G’Day, Mates!

Hi Readers! I’m down here in Australia to give a rkhtneefdf
at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House this Sunday. Folks seem very interested in the idea of letting their kids enjoy a life outside the house. Yay! And more soon! — Lenore

35 Responses to G’Day, Mates!

  1. SquiggleMum September 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    I spoke on radio in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) this morning about the importance of outdoor play and allowing kids to take risks! Enjoy your time here down under.

  2. Caleb in the black Sunn hoodie September 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    I’ll definitely be coming. Will you be selling copies of your book (and signing them)? I’d love to come up for a quick hello.

  3. Heidi September 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    Just watched you on ABC. Very interested in what you have to say, hope to make it to your talk on Sunday. Enjoy!

  4. Caleb in the black Sunn hoodie September 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Heads up to people who thought “festivals” were “free” – this one “event” is 20 dollars.

  5. Jayne September 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    I’m seeing you speak next Tuesday in Melbourne. Am looking forward to it. I nodded my head at everything you said on the 7.30 report tonight 🙂

  6. Isabel September 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Hey Lenore, I just saw you on the 7.30 Report and am right behind you! I’m only 25 and thinking some day in the future I’d like to have kids and I definitely share your point of view. When I think of my childhood, straight away walking six blocks to the deli for lollies with my fellow 8 year-olds and no adults springs to mind. And riding my bike to the park to play on the swings. And walking alone to school when I was too lazy and sleepy to be there on time! I also remember being educated about what to do if strangers talked to you and how to cross the road properly. These things I will pass on to my kids and allow them to have the same sense of freedom and confidence when discovering the world and their own individuality. Keep up the good work!

  7. Kira September 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    I just watched you on the ABC too, I love the passion you have for giving our kids the freedom they deserve, I wish I could make it to your talk but I’m on the other side of the country (Dampier Western Australia)! I too have great passion to create a positive and happy environment for our kids, I be out to get your book tomorrow! Good luck and hope you have a great time in OZ

  8. doris September 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Lenore- you speak such good sense! It’s a funny old-fashioned thing to do these days, but I guess it doesn’t make millions in advertising/marketing dollars so it’s becoming quite scarce….. Please keep talking!

  9. Theresa Daly September 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Thanks so much for reminding us that kids are kids. Childhood is a time of exploration (with parental overviews) to allow children to learn about the world in a reasonable way. I had a great childhood where I went to the beach alone and swam in the ocean (I was shown how), built cubbys on vacant land (allowed out until tea time!) and where our neighbours knew who belonged out there. If we misbehaved, our parents knew because they heard about it, and we respected the world around us.
    Today’s kids have lost the freedom to learn and to explore and I thank you Lenore for bringing that back into the public domain. Kids who have been given boundaries and who are judged by their parents to be able to deal with a specific ‘thing’ should be allowed. to. This will grow competent adults who can deal with and learn by, their mistakes.
    I enjoyed your remarks on the “Seven Thirty Report” this evening and hope you have a terrific time in Australia.
    LIfe is a risk – so go out and live – albeit a little sensibly!
    Thank you so much for your sensible and enjoyable interview.

    Theresa Daly
    Perth, WA

  10. This girl loves to talk September 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    oh I missed you on tv!

    I think australians really do have a love of outdoors.. i mean we certainly have the weather for it. We play outside all winter here.

    however I do see that australia is like most of the stories you post.. the car pick up lines, the kids scheduled to the hilt, obesity etc

    however i think many australians are fairly relaxed and we do want a free range childhood for our kids.. we just forget it sometimes 🙂

  11. Tuppence September 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    G’day Lenore! Have a great time down under!

  12. Fiona September 29, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Oh, well played, Lenore, well played! 7:30 Report is major credibility/serious political media here. Great interview, can’t believe you made Kerry O’Brien smile the whole way through!

    Link to show is here (active for 14 days only)

    Lenore’s segment begins at 16:50.

  13. Larry Harrison September 29, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Good lucky, Lenore. I am glad to see that you are making an impact even that far away. I think it’s outstanding and, it goes without saying–but I’ll say it–I am 100 percent behind you. Preach on sister!


  14. Larry Harrison September 30, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    Oh, PS–here’s another link to the video (it works, the other one didn’t work with me):


    I loved the video. Lenore is brilliant as usual. And–a “soap suds visor” so kids don’t get soap in their eyes while bathing? Good grief.

  15. Chris Gillham September 30, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Fantastic 7.30 Report interview, Lenore. It was a breath of fresh air to see a real issue being discussed on Australia’s mainstream media that is profoundly impacting the health, safety and evolution of society.

    Please test your own beliefs by researching http://www.cycle-helmets.com. Similar results are experienced in the US.

    Mandatory bike helmets are the most damaging result of the syndrome you criticise, and a public statement by you would both test your conviction and/or help alert parents to the harm caused by their unfounded fears.

  16. Andrew September 30, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    Just a little tiny tip. “G’Day, Mates” is a little corny, and obviously an American attempt at Australianese.

    You can use “G’day mate!” (you talking to your reader/listener) or just plain “G’Day!” (you talking to one or more readers/listeners). Subtle difference, but it makes a big difference!

    Like your work.

  17. pentamom September 30, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    Non-Aussies have to access the video via the YouTube link. Thanks for posting it, Larry!

  18. Timkenwest September 30, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Great interview made even better by the fact that you said “psyched” : )

  19. A Vision Splendid September 30, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    I too saw your interview on the ABC last night and thought that you encapsulated my thoughts on the topic of helicopter parenting so well. I will have to post the interview on my website. I am all about reviving past wisdoms.

    Thank you for the efforts you are putting in to bring this emotive topic into the forefront of people’s minds. You are a brave woman and I thank you for your energy in stating the obvious to a crowd that is often less than ready for it !!

    Best wishes to you.

  20. Bronwyn September 30, 2010 at 6:01 am #

    I’m in Whangarei, New Zealand. I’m a teacher and schools are on holiday. Yesterday while shopping for bits and pieces for our new house I saw a couple of free-range things to celebrate.
    Walking across a big box park I over heard a family discussing where to go, Son age ~10 and Son age ~8 wanted to go look at something in an electronic store. Mum and Dad and Daughter age ~5 didn’t. Dad’s solution. “You two go, stay together watch for cars when you cross the car park, and meet us at the car when you are done”. The boys left in one direction the parents and girl in another. Yay for free range!

    Later I was coming out of the supermarket and in two different cars I saw kids sitting and waiting. In one a girl of about 11 was reading a book. In the other was three kids aged about 8-13 kidding about. They were happy and safe, and I bet Mum was glad not to have them throwing things in the trolley.

    Little moments of win in an anti-free-range world.

  21. Mac September 30, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    Lenore, your comments on the ‘7:30 report’ interview were like a breath of fresh air. Even Kezza seemed to approve judging by the look on his face.

    I’m in my 70th year so many would consider me just a ‘grumpy old man’. But it makes me mad to see how many modern parents mollycoddle their kids.

    Let’s hope that your visit to Australia & your commonsense opinions will resonate with parents & grandparents.

    You’re welcome here any time.

    Good luck for the rest of your stay,

  22. Sandra B. (Australia) September 30, 2010 at 6:35 am #

    Welcome. Well done on the interview with Kerry on the 7.30 report.

  23. Gordon Eyre September 30, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    As a now grown up “free range kid”, I constantly struggle to give my own kids the same freedom that I once enjoyed, but many a time suffered!

    I must admit many of my childhood adventures took me to places I wasn’t expecting, and some to places I dare not go again, though I learnt a great deal from my exploits.

    But as much as those experiences scared the living daylights out of me, luckily, I am still around to tell the tale. It makes me the person I am today.

    So…..do I tell those tales? Do I tell my kids what I did when I was there age?….I don’t think so!

    But…do I tell my kids to take a chance, to make a decision, to make mistakes? ……….I sure do!

    My parents taught me to stand on my own two feet and fend for myself, and it’s my role to do the same to my kids. Failure to pass on these skills is negligent. If we, as human beings had not crawled out of the caves and explored our world, we would have perished a long time ago.

    We have to learn to let go…… It’s what life is all about.

    Thanks for reminding me of that.

  24. Russell September 30, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    I wish I’d known you were going to be on telly – I would have told all my friends to watch. Great job.
    Hope you enjoy your stay, and convert some of our worst parents while you’re here.

  25. Sarah September 30, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    I saw the interview, didn’t get to hear much of it because my kids (nearly 4 and 2.5) were kicking up a stink over going to bed. I was most impressed with it. Hope you enjoyed your time in Oz!

  26. Scott September 30, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    *Festival of Dangerous Ideas*????

    Why wasn’t I informed? That’s almost worth the plane trip!

    I want a Festival of Dangerous Ideas for my country.

    Australians are cool. Lenore, say hello to Jessica Watson, the 16 year old girl who just completed her solo nonstop round the world sail.

  27. Scott September 30, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Wow that was an AWESOME video! Lenore is the best! God Bless those few brave souls like Lenore who stubbornly refuse to let go of Common Sense, Facts and Logic!

  28. Scott September 30, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    HOLY COW. The festival has like 50 talks and every separate talk is from $20 to $35 + $22 in booking and facilities fees??!?!?

    So $42 to $57 for EACH talk you want to sit and listen to?

    OMG, do people actually pay that much to hear a lecture?

  29. Roz September 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Great interview, Lenore. Saw you on The 7:30 report. Just brilliant! Hope you enjoy your time in Australia. I am really working on the free-range. Getting there. Husband is well and truly there. Cheers!

    Roz, Darwin, Australia

  30. Nicola, Adelaide September 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Dear Lenore,

    A heartening story. I allowed my daughter at age 7 to walk around the corner and up 1 street to the local supermarket. We needed some bread and cheese and bacon and she offered to go and get it. It was the first time she had been there alone but I wanted her to develop her independence so I let her go. We gave her $20 and waited for her return. She came back 20minutes later with the most enormous block of cheese and the biggest packet of bacon I have ever seen. I asked her if she had had enough money and she said ” oh no, I didn’t , but the man behind me in the queue paid the difference and then I came home”
    It was such a lovely demonstration that most “strangers” are just normal people who are far more likely to be kind and helpful to children rather than threat to them.

  31. Tiggerinma September 30, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Tie your kangaroo down mate, but let your kids grow up free!

    You go girl.

  32. Patricia Rhodes October 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    Sorry, not sure if this link worked. Excellent playground in Newfarm Park here in Brisbane, Australia.

  33. Mr. Knee Pad October 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi Lenore!

    Your talk was absolutely amazing. Incredibly funny; I was laughing so hard I think I was disturbing my neighbours!

    And it was great to see you for the book signing afterwards. I hope I didn’t cause any discomfort with how gushing I was.

    Again, well done and thank you for changing lives! 🙂

  34. ElsieKay October 4, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Saw you speak yesterday at the Opera House (sorry about the weather) and was just wanted to say how wonderful it was to hear the voice of reason. I am a teacher and so was my friend who accompanied me, we are both trying to get copies of your book for our preschool libraries (yes I was almost trampled in the rush to buy a copy from the Opera House – haha).

    The world is going mad – as a teacher I am sick of children who have no “self help” skills,who are frightened of their own shadows or who can’t play a simple ball game without crying because someone is “cheating”, “he pushed me” or “he bumped me” or complain “my feet are aching”.

    Don’t get me started on “indoor” days at school – children couldnt play outside if its possible it may rain, its too hot, its too cold or its too windy – remember its Sydney not the Arctic or the Sahara.

    I could just go on and on and on.

    Hooray for Free Range Kids and please come back to Sydney again (try to organise some decent weather next time)

  35. Niv Pidaparty October 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi Lenore,

    I was at the Sydney Opera House yesterday and heard you talk. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I moved to Sydney about 2 years from the Bay Area and was paranoid about letting my kids ( age 7 and 9) out of my sight. Living here made me relax a bit and my kids enjoy the experience of being on their own and exploring the neighborhood. I hope I can continue this when we move back to the Bay Area!!!