The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift: Responsible Kids!

Hi Readers: Just got this note today and had to share it, not just because it is so upbeat and hopeful, but  because it is one hell of a marketing piece! Give a mom my book and she, too, can experience the joy that comes with watching her kids grow happy and self-reliant!

Dear Lenore: I love your book! I used to worry about what people thought of me for having my kids stay home alone for an hour and a half till I was done with work, or when I wanted a quick and quiet trip to the store, but it has made me realize how much more independent they are compared to other kids! Reading your book gave me the idea to stop paying for a cab to drive my kids to or from school when I’m working ($40/week) and let them walk the 1.5 km from the bus stop to home. They love the walk (through a park) and were even willing to walk from the school (about 4 k) to save the money. Now I am giving them 2 bucks a walk for saving me the money spent on a cab.

Thanks for giving my parenting style a name:  Free Range! — Tara (in Canada)

Help! How Can Mom Explain She is Raising Independent (Not Neglected) Kids?

Hi Readers! This mom needs some great ideas in how to deal with friends, neighbors — and PASTOR — who equate “Free-Range” with NEGLECT. Let’s give her some strategies! — Lenore

Dear Free-Range Kids: My nine-year-old, eight-year-old and five-year-old have been walking to school alone for a couple of months now. The walk is about thirty minutes child pace, fifteen if you’re adult. We built this trip up slowly we me walking them most of the way, then half etc.

I promote independence in my children, they can all cook, peel and chop veg, do laundry etc. They are not slaves, they enjoy being able to do things for themselves and  each other.

I run a playgroup at my church in the UK and the other day my pastor sat me down and said that people have been expressing a lot of concern about my kids walking to school alone. He implied that I must not be coping as a parent and used the words “social services” about fifty times during the conversation. I am soooo angry. He is basically emotionally blackmailing me and saying that if I continue to let my kids walk to school alone then someone is going to report me. How very Christian.

I am coping just fine and I made this decision with my children. I’m just so angry that I’m being told that I can’t raise my kids how I see  fit. Especially as we are a very tight  family who spend loads of quality time together and the people complaining think it’s fine to let the Internet raise their kids. I’m so mad and I don’t know how to proceed. I don’t want to be bullied in to changing the way I raise my family, but I don’t want to be reported for neglect either. I’m a damn good mom. Help!!

She Can’t Spell It But She Can Make It Happen

Hi Readers! Look at this great story about a 3-year-old who felt really sad when she heard not all kids have crayons…and did something about it!

I love the psychologist’s quote: If kids are ready to do something and it’s not harmful to them or the world, let ’em do it!  — Lenore