Welcome Viewers of “The View!”

Hi, View fans —

I’m so thrilled The View is airing a rerun of my visit with “the gals” today! It was a thrill to be on the show,  of course (and, let’s be honest: scary). But how I loved hearing  Barbara Walters say my book made her feel less guilty about not having spent every single second with her daughter when she was young. (That’s right — as my book says, with lots of science to back it up: Constant  parental stimulation is not necessary to raise a decent kid!).

And to hear Whoopi talk about how we shouldn’t worry that our kids are in peril every second of every day any more than we should worry about a plane falling out of the sky and hitting them on the head — that was great, too. And her endorsement: “Buy this book. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you think.” Well — I am in love with those ladies.  Yes, all of them.

Even though I practically poked Joy’s eyeball out. (Sorry!)

— Lenore

13 Responses

  1. Lenore,

    I am soooooo torn. Yes, I would like to be the mom of a “free range kid” but then I hear/see a story like the one in this link:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062901987.html

    How can we as responsible parents prepare our kids for this kind of situation???

    Lani

  2. There are dangers everywhere. I hate to say it, but if someone if hell-bent on abusing a child, NOTHING is going to stop them. It is terrible, absolutely , that horrors like this happen. BUT. We cannot fear the world in which we live, and passing fear onto our children is a form of abuse in itself. It’s hard, I *know* to let our kids have “free range” but it is important to remember that no responsible parent here is advocating letting their children do whatever, whenever they want. If a child has proper age boundaries in place, and complies with and respects them, then allowing them “free range” will help them to mature and grow into an adult who can deal with fear and not be ruled by it. Sadly, there will always be stories like this in the news. Ask yourself – what is the percentage as compared to beautiful stories of children discovering, exploring, and learning on their own? It is exponential as compared to sad one like that which you posted.
    Sincerely,
    Jeni

  3. My roommate’s daughter was 7 when she read “Protecting the Gift” by Gavin de Becker. She found it very useful in understanding what she could and should do to help her daughter against dangers like this.

  4. @Lani,

    Tragically, a little over a year ago, this happened in the town one north of my own: http://www.chapelhillnews.com/news/story/14998.html.

    I still transport my son in my car. We use a child seat appropriate to his age, height, and weight, have had it securely fitted by trained personnel, and are careful to make sure his harness is appropriately secured.

    Honestly, I think your implied reaction to the utterly dreadful Shine story is to want to keep your child in your sight at all times. Is this practical? What is the cost to your child in terms of loss of independence? For the record, I do keep my child in my sight — or secured in my home or fenced back yard — at all times. He’s 2. But I won’t when he’s 6, unless we’re living in a location very different from where we live now.

    As I understand Lenore’s point, it’s that we need to make reasonable, informed choices about the risks we and our children are exposed to and to understand the tradeoffs involved in “avoiding” risks (we cannot avoid all risks … we are all going to die of something, someday). That’s true whether the decision is to get in your car and drive somewhere, or to allow your child to go into the home of a friend of his or hers (what the little girl whom Shine attacked did). Neither activity is risk free; though both are usually very safe, if something dreadful happens, then — precisely because it’s so unusual — it’s going to make the news.

  5. You protect your kids best by giving them the tools to keep themselves safe. Knowing that they can handle themselves builds confidence and responsibility.

    In the story above, worry less about the long term damage to the girl from this one incident, then I do from parents who are guilt ridden and now want to wrap their baby girl in bubble wrap.

  6. Lenore, you might be interestested in this story:
    http://www.idareyoutoeatit.com/2009/06/courage-new-york-minute/

  7. Hi Lenore,
    Stumbled upon The View segment today and enjoyed it very much. I’m a masters student writing a thesis on Motherhood in a “security”-obsessed culture, the increased judgment of mothers during times of war, and the myth of the “good” mother who must sacrifice her own desires to raise her children. I grew up fiercely independent (a latchkey kid and only child!) and really respect and love my mother for setting an example as a strong, talented, independent, working woman (and my father for supporting her in doing this). I think that pride in my mom pushed me to want to do the same with my life (accomplish goals), and I wouldn’t trade the time alone that she gave me to think and develop for all the hand-holding in the world.

    I’m very excited to pick up a copy of your book. Also, loved your article on cell-phone hold-outs (I am one!)…my boyfriend and I were busting a gut.

  8. I saw the rerun today on the View- I have worked with children in various settings over the last several years- including as a child protection investigator. Abuse done to a child is rarely done in a planful way, it’s usually a result of neglect- most parents start out with the best of intentions towards their children. Given the stories we read in the news every day, it is natural to want to protect our children at all costs, even if that means constant, in sight supervision. But not all dangers can be guarded against- as we know, strangers will come into our own homes to get to our children.

    One of the most important ways to protect and teach our children is preparation. I still work in a day job with children in foster care, but I also work a part time job in a local college bar. I can honestly say that witnessing the sheer lack of preparation college kids have for the real world is terrifying. It is encouraged in today’s world to coddle our children, give them everything, and not to teach them to work to earn a place in the world. This is setting them up to fail, especially in today’s economy. We need to revert back to “the good old days” in some ways- including teaching them to work and to learn self sufficiency. They can not be successful otherwise.

    So, while a 9 year old riding the subway is a scary thought to me, I was raised in the suburbs of Binghamton, NY. I don’t think I could take the subway on my own right now- but I didn’t grow up in the city. I did have a certain level of freedom that kids don’t have today, though- and I say that I am a much better prepared adult for what’s to come than the “adults” graduating colleges today.

    So- bravo to you Lenore, for having the courage to prepare your child for the real world, even though everything in your being may have been screaming at you to do otherwise. And thanks for the book- I do plan to read it, and to share it with parents that I may work with in the future!

  9. Lenore, the video link seems to be dead. Are you aware of a different link where the video is available? Can’t watch the View when it airs. Cheers.

  10. I didn’t realize you had done an apprearance on The View. I will be sure to check that out.

  11. @Lani, there’s very little we can do to prepare our children for this type of situation. Current wisdom tells us to teach them how to recognize dangerous/improper situations but I don’t know how many parents start as young as that girl is. I sure didn’t with my children.

    We can prepare ourselves, though, by remembering that these are extremely rare occurrences and by not allowing ourselves to be crippled (and cripple our children) by thoughts of the unthinkable. We have to understand very clearly that we cannot protect our children from every possible danger, therefore we need to focus on the most everyday dangers and on giving them the needed skills to conduct themselves properly in the world around them.

  12. Whoppi’s daughter got pregnant when she was a teenage. Barbara Walter’s daughter hasn’t spoken to her in years. Neither of them are role models as mothers.

  13. Yes, Whoopi’s daughter got pregnant as a teen, she now has a couple of kids, and is doing very well. I’m not sure that you are correct about Barbara Walters and her daughter, but am not sure. No one here was holding them up as role models for mothers. I don’t think any mother in the real world could possibly feel that they are role models to other mothers. The “role” of mother is far too difficult for any one woman to truly feel that she’s doing it right 100% of the time.

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