Interesting Stories I’ve Tweeted in the Past 24 Hours

Hi Readers! I get a lot of amazing material throughout the day and when I can’t think of anything particular to add in the way of a blog post,  I just Tweet them. It finally dawned on me that maybe I should share those Tweets right here, because not everyone is a  Twitter-type. So here are the latest. And of course, if you’d like to follow me on Twitter, all you have to do is go there (here’s a link) dyirnhyhds
and once you’re signed up (easy! here’s that link) you can find me at FreeRangeKids. (I know. Super-creative name, right?). Zee Tweets:

*Middle school girl arrested — like, by the police — for doodling in marker on desk.

*Mom asks Yahoo Answers: “How can I convince my kids that snow is dangerous?” Great replies.

*Essay on Virginia’s decision to yank unexpurgated Anne Frank from school curriculum. Should history be sweeter?

*If you’ve ever uttered “time out” “Baby Einstein” “milestones,” “Bugaboo” or “abduction” take heed:

*Do you worry that your kids are TOO plugged in to digital media? @FreeRangeKids

*Weird: Seventh grade football star makes verbal commitment to college — for 2015:

That’s the latest. Enjoy! — Lenore

62 Responses to Interesting Stories I’ve Tweeted in the Past 24 Hours

  1. Stephanie February 6, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    That snow question is so sad. Admittedly some can depend on the definition of record snow, but odds are it can be played in. Not during the snowstorm perhaps, but after should be fine.

    As for the seventh grade football star, what an awful lot of pressure for him. What if he gets an injury that keeps him from playing later, which I gather is getting more and more common as younger athletes are pushed too hard to excel?

  2. Michelle February 6, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    The snow one is very disturbing, and honestly sometimes I wonder why some people have children. I had to respond to it on the post.

  3. Krolik (Anna) February 6, 2010 at 3:19 am #


    The thing is, when we visit Free Range Kids the Blog, your last five twitter posts appear on the left side of the screen. And checking earlier posts is just one click of the mouse, no sign up required. Unless there are people who signed up for the rss feed several months ago and have not visited the FRK home page in a while and don’t know about this feature yet, I think you can be sure everyone here already reads and enjoys your tweets.

    P.S. Great speech in DC last week-end.

  4. benirleciel February 6, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    Hm. I guess I’m wondering how time-outs fall under the same category as a Bugaboo (and no, I have no idea what it looks like, and I have no idea what it costs, but I do know it’s a really expensive stroller). What else do people do with their kids to convince them that hitting is unacceptable in the family’s social milieu? Are the other free rangers spanking, or just… ignoring it? Or what?

    The snow question is indeed sad. I forced mine outside for her daily walk and she was miserable. Said the snow was “too fluffy”. That lady and I should switch kids.

  5. Andy February 6, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    Regarding that middle school girl who was arrested: “Education department spokesman David Cantor said the incident shouldn’t have happened, and that common sense should prevail.”

    So? Why didn’t it? Who called the cops, and how did they justify taking a kid out in handcuffs?

    Why has she been assigned eight hours of community service? Do we just punish for the fun of it?

    When she writes her mandatory essay on what she’s learned from the experience, that’ll really be something to read.

  6. Andy February 6, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    A follow up: If you feel motivated to ask tough question, here’s information to use: The girl’s name is Alexa Gonzalez, and she goes to:

    Junior High School 190 Russell Sage
    68-17 Austin St
    Forest Hills, NY 11375
    (718) 830-4970

  7. impassionedplatypi February 6, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    That snow question makes me what to physically harm people…

  8. impassionedplatypi February 6, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    That snow question makes me want to physically harm people…

  9. KarenW February 6, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    That snow question was too much – I’m glad people are letting her have it! Of course, it was a poorly written headline. Nowhere in her question does she say that snow is dangerous, just that she “personally hates it.” Well duh. I personally hate LOTS of things that my kids love (and that includes snow)! It’s a hassle dealing with the wet coats, gloves and boots afterwards. But I still let them play in it of course. And people say that Free Range parents are the lazy ones!!!

  10. Sky February 6, 2010 at 3:54 am #

    I’m not sure why “time out” was lumped in with that list either. The implication is that it’s indulgent, which it can be, or not, depedning on how it’s used. At any rate, it’s “new” and “modern” and that’s probably why it was put in there. When we were kids, we certainly never got told to sit in “time out.” However, we did get told to stand with a nose in the corner, which is a kind of “time out,” but with that lovely, far more effective, added element of shame that makes one not want to repeat the act.

  11. Dragonwolf February 6, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    @Krolik — Personally, I found it interesting. I wouldn’t want it done all the time, but I don’t generally pay attention to the sidebar, as I don’t use Twitter (and don’t particularly care for it).

    @benirleciel — I was thinking pretty much the same thing, though I was wondering how “time-out” and “Montessori” have anything to do with Bugaboos and “attachment parenting” (the article’s definition of which seems to be the opposite of what I’ve been finding on the actual idea of attachment parenting), and how the first two (and the non-twisted version of the fourth) have anything to do with hyper-parenting.

  12. Michelle February 6, 2010 at 4:16 am #

    @Krolik, sorry I’m on the RSS feed, and I rarely visit the homepage. Even if I do, I generally don’t look at the sidebar. I like these kinds of posts.

  13. Dot Khan February 6, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    I added a Free Range answer to the snow question:
    “Tell them that snowmen are on the offender list and may abduct you.”

  14. Alexicographer February 6, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    Eh, I don’t know. Having spent last weekend with snow + a toddler myself, I’m kind of empathetic to the snow mom. Not to actually keeping kids out of the snow, but to wanting to do so … depending on the kids, and the snow, there is a significant hassle factor and it sounded to me like she was kidding …

  15. Amanda February 6, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Regarding the Writing on the Desk incident:

    They could have made her clean all the desks in the class. A little hard work does make people think twice about doing things like that. Of course this day and age, it probably woud have violated some type of child labor law and then everyone in the school would have got fired.

    Anyway, the point. Some punishment for this incident is acceptable, but to throw handcuffs on her is a LOT extreme. I bet they don’t even do that for kids who get in fights. Rediculous!!!

  16. Sierra February 6, 2010 at 5:28 am #

    The snow thing reminds me of the time I ordered my kids back indoors in the middle of a warm summer afternoon because I just couldn’t take playing outside for one more minute:

    I also don’t get the “modern parenting buzzwords” bit. I mean, so? Our language shifts all the time, about everything. How we talk about raising our kids now is different from how we talked about it a generation ago. Meh.

    I’m glad to see you sharing the news about the girl being arrested from school, though. That’s a seriously scary thing. I’ll post it over at Strollerderby tomorrow if no one has done it yet.

  17. Christie February 6, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    What she learned from the incident? I hope she tells them a lot more than to respect personal property and not write on desks any more.

    Sadly, she learned that authority is arbitrary, power hungry and petty.

    What punishment did the guy that arrest her earn? What did he learn?

  18. Robyn February 6, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    Wait… if you’re not driving in it, or playing in it without a jacket for an hour… how exactly is snow dangerous? One of those commenters said “You fail as a mommy.” Too harsh, but I hope it will make the mama think a bit.

    I think the point of mentioning the assorted parenting “buzzwords” is just to say that today’s parents think about parenting a lot. I like Montessori (very free range, actually), attachment parenting has some great advantages, and child abduction does happen once in a blue moon (or perhaps in several blue moons).

    Hey Lenore, did you know that when the photographers around here take school pictures, they issue each parent an ID card with their kid’s picture in case the kid gets abducted? It’s absolutely macabre!

  19. DairyStateDad February 6, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Empathize with you on the column about kids and screens, Lenore. I’d be tempted to as the Scoutmaster to institute a no-gizmos rule on trips like this, but that probably makes me sound like a killjoy.

    When I was the kids’ overnight coordinator for my church, we had a rule of no electronic toys at our overnights, and I implemented another rule, too: no movies, ie No Videos/DVDs. It had been a common practice to show a movie before bed, and I took the position that kids already got plenty of exposure to plug-in commercialized entertainment. We read books and did a relaxation exercise instead…

  20. cass-a-day February 6, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Regarding people asking about why ‘time-out’ is lumped in with Bugaboo and Baby Einstein…

    It’s because ‘time out’ _is_ such a buzz word, and amongst hipster and helicopter parents alike. Everyone calls it that and _knows_ that the only way to discipline your child is with the time out technique. They even sell little mats and chairs with ‘time out’ written on them, as seen used on Jon & Kate + Eight (aka the Train Wreck Family). Time out is hot stuff, but I never heard of the term before 1990.

    And I don’t think they were suggesting that instead of ‘time out’ one should hit or spank (that’s jumping to an extreme – there’s a lot of ways to discipline a child other than time out and physical harm), but rather, why is there an assumption that this is the only acceptable way to discipline, and most of all, why is this the only thing to call it?

    When I was growing up, it didn’t have a name, but it was simply ‘sit in that chair, don’t move, and think about what you’ve done.’ But the term’ time out’ has become so ingrained in the parenting world, that I dare say that some folks throw around the words and send kids to ‘time out’ so often, that it’s lost it’s effectiveness, but they think they’re stand up parents just because they say it.

  21. pentamom February 6, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    You know, I’m not a big fan of playing in the snow myself, so I don’t. But my kids still do!

    It’s so sad that this woman can’t just let her kids play in the yard, she has to come up with absurd lies (at least I HOPE she knows they’re lies!) instead of saying, “You go out and play. I’ll clean the kitchen.”

  22. jokesrgood February 6, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    I know the lady that posted the snow question and she was completely kidding in every sense of the word. Every single one of the *suggestions* on that question were jokes. Most of those posters are regulars on yahoo answers and like to play around a little bit. That lady has TONS of snow pics with her and her kids on her facebook. Let’s all get a grip.

  23. Uly February 6, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Jokes, that’s good context, but none of the rest of us could have known that. We were commenting in good faith.

  24. Andy February 6, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    I’m a little disturbed at the fact that there is an article about a girl being arrested for no good reason and this elicits very few comments, but a completely absurd question on YahooAnswers about snow brings a ton of responses. I don’t get it.

    BTW, never take anything you read on YahooAnswers at face value.

  25. DrBlueFrogPhD February 6, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    While I understand that some wouldn’t know a “joke” if it smacked them in the face with a snowball, I’m appalled that those of you who wanted to attack her personally failed to see the hyperbole in her question. Its a funny question people! And if those of you who jumped on the “You’re A Bad Mommy!” train would remove the proverbial sticks out of your bums, you’d admit that at some point you have all asked yourself how you can get out of doing something with your kids that is considered a “rite of passage” to childhood, but that you might not enjoy.

  26. SKL February 6, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Regarding “time out,” I’d actually be interested in free-rangers’ discipline trends.

    “Time out” definitely has limited effectiveness. Kids being what they are, discipline is a matter of creative problem solving, not robotically assigning one or two “popularly accepted” consequences. I also happen to believe that there are a lot of “closet spankers” out there, which strains the credibility of the discussions folks have publicly regarding discipline. “Yeah, I consistently put Johnny in time out when he does that – [except a couple times when I lost it and screamed my lungs out and whupped his hiney] – and it works great for us.”

  27. Fengru February 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    I also don’t see “time out” as exactly in the trend of helicopter parenting. Someone in the comments mentioned that we weren’t given time out as kids, but for me that’s not true – my mother used time out in the 70’s on me, though the name she had for it – “the ugly chair” – probably wouldn’t go over as well today (it was the behavior that was ugly, if you’re wondering).

    I think the problem with time out is that it’s handed to parents by all the literature nowadays as some sort of magic cure all disciplinary tactic, which is completely absurd. Then some parents use it repeatedly on horribly behaved children and get no results so it gets a bad name. We use time out in our house whenever anyone gets really emotional (screaming, hitting, crying emotional) – it’s generally agreed we (and by we, I include myself) should take a break from each other. However, that’s really all it is – a time to reflect and collect our wits for a moment before proceeding to the actual punishment.

    I don’t know if this qualifies as free range or not, but I usually try to dole out some sort of logical consequence for whatever my kids did – you broke something, you work to pay and replace it – you made a mess, you clean it up – you were nasty or rude to someone, you do something for them to make up for it, etc. etc. I would imagine that some free range parents could have very strict boundaries and rules and others might have very few – I think either could go well with the idea of fostering independent children.

    But here’s a punishment I heard about that might strike many as more free range – a relative of mine punishes her kids by making them jump on their trampoline. I think the concept is if the kid has energy to do something bad, they get to go expend it outside on something more healthy.

  28. evil snow lady February 6, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    the infamous snow question. fascinating guys. yes the question was written to be taken at face value. yes it was actual thoughts in my head. oh the horrors! i admitted i dont really want to play in the snow with my kids. where i live, we dont get snow like that. the whole state shuts down for 2 inches. dressing my kids in 15 layers of clothes cuz i worry about frostbite. playing and constantly checking their little hands for coldness. i totally do that. i have no idea what frostbite looks like or the symptoms. i just know i have precious babes who i dont want to be hurt in the snow. once again – we arent snow people.
    to say “fail as a mother” is ridiculous. to pretend you have never once thought about getting outta kids activities is a lie. to say i look forward to EVERY SINGLE childhood task you are just fooling yourself. i have NO problem admitting what some of those answers seem to choose not to acknowledge. admitting that sometimes the mundaneness (yea i made up a word) of childhood is hard for even a wonderful mother such as myself (and anyone else who loves their kids and does what is best for them ALL the time) is par for the course. guess what else? i also admit that when they were infants the 2AM screaming fests made me wonder why i had children. the horrors again. call cps quick.

  29. Melissa February 6, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Evil Snow Lady….It was totally wrong for people to respond so harshly. Since you’ve explained that you live someplace that doesn’t get much snow, it’s understandable that you would be worried about your kids suffering from exsposure to the cold.

    I grew up in Northern Indiana and live in Chicago now. I *know* snow! I love it! I spent hours….and I mean HOURS in the cold and snow each day as a child and I never suffered any ill effects. And once I was school aged I played in the yard by myself or with neighbor kids. No adults. They were just inside if we needed them. I don’t remember my mom ever playing in the snow with me. EVER!

    Now that I have two small children I’ve determined that the best thing for them is to get used to the fact that we live where it gets cold and learn to enjoy the benefits. My four year old son loves to go out in the snow now.

    I don’t know how old your kids are but if they’re old enough to talk and tell you stuff like “I’m cold” then don’t worry about ’em. Just tell them that if they start to get cold, then it’s time to go in. That’s one of the best parts of playing in the cold….coming into a warm house to a warm bath and maybe some hot chocolate. And since you live somewhere that doesn’t get massive amounts of snow, this might be a rare treat for your kiddos.

    Please ignore the unkind remarks you recieved. You have normal concerns and as an experienced “snow mom” I’m telling you that you probably don’t need to worry much about any major danger from being out in the snow for awhile.

    For the record…I too get totally bored afer awhile being out in the cold with my four year old. He’s not old enough to be out by himself since we live on a busy road and have no fence. We stay out for as long as I can stand it then we come in, sometimes only twenty minutes or so, sometimes much longer. Usually he’s thrilled to have been out for awhile and ready to come in too, and everyone’s happy.

  30. Kim February 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    I read the snow question and I also think that it was more playful than anything. But I think it does provide a great example of why free-range parenting makes sense. Too many parents think they must do everything with their kids. So they end up resenting it when the kids want to do things that they don’t want to do. I say as parents, we are not obligated to be our children’s playmates. Let the kids play in the snow…or play dress up or Barbies or trucks or whatever it is that they like to do. It doesn’t mean that you have to do it with them. Force the kids to entertain themselves or invite other kids over. Don’t feel like you have to pretend to be the baby while your 5 year old pretends to be the mommy. If it makes you feel stupid, don’t do it. Tell her to play with her dolls. I’m tired of feeling guilty for not wanting to play the games my kids want to play. We do a lot of things together, but when it comes to pretend games, I just don’t like it anymore. Besides – that’s what pretend is all about. You shouldn’t need mom or dad to do it.

  31. Kim February 6, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Regarding the “time out” thing…I agree with the poster who commented that it is just one form of discipline and is not an end-all solution. We use it along with a myriad of other things. The punishment should fit the crime. Time outs are useful when a kid is overstimulated. But when they’ve done something they know they are not supposed to do, we give an additional punishment. We also reward for good behavior. And yes, we even spank every once in awhile. It really depends on the situation. One approach doesn’t work for every situation nor every child. I think that was the point. “Time Out” has become a fad and it has been shoved down parents’ throats as the only humane and effective form of discipline, which is completely untrue.

  32. Debbie February 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Re: Anne Frank.
    I wasn’t surprised by this. . When I was in high school (87-92) one student’s mother went on a big rampage to have a book banned from our English curriculum because of the sexual content. She won. I wish for the life of me I could remember what book it was. But I do remember that all the rest of us students (and we were a decent sized school -1800 hundred kids) and our parents thought it was ridiculous. The book was in no way offensive…and was something students had been reading for years and years and years.
    We can only protect our kids so much. And when we attempt to have them live in a bubble…it will backfire. Kids will grow up stifled and disconnected. If not ignorant. My two cents.

  33. pentamom February 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Evil Snow Lady — if you live in a part of the world where everything shuts down for 2 inches, you don’t have to worry about healthy children getting frostbite. Period. Long before they get cold enough for anything to be damaged, like Melissa says, they will be extremely uncomfortable and let you know about it and not want to play anymore. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but in general, kids do NOT get frostbite from playing in the snow, even in Minnesota or Alaska. DO NOT FEAR SNOW. There is nothing to be afraid of. While I don’t want to be harsh, this really is more your problem than snow’s problem. You need to have a realistic idea of what harm playing in the snow can do (which is basically none in any conditions where kids would want to be playing in it, especially in your mild climate.) The world is NOT that scary.

    So unless they are under 4 years old, let them go play even if you don’t want to. The worst they will get is cold and wet before they decide it isn’t fun anymore. And as Kim says, you don’t need to play with them. I rarely play kid kind of play with my kids, though of course I read to them, play games with them, etc. A couple of generations ago, neither parents nor children could have imagined a parent spending very much time sitting down and “playing” with a child more than a couple of years old, and I’m not talking about joyless childhoods, but childhoods where the kids played and the grownups went about their business.

    So unless you need to supervise because they’re very young, let them play. And if you do need to supervise — do it once in a while even if you don’t enjoy it. You don’t want to perpetuate your own fears or aversions when there’s no real basis for them. I won’t call you a terrible parent for not wanting to do that — it’s normal not to enjoy it. But sometimes you have to step up.

  34. bob February 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    Here’s one that combines the snowstorm and kids bringing troubling material to school. I don’t know if it’s real but it is laugh out loud funny.

  35. Nicola February 7, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    I realize that everyone here seems fixated on the snow… did no one see that a girl who was 12 was arrested for writing on the desk?

    Now – I realize snow might be more fun to comment on… but there was a real travesty of justice and ruination of childhood on a far deeper level by that arrest. Some girl was writing on a desk – something all of us have done either on a desk, or a wall, or a tree even – and taken to jail for it.

    My questions are… WHO THE HELL CALLED THE POLICE??? See, I don’t think the cops were automatically there to jail her… someone had to call. Why did they call? Did she pull a gun on the teacher for reprimanding her? What kind of perverted and sick society do we live in when we can’t take care of writing on a desk by, say, detention and having to stay after school to clean it off?

    Sure, the snow story is a perfect example of why people without common sense shouldn’t be allowed to breed – but here we have a young lady thrown in jail by adults that should be out working on getting actual criminals off the streets. Is no one else worried by that?

  36. Melissa February 7, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Just because people comment on one or other of the tweets doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about the others, Nicola. If you feel the urge to do something about it (the 12 year old’s situation) then write to the address posted above. That’s what I did, though I didn’t comment about it. Don’t mistake silence for lack of concern.

  37. idahodogs February 7, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    When I was in the 6th grade, I sat at a desk one day that was covered in pencil drawings. I was bored, so I started erasing them, following the lines. Halfway through the class, the teacher noticed and started to tell me how much trouble I was in, until I pointed out what I was actually doing. Gotcha! Made my day!

    Good thing he didn’t slap cuffs on me before he found out the facts.

  38. Lisa February 7, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Here’s an interesting story I just found in The Seattle Times–a suburban school district changing the play adaptation of Snow White to “remove parts of the script that violate the schools’ human-dignity and anti-bullying policies. Cuts included the name of the character “DimWitty,” making the “crazy gesture” — rotating the index finger near the ear, and lines of a song about being proud of being curvy.”

    The nice thing is that parents are starting to rebel against this kind of infantilization of their children.

  39. Seriously? February 7, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Seriously? How thick are you people? The snow question that you are all up in arms about was NOT a serious question!
    Are all of you that devoid of personality that you failed to see that?
    Jeezso people grow the hell up!

  40. Sarah February 7, 2010 at 2:09 am #

    Maybe you should post:

    “People have no sense of humor,,,, they need to get one”

    Grow up & while your at that get a sense of humor!!

  41. Leonard Ewy February 7, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    I can’t even begin to understand why the school district in Virginia caved in to one parent’s complaint about Anne Frank’s Diary and pulled the unedited version from the curriculum. The essay said everything that needs to be said about it, I guess. I am used to fighting tough battles against censorship and ignorance, but on this I am at a loss.

  42. GET A GRIP PEOPLE February 7, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    Seriously, get a freaking grip. That question posted on yahoo answers was a complete joke. I personally know the “evil snow lady”. What cracks me up even more is that you people actually thought that it was a “serious” question. What scares me even more is that none of you have a sense of humor and have gone as far as telling her she is an example of why people shouldn’t breed. Why don’t you make a post as to how you have no life and actually scanned yahoo answers to find a question like this to criticize. seriously lady i think you need some help! All of you do

  43. SKL February 7, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    I haven’t read the Anne Frank post nor the offending parts of the book. I do recall when it came into the news that the offending parts were going to be added (not all that long ago). It seems Otto Frank (Anne’s father) had not allowed this in his lifetime as he felt it was too private. I honestly do not see the need for every American child to read about Anne’s sexual thoughts and experimentations while locked indefinitely in close quarters with a few males. An adult can understand all the implications of the effects of her virtual imprisonment on how her mind and body were working, but many youghs cannot. To the extent that Anne Frank is required or school-encouraged reading for young teens and tweens, I think they should use the old version. This has long been seen as a powerful story for young people without the added sex-oriented content. Why distract young minds from the messages in the remainder of the book by adding stuff that will be confusing and disturbing to many? Leave the new version in the library for those more curious or more mature people to read at their leisure.

  44. Sarah February 7, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    People, learn how to take a joke. If you know the asker of the Y!A question, you’d know that she was KIDDING, and most of the answers have a sense of humor, unlike some of you who think she was serious. Get over it, learn how to take a joke.

    ~ SMTD

  45. Sarah February 7, 2010 at 3:45 am #

    I love your book and website. Thank you for helping me with some of my fears and helping me feel like I am not crazy about other things that I do. You are a brave person! Thank you.

  46. Vanessa February 7, 2010 at 7:07 am #

    Arrested for writing on the desk – good grief! When I was in second grade, I got in trouble for writing a “bad word” on my desk (it was “sucker” – I had seen it in a Bugs Bunny cartoon). The teacher made me stay after class for five minutes, I cleaned it off with a wet paper towel, and that was the end of it. I was highly annoyed with the kid who had ratted me out, though.

  47. Funny lady February 7, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Yes, I saw the snow lady question. What I find utterly hilarious is that so many people were so cruel to her. Doesn’t anyone recognize sarcasm? It’s yahoo answers, not a serious parenting blog, there are also spanking fetish questions and numerous trolls on that site. She is a well known regular with a great sense of humor. It was a JOKE. If those people believe everything they read for face value, I have a bridge to sell them.

  48. Uly February 7, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    That’s an interesting article from the 30s.

  49. Nicola February 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Uly, that article was fantastic.

    “Should we not rather ask ourselves where our young people learned to depend entirely on artificial stimulation? Possibly such bad habits as they have are intimately connected with the fact that, from earliest childhood, their recreation has always been prescribed for them, has been something brought in to them from the outside, has never been a genuine cultivation of their own natural interests. For we have never helped them develop their own resources, never left them undisturbed long enough for their inner urges to break through the armor of purely external discipline in which we have encased them.”

    If only that parent could see the world we’re in now… the one where we only wish our kids could have half the freedom the generation of the 30’s had without us, as parents, being thrown into jail for neglect.

    On another note… where the heck did all these people suddenly come from that are heckling the comments made here? It’s as if vultures suddenly swooped down from the sky after the death of an animal. Joke or not, regarding the snow, I didn’t bother to read the post because in general, you find enough true stories that are utterly ridiculous (case in point the arrested desk-writing girl). If it’s fake, great, someone with a sense of humor and kudos. I really couldn’t care less as I’ve seen enough real crap posted by idiots to make my life. Sad but true.

  50. helenquine February 8, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Uly – That’s a great find. Thanks for posting. Makes me wonder if the helicoptering that seems so ubiquitous now is maybe down to greater wealth.

  51. SKL February 8, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    As far as helicopter parenting and early education – I don’t know what percentage of Americans today could send their kids outside to climb trees if they wanted to. Personally, though, I’m guilty. My kids have a nice backyard but they are now in daycare. Had to give up the nanny arrangement when they were about 2.5. Previously, I required them to be outside as much as they possibly could be and still remain healthy. I think the benefits of that will endure. Now, I take/send them outside every reasonable chance I get, but let’s face it, I’m a single mom, I live in a city, and I’m going to have a career throughout the kids’ childhood. Maybe my kids’ brains would develop marginally better if I personally spent the entire day with them, analyzing the wonders of nature and the laws of physics, but on balance, it’s best if I put them in a reasonably good “school” and go to work.

    I think it’s a great thing that my kids’ daycare offers a lot of things that other (so-called “helicopter”) parents choose to fit into family/free time. Their gymnastics, dance, karate, soccer, French, group story hour, etc. are worked right into the “school day.” (I wouldn’t push all that if it seemed to be too much for them, but they thrive on the activities.) I encourage working parents to ask their day cares about inviting extracurricular teachers in during the school day. It’s a win-win-win-win in my opinion. Once I’m off work, the rest of the day is free of externally-structured activities. I used to take my kids to tot classes / story hours and it could blow the whole evening – the activities themselves may be terrific, but the logistics suck.

  52. KarenW February 8, 2010 at 4:36 am #

    Hey, how about the one where the principal is criticizing the parents who are wearing pajamas when dropping off their kids? My thought is – if the parents MUST drive the kids to school, why is it necessary to escort them all the way to the door (or the classroom for that matter)? I always wear pajamas when driving my kids to school (unless it’s a nice day in which they walk) but nobdoy would ever know because I don’t get out of the car.

  53. SKL February 8, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    LOL, Karen, I remember as a Kindergartener being mortified upon noting that my dad had driven me to school in his slippers. Now, I wear my pj’s to walk to the treelawn for the mail, garbage, etc., and no, we don’t live on a country road. Phooey! I have a lot more skin covered up than many “well-dressed” people. But when I drop my kids off at daycare, I do pull on yesterday’s jeans. Only because I can’t get all the “what-ifs” out of my mind – what if I got pulled over, etc.

    I think sometimes educators get confused about who is actually under the power of the school. The whole trend of schools requiring parents to read what the kids are reading, check their homework daily, etc. really rubs me the wrong way. That’s a topic for another day! But the point is: when I was in school, I observed school decorum (more or less). Now, I am done with that. I dress for work, not school. Sometimes I wear a suit, and sometimes I don’t take a shower until 6pm because I’m working at home. It has nothing to do with my kids’ formal education.

  54. crystalblue February 8, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    I thought the snow question was a joke because the capitalization and punctuation were so bad, as if an elementary school student wrote it.

  55. Uly February 8, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    KarenW, do you have a link?

  56. KarenW February 8, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Uly, it’s right there in Lenore’s Twitter items.

  57. Uly February 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    I’m blind or stupid, because I’m not seeing it.

  58. Daniel Reeves February 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    I can’t believe I missed your twitter feed till now. I’ve been tweeting free-range parenting tips at for a while. One of my first tweets was “Our favorite blog:

  59. HappyNat February 8, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    In defense of people who jumped on the “Evil Snow Lady”, it was posted in yahoo answers, which is kinda like the Jerry Springer show. There is so much stupid going on in each place you can’t tell what is real and what is made up. Honestly, I can’t take anything serious on yahoo answers. Whoever would use that “resource” to find an actual answer is beyond help.

  60. KarenW February 9, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Sorry Uly; it was not part of this blog post, but the Twitter items on the sidebar. If you are still interested, go to and you can see all of Lenore’s cool Twitter stuff.

  61. Uly February 9, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    By the time I realized that, it must have scrolled off the sidebar.

  62. Taking a Chance on Baby February 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Just because I’ve researched parenting, own a bugaboo and robeez and all that doesn’t mean I’m a helicopter parent.