Help Needed: Vote for Title of My Free-Range Class at Hunter College

Hey Readers — This fall I’m going to be offering a continuing ed class for parents through New York City’s Hunter College. But first…it needs a name! I’m wondering if you could vote on which name you like best. Here goes! (Sorry there are so many.)





5 – HOW TO BE A PERFECT PARENT AND RAISE A PERFECT KID* *No guarantees! But lots of help for anyone worried about “doing it right.”  

6 – HOW CAN I MAKE MY KID A HAPPY, CONFIDENT LEADER?* *Uh…you can’t. But if you learn to let go a little, they’ll do it on their own  

7 – WHY AM I SO WORRIED ABOUT MY KIDS ALL THE TIME? An answer — and an antidote!  


9 – HOW TO GET YOUR KID INTO HARVARD…is not the topic of this class. But if you want to know how to stop WORRYING about that and enjoy your kid’s childhood– come on in!  

10 – STOP WORRYING ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG WITH YOUR KID And start enjoying their childhood– so they can, too

Please let me know if any of those sound like a class you or a friend might sign up for. No — a class that folks would DESPERATELY want to sign up for. Or write in a new name for the thing.

No matter what it’s called, the class will consist of  4 sessions. In the classroom, we’ll look at how we got so afraid for our kids, and the things we loved doing when we were that we’re not letting our own kids do (!). We’ll also examine other eras, other places and real crime stats, to give a little perspective. All in all, it’s not too different from my book.

Then, outside of class, there will be some fun exercises the parents can start doing as “homework,” that will allow them to step back and see how confident and capable their kids really are.

And at the end? Everyone gets a trophy! (Nah…just joking.) But having done a whole TV series where 12 of the 13 very nervous families I worked with ended up incredibly more relaxed and happy, I believe this class will be life changing, too. So, wish me luck and please: Vote! – L.


Hunter College, here we come!

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62 Responses to Help Needed: Vote for Title of My Free-Range Class at Hunter College

  1. Gary August 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm #


    I like it, but would change “enjoy” to “raise and enjoy”

  2. Linda Wightman August 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    I think How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children without Going Nuts With Worry beats them all. But if you’re in a really weird mood you might try Dr. FreeRange: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Trust My Kids.

  3. Really Bad Mum August 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    #4 or How to raise free range kids without getting arrested.

  4. wombat94 August 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    My favorite in the list is #1, though I would change it slightly.

    Raising a leader… by letting them lead.

    was my first reaction, but after writing it out, I would say it is not quite grammatically correct, so how about…

    Raising leaders… by letting them lead.

    or perhaps

    Raising tomorrow’s leaders… by letting them lead today.

    I don’t know… some variation on that theme is my favorite as long as there is an emphasis on the kids taking action in their own right. To me that’s a big part of what this whole movement is about, right?

  5. Emily August 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    I like the first option, “Raising a Leader–By Backing Off,” because all the others are too long. That said, “Raising a Leader” sounds a lot like Raise a Reader, which is a completely different organization. Also, I think it’d be good if this course wasn’t just for parents, but for anyone who works with kids–teachers, sports coaches, Scout/Guide/4-H/Campfire leaders, aunts, uncles, grandparents, much older siblings, babysitters, you name it–because the Free Range movement is for everyone. It’s not just for parents, but it’s also for the grandparents who want to take their kids sledding on old wooden toboggans like they did as kids, or the Girl Guide leaders who are dying to take their Brownie group on a proper camping trip with a fire and s’mores and everything, instead of yet another week of “safety-approved” craft projects and Marshmallow Fluff, or the babysitter who’s afraid to take kids to the park without hovering over their every move. It’s even for the childless neighbours who might be tempted to call the authorities upon seeing an unsupervised child, even if that child looks healthy, unhurt, and contented. The course could teach those “random adults” the difference between a neglected child, and an independent one, and it might even result in a resurgence of the Block Parent program, so that “caring” doesn’t have to necessarily equate to “snitching” anymore. So, this course is a great idea, but please, make it open to anyone who wants to enroll, because if you do, then it might (slowly) result in a return to normalcy for everyone.

  6. Papilio August 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Oh that’s funny. These are all variations on the same theme, from the same perspective: what the parent should do or should stop doing in order to ‘make’ the child perfect.
    I would have thought, with the whole selfmade-man-entrepreneurial-spirit-of-the-American-Dream (that IS still the ultimate goal, right?), the perspective would be of the child succeeding, realizing its potential, blossoming etc, and then what the parents can do to assist that process. You know, the selfmade man, not the parentmade man.

    But I guess I understimated the modern parental need to controll that whole process rather than allowing it.

  7. Havva August 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm #


    That was pretty much what I was wondering when I started asking where does it end with the wall to wall safety? When can we start enjoying life? I found out that in the places I had been looking, *ahem* it doesn’t. That’s when I asked: “Who was that NYC mom who put her 9 year old on the subway like a normal human? How is she so calm? And, has she written anything else about parenting?”

    I don’t know if that would get you more parents of babies, and toddlers, since that SIDS stuff is pretty intense and has a real joy sucking effect. But I do see value in the laying the ground work with the pre-range crowd.

  8. Beth August 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    I like the 2nd one. I think billing it as being less stressed is a good idea.

  9. Lisa August 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Although I’m sure it is too long, I think:

    “9 – HOW TO GET YOUR KID INTO HARVARD…is not the topic of this class. But if you want to know how to stop WORRYING about that and enjoy your kid’s childhood– come on in!”

    Is the most compelling and made me smile!

    Good luck!

  10. Nicole G August 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I like the first one.

  11. Leppi August 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    How to raise human beings – as God intended and mankind needs it!

  12. Rhonda August 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I liked #9 the best, despite the length.

    Now, though, I like Womat’s: How to Raise Tomorrow’s Leaders…By Letting Them Lead Today.

  13. heather deitchman-levy August 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Number 8 strikes me as the most appropriate.

  14. Ravana August 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Number 9 would sure sell around here but you’d have to put the subtitle in really tiny letters.

  15. HarleyPig August 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    If I had to choose an existing title, it would #2. But I think “How to stop strangling your kids and feel better about it at the same time.”

  16. Another Mama for Parenting Sanity August 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Grounding the Helicopter Parent: A Safe, Sane, and Secure Approach to Raising Kids in the Age of Anxiety

  17. Crystal August 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    How about “Turn in Your Pilot’s License: Teaching Children to Fly on Their Own” ?

  18. Beth Crowley August 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    How about “Fear Free Parenting: Learn to Let Go and Start Enjoying the Ride!”

  19. oncefallendotcom August 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    I was hoping you were going to take off with that “Escape from Alcatraz Parenting” idea you came up with some time back. You can start each class with the Dragnet theme… or Inspector Gadget. Wowzers!

  20. Namastemama August 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    #4 or #7
    Although the Harvard one is kinda funny. People don’t read fine print though!

  21. John Flaherty August 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm #


  22. Marie August 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    I like #8 the best. I think the others are too wordy.

  23. NJ Mom August 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    I like the LInda Whiteman, Another Mama… and Beth Crowley suggestions the best!

  24. Kenny Felder August 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    You’ve put a tremendous amount of effort into building the brand “Free Range.” Why drop it now? I would call the class “Free Range Parenting.”

  25. Leigh August 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    “If You Love Them, Set Them Free, (they’ll come home when they’re hungry)”

  26. Betsy August 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Brevity is probably good in this age of tweets, ergo #1 or #8. Good luck spreading the “faith”. But I also really like Linda Wightman’s idea – it might be a winner.

  27. Emily August 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    @Kenny Felder–I like “Free Range Parenting” too, but I’d amend it slightly to “Join The Free Range Kids Movement” instead, because of the reasons I mentioned upthread–Free Range isn’t just for parents; it’s for every adult that works with kids.

  28. Ali August 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Parenting in an unsafe world.

    This will get the attention of the people you really need to reach :) The world, after all, is unsafe. Just NOT in the way the mass media portrays. Balancing the reality of what is unsafe -and worth worrying about- and what is truly safe is really the goal, yes?

  29. highwayman August 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    I vote number 8.

  30. Timothy Cooke August 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    I like #4 best.

  31. lsl August 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    #1. Maybe #4. The rest are more like descriptions than titles.

  32. Kay August 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I also think a short snappy title that conveys the message. Perhaps the descriptor to follow.

    I’m thinking somehow state the positive result, which will be the hook for these helicoptering parents to begin with- they do this because they are obsessed with their children’s safety and success. You are trying to show them it will be achieved better by getting them to back off.

    One aspect I’ve noticed is that many parents that do helicopter think they don’t. They think helicoptering is something more extreme than what they are doing but I think many don’t realize that is exactly what they are doing, even if it’s one aspect of their lives. I’ve seen many comments that say, “It’s called parenting.” in relation to them saying they keep their eyes on their children at all times, etc.

    Maybe something to get them to stop and think about it: “Over-protected, over-managed, over-scheduled kids – do you have helicopter tendencies in the parenting of your children? Come find out plus how to build your child’s confidence, responsibilities, self-esteem, and leadership skills to lead to future success.”

    “Does you child have what it takes to be a leader and free thinker? Come find out ways to help your child succeed and what you may be doing that impedes your child’s growth.”

    My suggestions are too long and I’m not sure if that is exactly the point you’re going for but I hope it goes well! Let us know what name you decide!

    Just want to add I really like Crystal’s and Another Mama’s suggestion, too!

  33. Brandy King August 12, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    I like #4 is the best. #1 would be a second choice. I like these because they frame it positively — something you TO do instead of STOP doing. I think people respond better to that kind of framing. Hope it’s a successful course!

  34. Taradlion August 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    “What are you worried about?”…

    “Not our parents’ kids…why we parent so differently now…”

  35. Melanie August 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm #


  36. SKL August 12, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    Out of the choices, I liked #8 best.

    How about something like: raising successful adults by preserving childhood.

    I dunno, I’m not feeling very poetic right now. Had a run-in with the cops over my second-grade daughters sitting in a locked car for 3 minutes while I dropped off a FedEx. At 8:30pm (so no glaring sun, folks). Some lady sitting outside Starbucks called in a complaint. Seriously. Off to bang my head against a brick wall.

  37. Taradlion August 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Oh, SKL, sorry you had to deal with that. Hope it was over quickly.

  38. Stafir August 13, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Teaching Parents to teach kids how to teach themselves (too wordy?)

    Raising kids the way your parents were raised.

    Putting Joy, Learning, and Discovery back into childhood.

    Of the ones offered in the post I like #2 best…#8 holds a soft spot as well..but the wording is a bit worrysome.

  39. Kathy August 13, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Definitely #2. Some of them are just too wordy, even if they are amusing. I like two because it stresses that both the parent and child will benefit from less worrying.

  40. Karon August 13, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    Free-Range Parenting: This IS your father’s parenting.

    Or maybe

    Leave your helicopters at the door: How to raise a responsible adult.

  41. Brian August 13, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Rational Parenting: What history and statistics can teach us about raising children

  42. Lisa August 13, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Free Range Kids – for a happier parenthood

  43. Librarymomma August 13, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    I think #8 is the best out of the ones on your list, but if you could put “Free Range” somewhere in the title (there are some good examples above) it would be more informative.

  44. Puzzled August 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    Can you ask the college to make this a required class for social work students?

  45. Merrick August 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    I agree that Free Range Kids is the best title.

    How about – Vintage Parenting for Modern Kids?
    All things Vintage are HOT! LOL

  46. Rachel August 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Parenting Without Fear

  47. Papilio August 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    No, people, no!
    You have to aim for a wider audience than just people who know and like FRK (I’m sure they’d like to meet Lenore, but I doubt it will really be a life-changing experience).
    Aiming for parents who feel they’re hovering/worrying/overprotective is better, but still, like Kay says, you assume those parents *know* they have a problem, that they should change.
    But judging from the (negative) comments I’ve read across the internet, many parents out there don’t think of their own parenting style as hovering or overprotective or negative in any way; they think what they’re doing is normal (!) and necessary (!!): “It’s called parenting (and parenting is not about your convenience)”. Suggesting they should follow this class because they stress a lot and could do less for their kid, will not sound good to parents who think FR parents are lazy anyway.
    If you want a broad range of parents, you need to focus on the benefit for the children, not the benefit for the parents. Be sneaky. Focus on what all those loving yet smothering folks want, and let that be the only assumption you make about them. Ask them if they want their kid to be safe & happy & succesful – who’d say no?
    And then say, ‘Oh yeah, it’ll save you a lot of stress, too’.

  48. Heather August 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Reclaiming Freedom: Worldproof Children


  49. Heather August 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Reclaiming Freedom: Worldproof Your Children

    With or without the Your


  50. Let_Her_Eat_Dirt August 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Of the bunch, I like #8 — the ones about “leaders” are the only ones that rub me the wrong way. I also like Heather’s suggestion about “Reclaiming Freedom.”

    Let Her Eat Dirt
    A dad’s take on raising tough, adventurous girls

  51. Tiffany August 13, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I like #4! Short, to the point, and puts all your critics to shame.

  52. Anna August 13, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    So many good suggestions! My thought was “Capable Confident Kids in 6 Easy (but possibly scary) Steps.”

  53. Arianne August 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    I really like the ring of #7, but I kind of agree with Kenny above. It’s worth considering, anyway.

  54. SKL August 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Wise Parents, Competent kids, Supportive Communities

  55. Reader August 14, 2013 at 1:04 am #

    I think a shortened version of 10.
    10 – STOP WORRYING YOUR KID Enjoy their childhood– so they can, too

  56. Andrea August 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    I think it depends on your audience. If your audience is people interested in raising Free Range kids, then 1,6,5, and 8 are good. #5 was my favorite. But if it is a general interest parenting class, I would leave the hook off the title and go with something like the following:




    Then, when you get them in the class, you add the rest about backing off, not worrying, etc. But I would leave out anything that suggests not worrying or other free range parenting techniques in the title. It will severely limit your target audience.

  57. Ellie August 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Free-Range Parenting: How to Raise Safe and Happy Kids without Freaking Out

    Or something like that. I agree with others that Free-Range Parenting (or Kids) is already a hook, and you have a following!

    Otherwise, I think the “How to”s are what people look for.

  58. Susan August 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    Definitely #8!

  59. FQ August 15, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    4 and 8

  60. Michael Chermside August 16, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    I prefer suggestions #1 and #2.

  61. Jason August 16, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Lenore, you have a brand. Use it. Name it something like Raising Freerange Kids: Letting go of your fear to raise a child to be prepared for the world.

  62. Michael Garbus August 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Free Range Kids.
    If they are signing up they know something about you, your blog, or what you are about. As said above. You have a brand. Use it. Keep it simple.