Feedback from 1500-attendee biking/city planning conference, Vienna, June 2013:

“Lenore’s speech was fantastic. Mind-blowing!”
Andrea Weninger, Program Director Velo-city Vienna 2013
Skenazy in Vienna, 2013

Skenazy in Vienna, 2013

Twitter from YPulse marketing conference NYC, June 2013

“Lenore is killing it!”

Peter Gray, Boston College professor and author of “Free to Learn” writes:

“I’ve heard Lenore speak, and she had all of us rolling in the aisles with laughter.  She’s a natural standup comedienne, who has a way of making serious points through humor.  Her message is that children need free play and freedom to explore without constant adult direction.  As you may know, she is author of the very popular and influential book, Free Range Kids.  One interesting tidbit from her bio is that she was once a writer for Mad Magazine.”

Vancouver International Children’s Fest Talk, Spring, 2013

“Our audience was so engaged that afterward, they lingered in the lobby to talk. They literally did not want to leave!” – Katharine Carol, Director of the International Children’s Festival, Vancouver

“Lenore’s talk nearly made me pee my pants.” – The Sprog Blog

And from Common Ground, a consortium of 14 private schools in Princeton, N.J., Winter, 2013:

“Lenore had a crowd of 200 laughing so hard that many of my friends said they felt like they’d just seen a great comedy show. Her speech was one of the most entertaining and enlightening ever. It showed that we can trust ourselves and our children so they actually learn to trust themselves. All parents, helicopter or not, would benefit from her talk!” – Prof. Joann Messina, Princeton, NJ

“Anyone interested in seeing our children develop greater self-confidence and resilience would do well to read her book and hear her speak.” – Olen Kalkus, Headmaster, Princeton Academy

And from autumn, 2012 talks in New Hampshire, New York, Boston & Toronto:

“I think Lenore was the best (and certainly the most animated!) speaker I’ve ever seen at the Wellesley Mothers Forum. She was so entertaining, but also really made me think. The perfect way to start off another year.”

“Lenore was a breath of fresh air – she had us all doubled over laughing….sometimes at ourselves!”

“I feel relieved – someone who is finally telling us to relax and let go instead of giving us a list of ‘to do’s’ as parents”





Lenore Skenazy is “America’s Worst Mom.” (Google it!)

The New York City columnist-turned-reality TV show host got that title after letting her 9-year-old son take the subway, alone. In response to the enormous media blowback, she founded the book and blog, “Free-Range Kids,” which launched the anti-helicopter parenting movement.

Her feisty belief that our kids are safer and smarter than our culture gives them credit for has landed her on talk shows from Dr. Phil to The View, The Today Show, NPR, Good Morning America, Nightline, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Early Show, CNN, FoxNews, Anderson Cooper, the BBC, CTV and CBC.

She has lectured internationally, including talks at Microsoft Headquarters and the Sydney Opera House, and has written for everyone from The Wall Street Journal to Mad Magazine. Yep. The Mad Magazine. And she’s a graduate of Yale.

Lenore at the Sydney Opera House

On her Discovery/TLC reality show, “World’s Worst Mom” (airing in Canada on Slice TV as “Bubble Wrap Kids”) Lenore is like the Supernanny. Except instead of dealing with out-of-control KIDS, she deals with out-of-control PARENTS who have taken over-protection to extremes. Some don’t let their school-age kids play on the front lawn or even make themselves a sandwich. (Why not? Knives!) One still drags her 13-year-old son into the ladies room.

Over the course of five intensive days, Lenore pries the kids away from their folks and has them walk to school, play in the woods, or run a lemonade stand while she films them from afar. Once she shows the parents how independent and happy their “babies” can be, the tears flow: Out of 13 families, 12 changed to the point where the parents couldn’t remember why they’d been so worried, for so long. Months later, the moms are still in touch with Lenore, bragging about all the new things their children are doing. The change, in other words, is lasting — and joyous.

It’s a change that can begin at a lecture or a workshop, too. Yours.

Keynote topics include:

  • Lean Out — of Your Kids’ Lives a Little — and Everybody Thrives
  • How Come We’re So Much More Afraid Than Our Parents Were?
  • Busy Parents, Happy Kids: Feeling Great About the Work-Life Balance
  • Play Dates & Axe Murderers: How to Tell The Difference
  • Building Confidence: Free-Range in the Classroom
  • It’s Hard to “Lean In” When You’re Bending Over Backwards
  • Yuppie Jiu Jitsu: How Helicoptering LESS Creates Kids Who Rule
  • Relax! Not Every Little Thing You Do Has THAT Much Impact on Your Child’s Development (The “Kids Don’t Need Perfect Parents” lecture)
  • And the ever-popular: Raising a Sad, Neurotic, Out-of-Shape Wimp (How Not To)


“Lenore had the crowd eating out of her hand.” — Amy Draves, Visiting Speaker Manager, Microsoft Research, Redmond, Washington

“Who knew a presentation on the disappearance of childhood could be entertaining? Lenore Skenazy’s keynote at the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s summit had the audience rolling in the aisles. I lost count of the people who told me afterward that she was best speaker they had ever seen.”– Josh Golin, Associate Director, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Boston

“One of our funniest presentations of the year. Like watching Tina Fey doing stand-up. Mostly she looks at the absurdity of panic parenting that seems to plague our society.” The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, Australia

“Her talk was one of the most talked about of the semester.” — Sandra J. Bishop, Assistant Director, Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT

“Lenore Skenazy is a delight. Her whimsical approach to explaining the conundrums of being a 21st century mom captivated an audience of parents and educators for well over an hour at the end of a busy day. I thought no speaker would be able to pull such a presentation off! As Head of a boarding and day schools for girls, it is clear to me that Skenazy’s assertions are right on the mark.  She is wonderful!” — Bessie Speers, Head of The Ethel Walker School, Simsbury, CT

“Our parent community was so lucky to be able to have Lenore speak.  She was engaging and funny, but most of all thought-provoking about the many ways in which we don’t trust our own parenting skills (do we really need a plastic tub toy to tell us when our child’s bathwater is too hot?), and how we don’t allow our children the opportunities to take the important ‘baby steps’ toward independence and responsibility.  A great evening!” — Judy Sanders, Principal, Kensington School, California

“I was in stitches laughing.  The story about what it would take for a person to actually abduct a baby from the stroller at the store was so true! I really do think there is something to be said about encouraging kids to do things on their own as much as possible, within reasonable safety limits. Thanks for a great speech.” — Terri Lynn, mom

“Meeting Lenore in public was a joy and she was extremely funny and as interesting as her book. The best part of her lecture was realizing that we need to come together as a community in order to feel safe.” — Lindsey Ladd, mom

“Lenore kept a room full of us parents glued to our chairs, hanging on every erudite but entertaining word. She and her book and movement are a gust of fresh air. Run, don’t walk, if there’s a chance to hear her speak!” — Julie Ann Kodmur, mom

“I felt like I was out at a stand-up comedy show. Her comments and props about our paranoid society were right on as far I’m concerned — and delivered in such a comical way. She made it easy to hear the statistics and research.” — Aimee Nalle, mom of 8- and 11-year-old

“I saw Lenore Skenazy in Rochester in March 2010. She spoke before a sold out crowd and generously stayed until the very end to sign every last book sold. No-one wanted her to go, and many of us wished we could have taken her out for coffee to continue the conversation — because she is just like us! Lenore is, simply put, hilarious and brilliant. Her statements are well researched, and her humor brings levity to topics which seem to create a lot of controversy. For those of us who remember roaming free during our childhoods and long for the same kind of freedom for our children, Lenore reminds us not to believe the hype and allows us to relax (for an hour) and believe that we are not crazy for leaving our children outside, unsupervised, for — at least — a few minutes!” — Renée Schuls Jacobson, Rochester, NY

To book Lenore, please drop a line to lenorespeaks@gmail.com. 

Signing books in Vancouver. Audience members stayed on so long, they had to be asked by cleaning crew to leave.

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