Archive | Creating Community

Is that little girl at the park ok?

A Cop Sees a Girl Alone at the Park, And Then — a Shock

. A reader writes: Dear Lenore: My ex father in law is in the hospital. Yesterday we went to a park in Hackensack [NJ] and Elizabeth 6 was having fun and I was cold so I was sitting in the car watching sort of. Elizabeth knew she could come to the car anytime. I looked […]

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Can you please help me cross the street?

How I Taught My Children to Talk to Strangers

Sydney Gurewitz Clemens is an author and educator. Her business card says “Helping Adults Help Children.” Her latest book and other writings are here. I love what she says about kids and strangers. Dear Free-Range Kids: I want to tell you about how I taught my son and my daughter to talk to strangers: When they […]

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Why call the cops when you could lend a hand?

Would You Call 911 on a Parent?

This excellent essay by Tracy Cutchlow in The Washington Post talks about how can we create community, trust and kindness — not to mention some kiddie self-reliance — instead of calling 911 when we witness a parenting practice we disapprove of. Cutchlow is a Seattle mom and author of Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based […]

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students, go home and ask your parents if you can do something new that you are ready for.

When Schools Do the “Free-Range Kids Project”

On my show (3 episodes air tonight starting at 5:30/4:30 Central Time on Discovery Life), I give the children of very anxious parents a task to do that they seem ready for — even if their parents aren’t. They walk to school, make dinner, ride a bike. And usually, when the parents see their kids […]

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Why are those people following me around Walmart???

A Simple Idea that Can Change All The Grumpy People You Live Around

First, get out your hankies. Then, consider what would happen if everyone in town could thank and encourage each other via a public message board. That’s what one anonymous Canadian wondered, and so he or she started a website (and Facebook account) called “Spotted in Windsor,” in Ontario. It was inspired by a similar site the […]

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Nashua, NH (back in the uncopyrighted photos day).

A Summertime Bus for Kids to the Pool and Library?

Let’s hear it for Nashua, NH, a child-friendly city indeed!  Take note, all ye urbanists, city planners, and mayors: Look at how simple a summer-changing, childhood changing idea can be. Nashua is giving kids the gift of transit — and trust. According to the Nashua Patch: The city of Nashua will launch a summer recreation […]

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Okay, so your "play street" will not look exactly like this.

How to Get Kids Outside in Your Neighborhood

Readers — This is an incredibly heartening story from England where, about five years ago, Alice Ferguson and her neighbor Amy Rose  petitioned to close off a local street for three hours one evening.  Guardian reporter Sarah Lewis Hammond quotes Ferguson saying: “It was as if it was something they did every day. The adults started […]

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Hmm. These kids are OUTSIDE, unsupervised, but perhaps do not warrant a call to the COPS.

Stop Calling 911 About Every Parent You Find Sub-optimal

What a great piece by Michael Brendan Dougherty in The Week (a magazine for which I created and ran the weekly humor contest for three years till they took it in house. But I guess that’s neither here nor there.) Dougherty starts out noting the Salon story, wherein a mom let her son wait in the car […]

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Oh -- and don't forget another reason: Being closer to nature seems to make people open up.

Parents Let Kids Free-Range at Campgrounds. What Can That Teach Us?

Hi Folks — The other day I was visiting friends in Rye, NY, where darned if kids weren’t playing outside,unsupervised, even making up their own games. Our host challenged me to find out: Why? Why are some neighborhoods still Free-Range,  while others aren’t? I decided to ask that question of the folks in the RV’ing […]

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