Archive | 2014

So Maybe I’m a Sap, But…

I couldn’t resist this ad for Procter & Gamble. And I KNOW it seems to show moms constantly picking the kids up instead of kids out there on their own, but its meta-message (besides buy Pampers and Tide) is, “For teaching us that falling only makes us stronger, thank you, Mom.” Let’s remember THAT part! […]

Continue Reading
Add on to this list!

Help Needed: Add to This Funny (but Sad) Poster

Readers — Donald Christensen, a longtime Free-Range supporter, deep thinker about encouragement, and author of the blog, came up with a great idea: Let’s make a then-vs.-now poster with all the modern-day things we say to kids to keep them “safe”… that really just depress, demoralize or defeat them. Woo hoo! Now, I realize this […]

Continue Reading
Eat this way!

Breakfast of Algorithms

Hi Folks! Here’s my piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. It’s not straight-on Free-Range, just a little slice of life. I hope this link works! (If not, maybe this one?) Anyway, the piece begins: A Hearty Breakfast of Google and YouTube by Lenore Skenazy This is a tale of two breakfasts. Breakfast when I was […]

Continue Reading
Peekaboo! I see you! I see all! (Photo: ChicagoNow)

George Orwell and The Elf on the Shelf

Hi Readers — I was only vaguely aware of the shelf elf, so I’m grateful to reader Frankie Wood, who just sent this in: Dear Free-Range Kids: I know, Christmas is past now, but the topic of the Elf on a Shelf came up in a recent conversation and since I don’t have my own […]

Continue Reading
Rides from strangers also fell victim to "stranger danger."

Hitchhiking Did Not Die a Natural Death

Readers — One of you sent me this fascinating piece on hitchhiking that ran in the New York Times last year. The writer, Ginger Strand, author of  Killer On the Road, points out that hitchhiking had been a normal mode of transportation, never considered particularly dangerous, until the late ’50s when: The F.B.I. began warning […]

Continue Reading
Girls -- stand back! There's a fire!

Whose Idea Was it That Children are Fragile and Stupid?

Readers — Over and over I keep realizing how grateful kids are when we lean OUT of their lives a little and let them show us how competent they really are. I love this letter! – L.  Dear Free-Range Kids: I stumbled on your site when a backpacking guide friend asked me what approach she […]

Continue Reading
A governor who can keep danger in perspective! John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

School Shootings in Perspective — From Colorado

Readers — I appreciate this note and clip, from Scott FitzGerald, who describes himself as “just a ‘regular’ dad in suburbia, trying to raise two great kids to be smart, independent  accountable, and happy.” (He modestly doesn’t mention having written The Great Gatsby!)  – L Dear Free-Range Kids: I thought you might find this editorial refreshing. Arapahoe High is […]

Continue Reading