Intro to “Free-Range Kids” available for your reading pleasure

Well, nhyrearzry
my fellow Free-Rangers, here goes. Since my book is coming out in just about a month, the publishers have posted my introductory chapter on a web site called Scribd (the YouTube of documents, or so they say). If you want to get an idea of what the book is like, this would certainly do the trick:

Off goes the book into the big, wide world. It’s sort of like seeing your kid graduate. (Not that I’d know, yet. But I can hope! And while I’m at it, I’m hoping your kids graduate some day, too.)

Have a great weekend.  – Lenore

23 Responses to Intro to “Free-Range Kids” available for your reading pleasure

  1. Annika March 14, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    Those toilet seat locks are to keep the BABIES out? I always thought my friends who used those just didn’t want people coming over for dinner all the time and were being passive-aggressive about it.

    I’d like to know how my son could possibly have toilet trained himself if we had one of those. (He certainly has no use for the little potty I bought him.)

    My babyproofing horrors aside, yay! I am so excited to read your book. The intro is pretty great.

  2. Lisa in TO March 14, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading the introduction to your book.

    I’m a wannabe Free Range mom to 2 boys, 6 and 4 years, and 1 girl, 2 years. I say wannabe because I feel that my kids are, right now, much too young to be “running free”. They are, however, probably the only kids on our street who play in the back yard without constant adult supervision. I hope that as my children grow and develop into older children and eventually young adults that I will have as much courage and strength as Carrie’s mom. That little snippet of your introduction brought a tear to my eye. I could feel exactly what both Carrie and her mom were feeling … fear, anxiety, delight, pride … so many emotions, it was quite profound.

    Thank you for letting Izzy take the subway and for reminding us that it is okay not to be afraid and afraid at the same time.

  3. violetu March 14, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    Do you think I can get a volume discount? Because, honestly, I’m going to need a copy for myself (of course) and one for every single parent that I interact with – and I have three boys, so, y’know, that’s a lot of other parents – and one for every teacher, and one for the school’s principal and one for each neighbour… see?

  4. Jen March 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    great intro! I’m looking forward to reading the rest and hope that it reaches (and really REACHES) a wide audience.

  5. knutty knitter March 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a toilet lock. Sounds really daft to me. We already have free range kids but it is interesting to see what absurdities exist out there.

    I have noticed a growth in walking and biking to school this year. Perhaps all those school runs are finally getting too expensive and/or irritating to parents.

    viv in nz

  6. Kenny Felder March 14, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    This is just great stuff. Congratulations on the publication of your book.

  7. Sarah M March 15, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Can’t WAIT to read it!!!

  8. Tari March 15, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    Really enjoyed the intro. I can’t wait to read the whole book in the hopes of being a Free-ranger for my daughter (she’s not quite 2 yet).

  9. Karen March 15, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    Because of your excellent blog, my 8 year-old goes down the street to play with buddies, and walks there all by himself! Also, he makes himself breakfast, often using the stove, and is a much happier, more confident kid in general (and, he and his 4 year-old brother have a mom who worries less and sleeps better).
    I’m going to link to this post at my blog, and get the word out about the book a little further… can’t wait to read the whole thing!

  10. cagey March 16, 2009 at 3:11 am #

    A great beginning! I already feel Free Range, but I am really looking forward to reading this book and then shoving it off on my friends to convert them as well.

    May all children get to play with balloons and freely shove forks into wall sockets, no?

    I see that you are speaking at BlogHer, will you be doing any special thing else special for the book?

  11. Uly March 16, 2009 at 3:30 am #

    I always figured that toilet locks were to keep cell phones safe. You can always make another kid, after all, but phones (and watches, and jewelry) are EXPENSIVE! 😛

  12. lonedattyof3 March 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    to Lisa in TO:
    Your kids are plenty old enough! I believe there are many ways to free-range kids from birth (maybe before–anyone, anyone?). I have 3 and the oldest just made three. People marvel at how independent, calm, helpful, and “easy” they are. “They slept through the night at 13 weeks?”….”Do they ever cry?”…”How do you do it?” When I start the free-range rap and give examples adults usually shrivel like salted slugs. But you know what? They are the three most fabulous kids I know.

  13. Michelle March 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    Just finished reading the intro (while waiting for the baby to fall back asleep so I can go back to bed). I’ve been a fan of your blog since you started it, even though at the time I didn’t have kids. One of our neighbors is one of these anxiety-ridden mothers and is insane about using Purell no matter what her kids do. Last year, her 3 year old had to go to the hospital due to stress! He’s 3, and he already is being hospitalized for stress because of his mom! I look forward to reading the book (I hope your publisher releases a Kindle edition too)!

  14. Rachel March 16, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    I love the concept, and I’m working on putting more of its precepts into action with my 8 and 10-year-olds.

    It seems to me the Safe Routes to School people

    would like your book.

  15. Cynthia March 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Michelle- That is about the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

    Uly- making a baby might be cheap, but everything between conception and birth sure is expensive

    Lonedatty- I think prenatal freeranging is about not obsessing about every detail of your diet, exercise, etc. I’m pregnant with my third, and I’m amazed at the articles and stuff out there to terrify moms about their unborn children. Somebody’s making bank off all those tests. In this as in all things, free range is really about common sense.

  16. Jen March 16, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    Just a note to share with the group that yesterday, I became more of a Free Range Mom: our 6.5-year-old son rode his scooter around our urban block all by his own self. 🙂 And lived to tell about it. And loved the freedom. He’s also been making his own (cold, so far) breakfasts on weekend mornings, mostly so we don’t have to get up at dawn o’clock on our days off: but he also loves that he’s doing his own thing on those days. Thanks, Lenore, for your encouragement and empowering words!

  17. Bruno March 20, 2009 at 5:46 am #

    I am going to send my 4-year-old to the bookstore to buy your book tomorrow… just kidding, but long live freerange parenting!

  18. Barb Chamberlain March 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    I was using the phrase “my children are being raised by wolves,” but free-range sounds so much healthier I think I’ll switch :D.

    I found your book chapter & blog through the Cult of the Bicycle blog ( and was THRILLED. I’ve never been a “smother” and I don’t think that makes me neglectful or crazy.

    My daughters are now 18 and almost 15. They’ve been riding the city bus in our city of about 250,000 for the last 4+ years.

    When my 14-year-old started at age 10, it was because she was attending a citywide gifted program that didn’t have a school bus, and I simply couldn’t drive her to and from school every day. (My bike commuting habit was not the only factor.)

    I rode the bus with her the first day, showed her how to get from the stop to the school (a 2-block walk), and told her how to get back. I instructed her to sit up front, close to the driver, and tell the driver if anyone bothered her.

    I should have come down and ridden home with her that first time, because she thought it would be easier to just get on the bus on the same side of the street where she got off in the morning.

    This, of course, meant that she was riding farther away from home instead of back. The bus driver recognized that she wasn’t getting off as he passed stop after stop, asked her where she was supposed to go, and helped her get off at the right stop and cross the street to get on a bus headed the right way. She got home safe and sound with an adventure to talk about.

    Sure, it gave me some heart palpitations to hear about it afterwards, and I kicked myself for not riding home with her that first time. But–SHE MADE IT JUST FINE (and geez, it WAS a gifted program she was heading to/from….).

    My kids have had plenty of adventures. No broken bones or concussions, only a couple of small scars (wild bike ride down a bluff at dusk when she went off a trail–same kid who got on the bus going the wrong way), no kidnapping or rape or assault.

    They have street smarts, they know how to handle an unwanted come-on much better than I did when I graduated from college, and they have great self-confidence.

    I share your belief that most people are good, and nothing has happened to change this. I’m not completely blind to the darker side of human nature; I instructed them that if they need help, they look first for a uniformed officer, and second for a mom with kids.

    And for the Purell-crazed mom mentioned in a comment above, does she realize she’s contributing to the genetic hardiness of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and actually making the world LESS safe for her kid? That’s not the only rebound effect from over-protecting smothering.

    I’m going to tell all my friends about your blog and the book and I’m tweeting it as soon as I submit this comment. You rock.


  19. Linda Miga March 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Oh, that is WONDERFUL!!! I was just directed here from one of my homeschooling emails. I’m bookmarking you now. Can’t wait for the book. Thank you for your courage and inspiration.

  20. Lisa March 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Lenore, I just found your blog. Letting kids do “dangerous” things is part of my parenting philosophy. I let my baby play with forks and table knives and people think I’m crazy (he’s never poked anything in his eye, and he’s not going to shove it down his throat!). When he’s older I’d like to let him go to the park up the road on his own. I want to teach him how to cook when he is old enough (four, maybe?). Anyway, I would like to know what really IS dangerous, and what I can be more relaxed about. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog and reading your book.


  1. Free-range Camper? - March 14, 2009

    […] Take about 10 minutes and visit this link:  Intro to “Free-Range Kids” available for your reading pleasure « FreeRangeKids […]

  2. Intro to “Free-Range Kids” online « Rikki’s Scouting Resources - March 16, 2009

    […] March 16, 2009 by visibleprocrastinations A topic I have covered before is the current trend to prevent kids from being kids and wrapping them in cotton wool. Lenore Skenazy has the first chapter of her book “Free-Range Kids” available to read online. [Via slashdot] Well, my fellow Free-Rangers, here goes. Since my book is coming out in just about a month, the publishers have posted my introductory chapter on a web site called Scribd (the YouTube of documents, or so they say). If you want to get an idea of what the book is like, this would certainly do the trick – Lenore Skenazy : Free-Range kids blog […]

  3. Free Range Kids em livro at b a n a n a l o g i c - March 26, 2009

    […] Lenore Skenazy do blog Free Range Kids vai lançar um livro com o mesmo nome, dentro de pouco tempo, e o primeiro capítulo está disponível para consulta livre online. […]