Recent Tweets of Interesting Stuff!

Hi Readers! I know not everyone’s on Twitter, but I’m always posting little tidbits there that maybe aren’t big enough to warrant a whole blog post. So in case you missed ’em, here are some recent Tweets. (And if you want to join Twitter, just click here.) My tag, or screen name, whatever it’s called, is, of course, freerangekids. — Lenore

* 7th graders discover cool thing on Mars. (So why are they “too young” to do anything else, like stay home alone?) http://yhoo.it/9hx5po

* Brilliant Wall St. Journal piece by Bryan Caplan on how we don’t have to work so hard at parenting: http://bit.ly/bjsTcE

* My take on “Friendship Coaches” for kids. Because, you know, they get friendship all wrong without professional help.http://bit.ly/avsWyx

* Kids now have to be 12, not 10, at local pool (w/ lifeguard) without parent. That would’ve kept me inside 2 more yrs. http://bit.ly/cvVNuM

* GREAT San Fran essay: Can I leave my kids in the car when I run back into the house? (And why is this even a worry?): http://bit.ly/bNw1HR

* What you should REALLY be afraid of: A chart! (No, don’t be afraid OF the chart. It’s a chart of dangers.) http://bit.ly/cvjffb

And plenty more! — L.

28 Responses

  1. Just an fyi, here’s an article with links to evidence as to why cul-de-sacs are bad for us, etc.
    http://consumerist.com/2010/06/cul-de-sacs-are-making-us-fat.html

  2. On the SF article regarding leaving kids in the car, it only took 5 comments before the first alarmist’s arrival….”but could you live with your self IF”. You can almost set your watch by these things!

    By the way, I don’t Twitter, or Tweet, or whatever it’s called, so thank you so much for posting this!

  3. Thanks Lenore. I found that the more “social media” I subscribe to, the less I have of an actual social life. Considering some of the mokes I hang out with, I’m not sure it’s a bad thing.

  4. This article isn’t about kids, but I found it eerily resonant with your message: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/the-safety-dance/

    In particular, the choice between “the best possible quality of life as is consistent with health and safety” and “the best health and safety outcomes that are consistent with a meaningful quality of life” is thought-provoking.

  5. I did notice on the SF article it wasn’t long before the “what ifs” started coming hard.

  6. I was actually happy to see that the “what ifs” were really few and far between and all had multiple thumbs down on the SF article. There were a couple crazies but otherwise most seemed okay with leaving children for a few minutes. The best was the poster who repeatedly gave the scenario of going into the house, falling and becoming unconscious while the kids were in the car. Really. Has that EVER happened?

  7. I do wonder if the swimming article is a self fulfilling prophecy. Kids aren’t given any freedom, therefore they don’t learn how to behave themselves when unsupervised, therefore they need to be older to swim unsupervised.

  8. @ Heartfruit: BRILLIANT! Hadn’t thought of that. Very true!

  9. Another Tweet was about voting for Lenore to host a TV show on Oprah’s channel. Other audition videos by nobodies getting 6 times as many votes as people that viewed them looks like ballot stuffing.
    http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=8635&promo_id=1

  10. Thanks, Dot! I voted for Lenore!!!!

  11. The link about the pool age changing from 10 to 12 really struck home. As a child, our family went to a summer camp each year.

    When I was 8, the age to take a rowboat out alone was 9.
    When I was 9, the minimum age was 10.
    When I was 10, the age had gone to 11.
    When I was 11, the age went up again, to 12.

    To say I was frustrated is a severe understatement! I remember complaining to the camp director (yes, at 12), asking him if the age would be 57 when I was 56. Don’t remember what he said, but the age limit didn’t change.

    Several commentators have the best idea yet: Have children take a swim test. If they pass, they can use the pool unsupervised. That makes sense: Pool use tied to ability, not arbitrary age.

  12. How can I get a copy of that chart?!!

  13. I loved the chart too — but wished that it compared the number of children abducted by strangers to the number of children abducted by non-strangers (family, friends etc….) I think that’s a better comparison. Do you know what those numbers are?

  14. Oh my gosh, that many people are audited by the IRS each year? I may never sleep again.

  15. Yes, but not as many as die every year. And most of them are rich, unlike the dead folks… right? Right? (Please… tell me I’m right!)

  16. Thanks, Dot, I voted for Lenore too! And in addition to the duck and knee pads I have my own personal “safety” product that I hate. It’s the visor to keep soap and/or water out of kids’ eyes in the bath. First of all, I think every shampoo made for kids these days is tear-free. Second, I don’t get how you’re supposed to wash under the visor while it’s on. Third, I’ve taught my kids to close their eyes and plug their noses when I rinse off their hair. Occasionally they forget and get slightly waterboarded, but they sure remember the next time after that!

  17. @Dot Khan thanks for the link — i voted. also, i totally agree on the ballot stuffing point. Soooooo…. let’s all go stuff the ballot box for Lenore! 😉

  18. In regard to leaving the children in the car: With multiple small children, I think it is MUCH safer to leave them buckled into their car seats than to unload them all and have them possibly running in multiple directions. What could possibly happen to them locked in a car? (assuming reasonable weather conditions.) A child who slips out of your grasp and runs across the parking lot is in a lot more danger. As for running back into the house to grab a cell phone, when I am leaving the house I always load the children into the car before grabbing my purse, diaper bag, or loading anything else I need (store returns, etc.) They are safer buckled into their seats than they would be roaming around the house while I load the car.

  19. Someone starting a petition for “This petition is for everyone to join together and make it mandatory that every school should have a survalence system and provide a system of security for every student/child attending. ” using Kyron Horman to justify it. Ugh.

    Link : http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/06/portland_woman_starts_petition.html

  20. Echoing the other people who also don’t do Twitter, it would be nice if you did an occasional regular (weekly?) post on your favorite recent tweets. I know you do it once in a blue moon, but surely we’re missing a lot. Every time you do one of these recent tweet posts, there’s a lot of good stuff in it.

  21. In the Wall Street Journal article, he cites a study showing that married people with no children are 1.8% happier than those with children. One factor that was not addressed in that study is that if you are married a long time and have no children, you are likely to be on the pill, which makes your body think you are pregnant, and has mild antidepressant effects, certainly enough to compensate for the 1.8%. A better study would also adjust for those on the pill.

  22. I do have to comment about the peanut allergy deaths. Yes, a relatively small number of people die every year. But each year there are an estimated 30,000 people who are treated in an ER for food allergies http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/allergy-statistics and those 30,000 people were at risk of death . Even if you were to argue that not everyone in that 30,000 was at risk of death, it’s still scary as hell to experience anaphalxis, because the biggest symptom is trouble breathing or you stop breathing altogether.
    And furthermore, it’s not the average person who is afraid of death due to peanut allergy, it is the people who’s kids actually have the allergy. Death by poisoning is a good analogy, because to someone allergic to peanuts, peanuts are poison.
    So if your kid has no food allergies and you worry about death due to peanut allergy , then yeah , that is pretty silly. But If your kid has an allergy to peanuts, it is a valid, rational fear. You don’t need to turn your kid into a bubble boy, but you do have to be careful.

    BTW: Has anyone heard about the group that is suing McDonalds over Happy Meal Toys? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100624/ap_on_bi_ge/us_mcdonald_s_lawsuit_toys

  23. Kudos to Lenore for a nifty phrase (referring to, eeeewwww, Friendship Coaches):

    “cadre of crazy, creepy child psychologists”

    (which violates the style rule I most like to break – Avoid alliteration, Always!)

    I have often noticed how shrinks seem to regard behavior (normal or otherwise) in terms of illness.

    In much the same way policemen and lawyers see misbehavior everywhere.

    Now, we have friendship-as-syndrome to go along with good-samaritan-as-criminal

  24. On the leaving the kids in the car….

    I routinely let my 10 year old and 12 year old go out and start the car for me, a manual transmission btw, so they can get the air cranking. I live in Alabama, and it’s necessary to let the car run for at least two minutes before getting in. My kids are awesome. I’ll lock up the house, etc., and stroll out to find the 5 year old strapped in his seat already ( he weighs 30 pounds, or he’d be long out of it. Bless his heart, he’ll probably still be in the thing at 7), and the other two already belted in as well.

    I’m sure I’m a HORRIBLE mother for that.

  25. FYI, for the people who asked about getting Lenore’s tweets, the most recent ones are listed on left side of this site.

    <——————– right over there.

    I don't use twitter, but I check out her recent comments when I come to this site.

  26. “Several commentators have the best idea yet: Have children take a swim test. If they pass, they can use the pool unsupervised. That makes sense: Pool use tied to ability, not arbitrary age.”

    That’s how it used to be done at all the area pools when I was a kid. And, to stay alone at the pool without an adult, you had to pass the swim test. I do think though that they didn’t administer the test prior to the age of 10 or 11.

  27. Growing up being allowed to stay alone was a priviliage you earned from both the lifeguards and your parents. You had to swim at a certain level, and have a history of obeying the rules and lifeguards.

    We were granted this privilage the first summer we joined the swim club. During that time Sis and I were in 2 potentially serious accidents, but did not lose the privilage because we kept our heads and listened.

    1. I had dived off the low dive, and was trying swim all the way to the shallow steps under water. A 5 or 10 gallon bucket of chlorine was knocked into the pool. (The person responsible for that did get fired because they violated policy) The guard on duty evacuated the pool, but I couldn’t hear the whistle. Sis knew this and when the guard didn’t go after me, Sis jumped in, jerked me up by the back of my suit and yelled get out. The head life guard had come running. When we got to the side, he pulled us out at the same time. Then he ran with us into the showers. Getting us rinsed off.

    2. Sis was going off the high dive – Someone yelled something at her and she misstepped and fell off over the concrete. She managed to grab onto the structure. The head lifeguard had to stop a couple of fathers from going up to pull sis up, because he realized if they put weight on the board, it would crush sis’s arm. (She had caught on to those gears were you can turn the wheel and change the bounce of the board).

    William talked sis through pulling herself up on the board.(he had someone call the fire department but realized she couldn’t hold on that long). Once she was on the board, he went up and checked her out. She was uninjured. To disbelieve of the parents who were there (it was the end of the day so everyone’s parents were showing up to pick up their kids this wasn’t a neighborhood pool) he made her jump off the end. Refusing to let her go down the ladder.

    Mom came in and the parents told her how awful William was being. Mom asked him to close the board for about 15 min – and she made Sis go off it over and over again. At first Sis was almost crawling out to the end. At the end she was just like normal even doing backflips off the board. Mom told the parents just like riding a horse. (When the fire department got there the EMT’s checked sis out and agreed no injury.)

  28. […] Great compilation from FreeRangeKids. […]

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