Readers — Here’s a note that made me happy, and, as it is gifting time, I figured it might inspire a few more Free-range Kids books (just $10.17!) under a tree:
Dear Free-Range Kids: For or against? Definitely for! I just finished the book and wish I’d known about it sooner. Then maybe I wouldn’t have second-guessed myself so much. Such as when I let my seven year old walk home by himself from the school bus (even though my neighbors warn me repeatedly about the dangers of child snatchers who could be lurking around in our rural, small town neighborhood). Or when I let my kids eat raw cookie dough and cake batter (even though my sister told me I was putting their lives at risk). I also suspect there have been a few times when friends have decided not to let their kids play at my house because I don’t stay outside with them in the yard the whole time.
But I have held my ground and am occasionally rewarded with evidence that my children (ages seven and four) are doing just fine with the freedom they have. The other day I watched out the window as my son ran home from the school bus. He ran as if he were being chased by a swarm of hornets and darted off the road into the tall grass in our neighbor’s yard. When I asked him what was wrong he said, “Oh nothing. I was just pretending that I was Indiana Jones trying to escape a huge boulder that was about the squish me.” Music to my ears!
I love this movement. I only pray it takes off while my children are still young. Maybe then they’ll have some friends to run home from the bus stop with. — Kate