TV Show!

Hi Folks! Here’s a little snippet of my reality show on Discovery/TLC International, World’s Worst Mom (known as Bubble Wrap Kids on Slice in Canada). If you’re living pretty much anywhere in the world — except, so far, the United States! — consult your local listings.

The 13-episode show features me as a sort of Supernanny. Except instead of dealing with out-of-control KIDS, I deal with out-of-control PARENTS. Parents who are convinced their kids — ranging from 8 to 18 — are in danger if they play on the front lawn, cross the street, use the microwave or go on an overnight. One mom was still dragging her 13-year-boy into the ladies room with her, convinced he’d be murdered in the men’s room. Another mom wouldn’t let her girls, 8 and 11, take a walk together in their quiet suburban neighborhood. She considered this a “high risk” activity. Still another packed her son a juice box when he was heading out the door.

He’s 16.

He’s also 6’2″ tall.

But after five days of my giving the kids real-world challenges like, “Today, you’re going to run a lemonade stand,” or, “Meet me at the mall — take the bus to get there,” the parents ended up changed beyond recognition. By finally seeing with their own eyes just how CAPABLE and HAPPY their kids could be, a switch flipped. Suddenly they were excited to watch their kids grow up instead of desperately trying to keep them tied down. One mom ended up so exhilarated that she declared she has “two birthdays” now, because the whole experience made her feel like a new person — a confident, happy mom!

Twelve of the 13 families turned around like that. Can’t win ’em all. Here’s an Anderson Cooper interview about the show.  And a newspaper write up or two. Enjoy!

***

And meantime, if you’d like to see some media reaction to Free-Range Kids, here you go:

Cover of Time Magazine, “The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting” (Nov. 20, 2009)

Oprah.com, “Raising a Free-Range Kid” (Nov., 2009)

ABC World News Tonight Profile (as re-broadcast in Australia)

“The View,” May 1

CNN, Campbell Brown Show (Nov. 25, 2009)
(Alternate file of interview)

CBS Early Show (Nov. 27, 2009)

The Week magazine (cover story)

Salon (cover story, and 254 letters about it!)
)

Associated Press interview

Washington Post

The Daily Beast, “The Myth of Online Predators” (by Lenore Skenazy)

Interview on NPR’s “Here & Now”

Interview with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY, Philadelphia NPR Station

Weekend Australian Magazine (cover)

Huffington Post

Arts & Letters Daily

Sunday Chicago Tribune

Sunday New York Times’ style section: “Why Can’t She Walk to School?”

Houston Chronicle

National Post, Canada: Q & A

El Mundo Newspaper, Spain (country’s second largest daily)

WPROST Magazine, Poland

La Tercera Newspaper, Chile

Radio New Zealand

The Times (of London)

Istoe Independente, Brazil

La Vanguardia, Spain

Free-Range Kids lecture at Yale, October, 2009

Free-Range being debated on a typical mommy blog in Florida

110 Responses

  1. Canadian kids have been narrowly saved from heavy metal poisoning from their sporting equipment:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Bauer+recalls+hockey+sticks+over+lead+levels/2700989/story.html

  2. Carry a “MISSING” poster of your child wherever you go, just in case!

    http://www.emergencyinfosystems.com/

    *shakes head*

    They offered to sponsor our moms’ group, and the group organizer put it to a vote. I sincerely hope we decline.

  3. Here’s an article on a long-missing child that shows why you have such an uphill battle:

    Note the relative’s generalization from a possible run-away child (who admittedly lever returned) to “Your child may be snatched at nay instant!”

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/05/grace.coldcase.king/index.html

  4. Free Range Kids change city policy in Minnesota!

    Here’s an article about what can happen when kids are enthusiastically encouraged to participate as citizens. There’s hope!

    http://www.twincities.com/news/ci_14832899

  5. check out the book

  6. I wrote up a bit on Leave your kids at the park day. Thought you might like to read it.:}
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-1161-Salt-Lake-City-Parenting-Examiner~y2010m4d13-Leave-your-kids-at-the-park-day

  7. Deconstructing Youth Sports: can the emphasis on organized and coached sports over free play be the missing explanation for increased anterior crucial ligament injuries in North America?
    http://avilasoccer.com/articles/116-deconstructing-youth-sports.html

  8. Here’s one — bunch of mommies overreacted in San Francisco: http://gawker.com/5526004/how-a-guy-using-his-cell-phones-stopwatch-became-the-mountain-lake-park-lurker
    Love the site. I live in a small town in Montana where kids are still allowed to roam free (most of them anyway). They also deliver my afternoon paper, by themselves.

  9. Hello, I recently wrote a short column about child independence and my friend Andy Laties suggested I share it with you. How ironic that you are actually mentioned in my story!
    http://blog.masslive.com/parentingproject/2010/04/post_2.html
    Christine Alger

  10. Not sure how else to contact you, but this story broke in my city this morning. Pretty outrageous, I think.

  11. Hi

    I produce the Afternoon Edition with Ron Corbett on 580 CFRA, Ottawa.

    Would you be free for a one on one interview by phone this afternoon for 5 minutes about the “Leave your kids in the park day”

    I can tape at 3.28, 4 or 5pm EST Today.

    Thanks

    Sarah

  12. Interview?

    Hi Lenore,

    Looking for a few minutes at 8:15 pm ET this evening to chat with Mike Clanchard on Calgary Today re: the Free Range Kids movement.

    This would be live for about 4 minutes over the phone.

    Thanks,
    Meaghan MacSween
    Producer, Calgary Today
    AM 770 CHQR
    (403) 444-4353

  13. Thanks for coming on KGO radio. The interview was great and you had wonderfully strong arguments. The segment went far longer than normal and we appreciate having you on our air!

    Good luck with all your efforts!

  14. Hi Lenore,

    I just saw this article and thought, “I wonder if smaller families are contributing to risk averse kids”? There can’t be a wilder sibling if there isn’t a sibling in the first place. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/science/25birth.html?ref=science

  15. Hi Lenore,

    Article about helicopter parenting on MSNBC today:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37493795/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

  16. Hi,

    I’m writing an article on child victimization and I think I once read (or maybe saw on YouTube) you saying something about how it doesn’t make sense to live your life as though a one in a million risk is a big one. I can’t find where you said it, but I’d like to quote you. If you could let me know, that would be great.

    Thanks,
    Zena.

  17. what do you think about this? more meddling in the social lives of children.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/fashion/17BFF.html?pagewanted=1&src=twt&twt=nytimes

  18. You’re mentioned in this BBC article:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8789014.stm

  19. Dear Lenore, here is another case of safety run amok. From One step ahead, whom I have a love/hate relationship there travel gear and clothing is great but there safety stuff is just over the top.

    Introducing a smarter, safer, balance bike (and you saw it here first)! A huge hit worldwide, this sleek skill-building bike is safer than others, with an angled front wheel for tip-resistance and covered back wheel to shield little feet. Both wheels are larger, providing added stability on uneven surfaces.

    http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=536669&parentCategoryId=85185&categoryId=85227

  20. Has anyone seen this?

    http://consumerist.com/2010/07/cpsc-votes-to-ban-drop-side-cribs-pottery-barn-recalls-82000-of-them.html

    The CPSC is banning all drop-side cribs, due to 153 deaths in the last FOUR years. While tragic, I wonder how many of those deaths were due to user error? Or perhaps a certain function on the crib was faulty. Fix that, but don’t ban them all together! As a mom who’s only 5 feet tall, I cannot reach over the side of a crib that’s not dropped to pick up or lay down a baby. Ridiculous safety precaution.

  21. Today I had a commitment at our local mall that kept me in one location for about 4 hours. I brought along my 12, almost 13 year old daughter. She decided that rather than hang out with me, she’d rather go and “cruise” the mall. We’ve done this before, but never for this length of time. She does have a cell phone (a Migo), so she could call me if need be. She did call once, but that was only to verify the pin # to my debit card (which I let her use to buy lunch and a few small items). She felt like such a big kid because I let her do this! It was very neat to see. It’s almost like she blossomed a bit today. She’s always been a very outgoing and responsible child, so I had no qualms about letting her do this. My husband, on the other hand, was a bit surprised. And I thought I was the worrier in the family! 🙂

  22. I occasionally jokingly call my 3-year-old a “dingdong” when he does something silly. He giggles and calls me one back or says in a silly voice, “I’m not a dingdong!” We both chuckle and all is good.

    Others sometimes think that’s “name-calling” and will hurt his self-esteem and make him mean to other kids.

    What is your opinion?

    Thanks!

  23. I’d like to tell you that here, where I live (a community north of Calgary, Alberta), a lot of people are free range. Kids play outside a lot (although I haven’t seen as many lately, it is still often enough that my little sister is able to go to her friends house and vice versa, even playing in the back yard, with the only preparation before hand being that she alerts mom and calls her friend’s house first to ensure that they aren’t busy. My sister has been doing this for a year or two now, and she is turning 7 soon), and parents don’t supervise their kids all the time

    Now, if you are wondering why I didn’t specify names or the city I live in, it is because my mom does something that some people would frown upon. She teaches moderation and how to respect things like alcohol by letting us, ever since we were little, have a small glass of wine at thanksgiving or Christmas (gasp!)

    Due to this treatment, we have learned how to respect alcohol and other such items. She and my dad are also of the, “Don’t say we didn’t warn you,” camp. For example, she will warn us against doing stupid things, and if we do them, we don’t get to complain

    Other than the wine part, all this is considered fairly normal, at least in the part of town we live in. And sure, there aren’t block parties or anything, but if there was trouble, I’m sure that the neighbours would band together (hell, some of the neighbours even compete with each other at Halloween to see who can get the best display. And those who don’t want to celebrate Halloween? They don’t petition against it. They merely turn off their porch lights to alert kids and parents that there is no candy being offered)

    Overall, it is a great community, and I hope that you agree with me

  24. http://www.sandraandwoo.com/2009/05/18/0060-addicted/ The start of an arc where a school tries to ban insulin because it is a drug. Thought you might find it amusing and a great jab at schools that freak out over everything

  25. Two stories:

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=3322285 People against a halfway house because it may lead to the people there harming the children. Basically, people are paranoid

    http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100726/edm_charges_100726/20100726/?hub=EdmontonHome I’m not sure of the whole story, but it seems to be that a caregiver abused a child put in her care, leading to death. Could lead to issues with free range in the near future

  26. I thought you would be interested in this article:

    http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Niskayuna-lifts-its-freeze-on-ice-cream-trucks-593204.php

    The concluding remark is “Can we use a little common sense here?” he asked. “It’s an ice cream truck … it’s not the end of the world.”

  27. http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20100804/VIEWPOINTS02/8040330/Put-with-baby-with-mom–then-convince-doctor-to-listen

    Maybe not a free range issue, but definitely a case of letting paranoia get in the way of a healthy parenting practice.
    (The title should be ‘Put baby with mom, then convince doctor to listen’)

  28. I’m sure I’m not the first to pass this along, but I don’t see it above so I’ll share it here:
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/08/30/129531631/5-worries-parents-should-drop-and-5-they-should?sc=fb&cc=fp

  29. There is a comic strip called Edge City by Terry and Patty LaBan which is currently in a storyline about letting kids walk to the park by themselves. Father says okay, mother follows them secretly, they talk to a “stranger” who turns out to be a neighbor, get to the park safely, and in today’s strip, an irate woman brings the kids home and tells the parents, “I found your kids unsupervised in the park – what is wrong with you?”

  30. Have you seen the current TV commercial in which a “mother”, holding her baby and looking all concerned, says ” You think that the safest place in the world for your baby is wrapped in your arms. It can also be one of the most dangerous.”

    Turns out we all pass whooping cough to our babies, through that close contact of holding them. The commercial is for an adult whooping cough vaccine. Now, I’m not dissing vaccines, but holding a baby is “most dangerous”? Talk about fear-mongering.

  31. Not the media, but thought you might be interested anyway. Have you ever come across this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Fifty-Dangerous-Things-Should-Children/dp/0984296107?ie=UTF8&tag=teach08-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969

  32. Have you seen this?:
    Paris crèche to monitor children by putting tracking chips in clothing

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/09/paris-creche-tracking-chips-children

  33. In this article, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has convinced a Chicago charity not to accept over one hundred cribs for needy families because of the dangers of drop-side cribs. (32 confirmed deaths, but no indication of time frame. I think I slept in one, so this could be more than a 30-year period.)

    The thing is, the organization isn’t even giving away drop-side cribs. Now they’re taking the cribs elsewhere, presumably to places where the need for cribs is greater than the need for a political plug.

    http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/09/07/drop-side-crib-makers-still-plugging-deadly-product-illinois-ag/

  34. I’ve got a link for you. Not all of MInnesota adheres to the list you gave earlier this week about the things that are newsworthy!

    http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/179077/group/News/

  35. Free Range is a great book. Born 1948, I walked home from first grade at age five about 10 blocks. On summer mornings after getting washed, dressed, fed the door opened and I was sent outside without directions. I recall looking at the dew covered lawn enjoying the special feeling of morning outside whose scents, light, temperature, everything is different from the rest of the day. Parents had to holler very loudly to locate kids when dinner was about to happen etc. I lived next to a forest that was not off limits. I recall being told “snakes are more afraid of you than you of them. Just thump your feet hard as you walk and they’ll here you coming down the path and will scurry away.” Not contemporary parenting! Oh, add me on LinkedIn using wankelc@verizon.net and the ADD CONNECTIONS utility.

  36. I read this, from one of my facebook friends…

    “UUUGGGG… finally get the baby to sleep, and it is time to walk the boys to pre-school. 10 houses away, 5 minute round trip… what to do…. yep, I had to wake up the baby and take her with me, (sigh)”

    How sad that a mom is so influenced by fear that she can’t trust to four year old boys to walk down the street alone. And too afraid to even stand and watch them as they walk the whole ten houses? What are we coming to?

  37. Hi there!
    The ABC Canberra morning Show would love to have you on for an interview this morning. You can call me back on 02 6275 4544 or 0408 263 769.

    kindest
    Tatjana Clancy
    666 ABC Canberra

  38. Hello Lenore
    Caught your spot on Adam Spencer (702) this morning and was fascinated. I’m the editor of About Catholic Schools – a quarterly magazine for 70,000 school kids’ parents. We tackle all kinds of topics in our feature article and the topic we’ve picked for an upcoming issue is ‘Helicopter Parenting’, a notion that I think is closely aligned with your book.

    Would you please contact me with a view to setting up an interview? We could conduct it over the email or by phone soon or a little way in the future. Hope this might be of interest to you. Of course, we’ll mention and quote from your book.

    Kathryn
    0418 416 748 or 02 9568 8223

  39. Hi Lenore

    You were fantastic on the 7.30 Report last night.

    I’m jumping on the list of media that want to talk to you here! We would dearly love to feature you on Amanda Blair’s afternoon show here on FIVEaa…Amanda has 4 kids under 6 and a large percentage of the audience are parents for whom your message would relate to.

    You can contact me on 08 8419 1357 or by email

    Best,
    Monique

  40. Have you seen these videos? This one made me think of your blog. http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7246329/

  41. The GFC was triggered by peak oil which started in 2005

    The Q&A with Tony Jones completely bypassed the issue of peak oil although I have handed over research to Tony already several times.

    US peak oil 1970
    UK peak oil 1999
    Australia peak oil 2000

    Coalition of the peaking. They wanted to get at Iraq’s pre-peak oil.But:

    BP Statistical Review June 2010: Oil reserves and production don’t match
    http://www.crudeoilpeak.com/?p=1591

    Have a look at my web site. There can only be economic growth if the annual efficiency increase in using oil is higher than the oil decline rate

  42. I am hoping to give my 9 month old son as many free range possilibilities in this tospy-turvy & beautiful & adventurous world…I remember my friend and I used to do a lot of free-range activities in the 1970s…like walk through fields of wheat and wildflowers taller than we were….explore the wooded hill near our house….walk to school with snow on the ground…stop in the candy/writing supply store & toy store on the way home from school…We had each other and we had our freedom.

    Here’s a report from Active Living Research that will give more fodder to your cannon…Walking & biking is healthy!!! Can fight childhood obesity!! Take back our children’s right to free-range!!!

    http://www.activelivingresearch.org/files/ALR_Brief_ActiveTransportation.pdf

  43. hello
    thought you may be interested to know of of coastal community of geraldton and the fight between the town council and local residents regarding the de-commissioning of a historic swing in town due to safety /insurance concerns.
    an iconic australian novel “the merry go round by the sea” written by randolf stow, the swing was made many years ago to honour the novel. it has now been deemed a financial risk to the council.
    there is a huge swell of public backlash, petitions, special council meetings, facebook dedicated pages etc.
    regards terrence

  44. They’re going to stop a 6 year old (who has been riding since he was 2) from joining the crusty demons in Perth (aust) to do bike stunts with them. There will be a report about it tomorrow on channel 9’s A Current Affair. My guess is it is a follow up to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKg2ua0am3E&feature=player_embedded

  45. I just watched big ideas on abc australia. I am so impressed with your thinking. In the mid 80’s I did a study with my girl friend of how many times we saw a gun whilst watching t.v. for a week. It was in the 400’s. The other issue I have with this changing media environment is the danger of these dead body shows not only putting fear into the heads of parents but their potential of them becoming self fulfilling prophecies. The constant showing of a warped reality can only help it be more accepted as the norm and lead to what those of religious bent would call “evil” thoughts and temptations being more prevalent in those whose minds are on the cusp of rationality. Therefore your work and words are of great worth in a lighter positive light which is what is needed. I morn the loss of the more dangerous kids media that I grew up on “Banana Splits’ “catweezle” “The Cisco kid” “Skippy” “Sea Spray” and “Beachcombers”. All would be overclassified now as too reckless. The hard part is the resistance of the norm and letting the fear pass by so my children do not get caught in it. I remind myself that at the age of ten I was riding my 12 speed over 60k/40m on country roads and sleeping under the stars in the bush under a tarp. I am angry at myself and those who have presented this new irrational standard that makes me think I will not be able to let my children do this. Why not?

  46. Hi Lenore,

    I’m constantly having to justify the way I parent. Something that would be really helpful would be to have a page on this site that lists all of the statistics that support free-range parenting. I know it’s all here, but if they were all together / easily accesible it would be a great tool to show people and great tool to help explain to others why I parent the way I do.

    All the best,
    Chris

  47. Aussie bans kids from having more than two friends… er, I mean, going around in groups of more than 3.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/threes-the-limit-schools-hard-stance-on-gangs-20101027-1735w.html?autostart=1

  48. We had a similar problem with a pack of girls roming the playground at recess. They first tried to target some “unpopular” girls by doing the mean girl thing. The other girls laughed in their faces.

    Then the pack decided to target the boys. They would suround a boy and tell hm why they liked him – or how horrible he was. The bos didn’t know what to do.

    That Pack of girls is not allowed to get together in a group bigger than 2. The rest of the grade – go about their merry way. Only the girls that caused troubles are restricted. We watch the 2 ring leaders like hawks and are on them if they try to start trouble. (They like provoke a couple of boys with ED into explosions and watching the fire works)

    What was great to watch was the other girls taking the boys aside and “teaching” them to laugh in the pack girls’ faces.Now when the pack girls start – the most of boys are laughing at them also.

    Most of the girls that joined the pack, are realizng their mistake. They are apologizing to the people that were targeted and trying to be part of the grade level again. . The pack is down to the two ringleaders and about 3 hero worshipers. THey are on the sidelins sulking while the rest have a blast at recess.

  49. Hey Lenore,

    I would love to have you on as a guest this Sunday on the Show Bauer and Rose on siriusxm to talk about Halloween and how to keep kids safe on Halloween. It would be about a 10 minute interview on Oct. 31 anytime between 11a-1pm EST. Our studio number is 866-95-PATRIOT and my number is 202-431-6009. Look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Andrea
    Producer, Talk Programming
    SiriusXM Satellite Radio

  50. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/29/nyregion/29young.html?no_interstitial

    I’m sure you might have seen this one, but wanted to send it over (don’t have to publish this post!)

  51. I enjoyed this cartoon from yesterday.

    http://www.gocomics.com/features/31/feature_items/551201

  52. Hi

    I am such a fan. I have always read it but i only just decided to get in touch so that i could leave you my first comment (i finally have something worthwhile to say)

    i have found the most amazing thing online and like your site, it is dedicated to raising kids as confident in themselves and thier own abilities.

    my kids love stories and wanting them to be the best they can be i went out insearch of a website or some kind of resource that would help me get them the best help out there. I think i have found it… well at least it works for me and my kids.

    is is writegalaxy.co.uk

    i just thought i would contribute to the site by telling you so if you go on there and agree with me, you could spread the word and let the help offered get to other parents.

    keep up the good work…

    best wishes

  53. Hey there! I’m Stacey Roeder one of the casting producers working on Season 2 MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay! We are having nationwide casting calls and wondering if you could possibly spread the word on your amazing blog! If your not familiar with the show, we are looking for home cooks. So we would love to see some parents out there auditioning. Let me know what you can do. I’m attaching nationwide flyer and nyc flyer. Thanks so much and look forward to hearing back from you.


    Stacey Roeder
    Casting Producer
    Casting Duo
    MasterChef Season 2
    323.790.8021 office
    310.694.6459 cell

  54. I would love to send you info for our casting call to get some parents out to audition! Thanks

  55. Hello Ms Skenazy,

    I didn’t see any other ways to directly contact you over email, so I thought I’d use this. My company has recently completed our first game/foray into the preschool market, and as one of our designers is a big fan of your blog we thought we might reach out to you for any feedback you might have on our game. The game is called Kiwi and Pear’s World Adventure and it is for the iPhone/iPad/iPod. If you are interested, I would love to send you a promotional code so you can pull the game down for free.

    You can get a feel for the game via iTunes Preview at the following link: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fapp%2Fkiwi-pears-world-adventure%2Fid401254457%3Fmt%3D8&h=aa9a3

    I hope this finds you well and look forward to hearing from you!

    Kenneth Johnson
    Owner
    Zephyr Games

  56. Dear Lenore,
    I like Free Range a lot and keep a copy in my office for parents to see as they wait.
    And I follow your column in the Forward. Your recent Bisl Yiddish resonated with me and I’d like to write a song using it (and any other gems you didn’t include or can think of). I’d call the song “Skenazy’s Bisl Yiddish”…wanting your name as a pal of mine at Lane Tech High in Chicago 50 years ago was Paul Skenazy. Anyway what say?????…….Corey

  57. Hi Lenore, I don’t know if you saw the piece I wrote after our brief chat prior to your presentation at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. Read it here:
    http://www.thepluck.com/thepluck/?p=142

    It also inspired us to create a talking point around what age to send kids to school:
    http://www.thepluck.com/thepluck/?p=102

    I would have sent you a DM you regarding what age to let my kids go to a public toilet alone but you can only DM people who are following you, I didn’t know that.

  58. Lenore- Your web gives me a dash of hope for reason. I am engaged in a legal battle after receiving a citation for child endangerment when in our great Oregon town of 25,000 and I opted to leave my 2.9 yr old in my car, running with the ac on as it was 98 degrees outside, while I ran inside to get her life vest from my Children’s store on our downtown St. I was away from my car for less than 2 minutes. The officer had the worse case scenario thinking and would not be reasonable. Followed similarly by the DA. I have found police chiefs actually quoted in the newspaper saying we should always think of the worse case scenario before making choices. (that would make us insane) I cannot find a single case of child abduction or car jacking in our town and know without a doubt the situation was quite safe. I would love advice from readers that may have fought similar citations. I appreciate the support for parents your are providing through your site.

  59. Hi Lenore,

    I just came across this article and thought you might appreciate that it talks about the intellectual benefits of children walking to school – even pointing out that the farther the walk, the more benefit – while it does not mention a single caution or worry about a child’s safety while doing so. Just one more reason to send those kids to school on foot!

    http://www.thatsfit.ca/2010/12/19/does-walking-to-school-makes-you-smarter/?icid=main%7Ccanada-toshiba%7Cdl6%7Csec2_lnk1%7C190985

    Thanks,

    Terri.

  60. Hi Lenore,
    Thought you might like this story, scouts and children’s groups no longer able to play in the dark any more for fear of injury.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/8216609/Playing-games-in-dark-too-dangerous-Court-of-Appeal-tells-scouts.html

  61. would like to have you on my radio show…interested?
    phil mikan

  62. Here’s something refreshingly Free-Rangey from Slate:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2279817/

  63. Hello, thought I’d send you this link in case you haven’t already seen it. The UK’s education secretary says that a musicians union’s recommendation that teachers avoid touching pupils ‘lacks common sense’ and ‘plays to a culture of fear’.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12137318

  64. Recently seen on Facebook:
    “KM:Today I toured a “preschool” that makes the kids (4/5 year olds) nap for 2 hours everyday. Lights out, kids laying on cots in the dark for two hours! WTF! AND it cost $140/week.

    MGK: Um, kids should never be left in the dark at any daycare. Sadly predators will take any chance.

    KM: There was a teacher in there flipping through a magazine. The place was really small and the doors locked.

    MGK: Even worse. One teacher, alone in the dark with a child/children and the doors locked. How is this legal?

    JLB: … as for Monique’s comments, that is exactly why I am so scared of babysitters and home daycares…at least “in” a school you think it’s safer. I teach {my son} that nobody is allowed to touch him, not even me, our generation they only taught us to watch for strangers not our f*ing family members that were hurting us…sigh…

    MGK: My mom is a supervisor at the CDC at ____ and I took her with me to tour daycares when I was pregnant. She gave me all the ins and outs of what to look for. On base they are not allowed to have the lights down or the doors locked just for that reason. Background checks do not include people who have never been caught or first time offenders.

    If this was a facility on a base, report them.

  65. Please don’t go to the bathroom while in the Labor and Delivery Ward your baby could be snatched! This advice is so outrageous I had to share
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2011/01/24/nr.cohen.baby.snatcher.cnn?hpt=T2

  66. Latest menace: The classroom pet!
    Washington Daily Herald article: “Washington schools weigh whether to have animals in class”

    http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110123/NEWS01/701239857

  67. A cell tower on school property (bringing in $2000/month of much needed funds) .. it’s all about the children!
    http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/School_Considers_Allowing_Cell_Tower_114768184.html

    There’s gotta be some research about cell towers and their alleged ill effects, somewhere…..

  68. In Dallas on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, a 10 year old boy was sent to the office for mis-behaving in class. The principal called DISD Campus Police and INSTRUCTED them to take the child to Timberlawn Mental Health Facility in Dallas. She did not contact the parents until after the fact. When the mother arrived at the facility she was told that he had been processed and they just needed her signature to admit him. She demanded her child returned to her immediately and left the facility. In the meantime, this principal is still presiding over the school and nothing has been done.

  69. Hi Lenore,

    My client, SmartyPants is a company that produces all organic vitamins to help “picky eaters” recieve all the micronutrients they might be lacking. Thought you and your readers might be interested.

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    http://pitch.pe/124235

  70. Hello,

    My name is Sara and I was just on your blog. I am a casting director and am currently casting a family show for a major cable network. We are looking for families who would benefit from support and guidance from professionals in order to improve their family dynamic.

    Struggling with modern day pressures and raising a family can be difficult at times. This is not a show about abuse and neglect. We are looking for parents and families who want to find balance when it comes to their family.

    Attached is a flyer with more information. Monetary composition will be provided for families chosen to participate in this project. Currently casting now through March , 11, 2011.

    If this would benefit you or anyone you know, please let me know if you would be open to talking.

    Thank you!

    Best,
    Sara

    Kinetic Content
    310-382-1540 phone
    kids4tv2@gmail.com

  71. Did you see this one about laws in Germany specificallly allowing children to make noise?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/16/AR2011021601936.html

    On the one hand, it’s nice to see children’s rights to be children upheld, but on the other, it’s sad we have so restricted childhood that we now have to specifically describe (and make into law) what it is children are allowed to do.

  72. Interesting story of what’s happening in Brisbane during peak hour bus services.
    Adults bumped off crowded buses on busy Northern Busway to make room for students | Courier Mail http://bit.ly/gA63z4

  73. What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. They fit so well with what youre trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say.

  74. I found this link that you might be interested in. A lengthy dissertation on the relative risk of bicycle riding vs. driving (and other forms of sitting). But it mostly addresses the irrational fear that people of all ages have of being outside.

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm

    cheers

  75. Japanese kindness and perseverence — and the kind of culture I’d love my children to free-range in:

    http://www.registerguard.com/web/opinion/26018030-47/kindness-gaman-japan-japanese-shikataganai.html.csp

  76. We would love to have you all on Momnbaby.com

  77. A mother of four boys offers 7 practical suggestions for teaching children to work. Their family motto is, “I can do hard things.” Isn’t that great?

    http://www.mormontimes.com/article/20395/7-secrets-of-successful-parenting-Teaching-kids-to-work

  78. http://www.naturalnews.com/032091_Maryanne_Godboldo_gun_rights.html

    I hope you have some sort of response or help hear. Thank you

  79. Just received this from my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher –
    “We will also have an end of the year party for the children only. New safety regulations prohibit us from having our usual water fun beach party. I am looking into doing something else and would love ideas if you have them.”

    I can only imagine how “dangerous” water guns, water balloons, and baby pools could be for supervised 5 and 6 year olds! My god, they might get wet or even have water splashed in thier faces!

  80. @Maxine Most

    I agree with you. The person who made up these regs would have had a fit at my school this Friday. Field Day had 15 stations

    4 water slides
    3 water relay races
    1 water limbo
    1 – rest drink water
    1 – Popsicle
    5 relay races without water

    The reason for the 5 without water is water pressure. We only have 3 faucets so water pressure was an issue.

    We had 1 accident at a relay race. A child disobeyed the rules and broke his nose. The parents were upset with the boy not the school. He was told off by the parents in front of staff and they made it clear that he was lucky the other child he collided with did not get hurt. They e-mailed the teacher later to say the doc said it was a mild break and he would be ok.

  81. Have you seen the current TV commercial for “been verified.com”? One of the “performers” strokes her barely pregnant abdomen and says “No stranger is getting close to my growing family without a background check.”

    Really honey? I hope you have a full-time nanny, because you’re going to be spending all your time backgrounding all the strangers at the grocery store, pharmacy, dry cleaners, etc…not to mention when your kids start school. Every year, almost everyone, school employees and classmate’s parents, are strangers.

    Have fun.

  82. […] Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry.)” She is also in production on a reality TV show about how to help overprotective parents loosen the reins on their children. She has two teenage […]

  83. WRpYTc For me this can be a greatest lesbian porn web page via the internet (nevertheless realsquirt is certainly close). All which is a downer in my situation is the females certainly not Communicate with one. As expected, because so many are and also the and don’t speak out English language, that may be easy to undestand, however, with all the women who Will be able to speak out plus talk with The english language, it could be pleasant to listen for these talk to one another rather, particularly on the beginnings on the scenes http://lesbian-porn-star-strap-video.blogspot.com lesbian porn star strap video,

  84. Thought you might be interested in this blurb; note especially the fear-mongering comment from the police chief.
    http://oregon.channel3000.com/news/crime/oregon-police-join-wisconsin-internet-crimes-against-children-task-force/56025

  85. Heads Up for UK Readers.

    World’s Worst Mom starts airing in the UK on Monday 9 January on Real Time (Sky 240, Virgin 271) at 10pm (22:00).

  86. I fully agree with you Lenore but your show needs to really be a little more interesting than what you have now? Its BORING so have your agent change it up like those other reality shows! You’ll have more luck with another season if the show is a little bit more hyped! Good Luck! I am just a concerned fan.

  87. It was interesing, that in the episode where the parents were concerned about letting their children go to the park alone – because of strangers – it showed the children being approached by more than one adult stranger, in the park. One of which stranger asked one of the children where they lived.

    Personally, I would have been concerned had it not been for the fact that the children were being supervised during the taping of the episode.

    In my opinion, the parents have every reason to continue to be concerned.

  88. For some reason I couldn’t post under For or Against (I think the sheer number of comments confounded my laptop).

    Anyway, your recent tweet saying “Life is uncertain; enjoy it” reminded me of this recent article, which boldly admits that sometimes it’s very hard to cherish every single second of childraising.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html

  89. I have started forcing my husband to watch Bubble Wrap Kids. Last week he stopped himself from telling our kids (3 and 4 years) to stop running in a snow covered playground and he has agreed this weekend to let them try downhill skiing. Baby steps…. Thank you!!

    Now if I can just convince my Mommy friends that my daughter will not end up jobless just because I haven’t enrolled her in extra reading tutorial classes… She’s FOUR!!!!

  90. Hi Lenore,

    I don’t know if you’re able to reply to all the comments but thought I’d ask. I’ve been watching Bubble Wrap Kids and I was wondering if you take any special approach when you’re confronting the parents or if you have some kind of background or training that comes in handy? How do you convince these people that are so scared of the world to let their kids step into it more?

  91. That family with the 20 year old who would not initially let their younger kids cook should consider a few more reasonable rules, like pulling their hair back while prepping…they might cause their family to choke on a stray hair in the food! Seriously, I don’t understand why parents are so scared at the possibility of their kids breaking a leg, falling or making a mess. If kids don’t experience these things, then they won’t develop any common sense about how to reduce risk (and to clean up after themselves). No one wants their kids to hurt, but afterall, how can kids learn how to walk without falling – literally and metaphorically?

  92. http://thisibelieve.org/essay/11875/
    Student learns that talking to strangers is not so bad.

  93. […] columnist and a feisty blog all under belt, Ms. Skenazy is now taking on reality tv in her new show The Parent Question.  Her message is to parents far and wide who have fallen into the rabbit hole of fear and frenzy […]

  94. […] another, but related, note, I am up in Canada filming my TV show (that still is looking for a few more overprotective families to participate), and what do I see FIRST THING as I sit down to eat my breakfast in the diningroom where the TV […]

  95. Hi Lenore,

    We would love to have 6 minutes of your time for a radio interview. We’re the Jen & Steve Show on WXLO FM (Worcester/Boston) – she’s a mother of two, I’m an uncle of 8. Our audience is predominantly working moms who need to hear about Free Range kids.

    It would be a scant 6 minutes out of your day, and we would be ecstatic to have you.

    Drop an email to morningshow@wxlo.com, if you’re interested, and have a great rest of your day.

    Thanks for taking the time,

    Jen & Steve
    917-656-8786

  96. Lenore you are super. People don’t know how much we really can do. I turned 17 this year and now I’m not accidentally incinerating my bread in the toaster anymore (it was an accident… And I’m terrible at cooking). It’s the summer holidays now and I’m home alone. Well, I’ve got my dog as good company. Me and my friends from college (in the UK we leave school at 16 though I think that it’s being changed to 17.) are planning to all meet up and have fun at the pleasure beach. I’m saving up, because it’s really expensive to get in now. But… I’ve never ridden on the train alone before and I have to catch a train to get there. Please can you offer me some advice?

  97. Lenore, I really really want to watch this show… but there’s one problem: I’m in the US. Is there a way to watch it in the US?
    Thanks

  98. Fascinating read , I’m going to spend a lot more time learning about this subject

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