Warning! Divorced Dad at Home During Sleepover!!!

Hi Folks! Here’s why I rag on the parenting magazines. Not only do they obsess about every little detail of parenting as if it’s a make-or-break  decision, but often they indulge in Worst-First thinking (dreaming up the worst possible scenario and proceeding as if it is likely to happen). Here’s a shining example, cribbed from […]

No More Sleepovers?!

The latest victim of parental terror? Sleepovers. According to this AP story by Kelli Kennedy, parents are afraid of everything from junk food to “inappropriate” movies, to Internet surfing, to the possibility of  their children being drugged and raped.  The modern parental thinking method applies: Since a drugging/fondling incident DID happen once, and since it was ON […]

BIG NEWS! Free-Range Kids Meets Reality TV

Hi Readers! And now for something completely different: Television! I am about to start filming a reality TV show dedicated to the wild idea that our kids are at LEAST as smart and safe as we were — so why don’t we stop treating them like hand-blown swizzle sticks? Yes. For real! This is a […]

Outrage of the Week: Grammar School Cancels Val Day for “Good of the Students”

Hi Readers — Our darling children, who, we’re told, can’t handle recess in the cold (see this), or waiting outside the high school to be picked up (see this), or babysitting, even at age 14 (see this), and who can’t possibly handle sleepovers (see this) or bugs ( see this) or bible stories (see this), […]

I Thought This Was a Parody

Hi Readers! I wish this WAS a joke: A mama’s rant with about 100 “Amen!” comments after it, that basically makes the case for clinical paranoia. Commendably, the blogging mom believes that her child IS safe an aisle away from her at the grocery store. Stranger danger, especially in a public place, is exceedingly rare, […]

Needed: Your Encounters with “What If?” Thinking

Hi Readers — One of the biggest frustrations in Free-Ranging is dealing with other people’s “What If?” fears. Why? Because they can never be answered! If a parent starts worrying about, “What if X, Y or Z happens while my child is doing…” anything, there is no way to say, “Don’t worry, it won’t.” Because, of […]

Recent Tweets and Tidbits!

Hi Readers — I know not all of you follow Twitter, so I’m pasting some recent tweets (Tweets?) here for your perusal. Wonder which ones you’ll comment on! L. Swing sets removed from some W. Va. schools after kid jumps off, breaks arm, gets $20,000. Stop the insanity!  http://bit.ly/d36m4y Strong essay: “Confessions of a Childhood […]

Maybe Safety Shouldn’t Always Be First (At Any Age)

Hi Readers — A few years ago, when my sister and I were contemplating assisted living for our mom (who has Alzheimer’s), I visited a place that was really pretty and cheerful and had a lot going for it, including a cool program whereby patients each had a box with some artifacts from their old […]

Outrage of the Week: Before the Slumber Party, Paperwork

Hi Readers! In the category of “overkill” and “probably not representative of the culture as a whole, but still instructive,” and “wacko!” here’s an amazing post from the blog Doctor Grumpy in the House: A dad (Dr. Grumpy, I presume) was dropping off his daughter at a friend’s house for a sleepover when the mom […]

Sext or Kiddie Porn: Who Decides?

Hi Readers — Today’s post comes from guest contributor Anne Collier, who blogs at NetFamilyNews.org and is co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a forum for parents, kids, and everybody interested in safety on the fixed and mobile social Web. Take it away, Anne! THE SEXT TALK by Anne Collier Are we turning our kids into criminals? We just may […]