.

  7. Суперский пост! Блог уже в ридере )

  8. Its funny that in your talk, you mentioned the video monitors. I have a video monitor for my 6 month old twins and I actually think it makes me more “free-range.” Instead of running into their room after every whimper, I can just peek at the screen and see that they are fine, just tossing and turning. Or see that they managed to wedge themselves into the corner and could use a little adjustment.
    But I do know a lot of parents that stare at the screen like it’s their life’s mission. So, I guess its all in how you use it.
    Great talk!! Wish you could come to my town – we’re chock full of helicopter parents. Sigh.

  9. Hey, I might have some faith in my community again –
    There are three copies of your book currently being “in-processed” at our public library, and there are five hold requests on them already!
    I’m going to check our local bookstore again this weekend.

  10. Hi, Ms. Skenazy,

    I was at your talk at Park Slope B&N — I’m the woman whose mom bought me the rubber ducky that takes the bath water temperature.

    I want to thank you for making me feel less insane and less neglectful. My daughter’s only 11 months old, so not quite ready to hit the streets alone. However, friends and relatives have been appalled that we’re not putting a gate across a step down in our living room (one step!) and piling pillows in the fireplace–instead, we say, we’re explicitly pointing the step out to the baby and teaching her how to stop at the edge, turn, and go down backwards. It’s an early step in what I hope will be a happy free-range childhood for her.

    Haven’t read the book but will be doing so a.s.a.p. Keep spreading the word!


  11. obqssdfjvzgw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: