Recent Tweets

Hi raiatyfzit
Readers! Here are some of my recent Tweets you might enjoy. Have a great weekend! — L

*Hey, cool! Comic strip about letting kids go to the park by themselves! (And mom plotzing):

*Poignant, wacky, trite: Parents’ advice to kids going off to college. Actual quotes:

*”Want to Win Custody? Become a Helicopter Parent.” (My essay, on ParentDish):

*Ugh. Read an online children’s book, click to buy the fashions! That’s what reading is all about, kids!

*Fantastic, SHORT article on the 5 things parents SHOULD worry about, the the 5 they shouldn’t. I heartily concur!

*This school year, give your kids some new freedom AND responsibility. Find out how in Free-Range Kids (my book):

*So now no kids should SLED? It’s “not worth the risk”?

*Last laff of the nite. (A photo. A baby. A really bad pun. Made me LOL):

20 Responses to Recent Tweets

  1. Cindy Karnitz September 4, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    To the “No Sledding” my husband replied- aiy-yai-yai…

  2. Larry Harrison September 4, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    I had a good free-range day. Left my 1 & 3 year old in the car for barely 60 seconds at the PO Box to check my mail. It was safe weather-wise, heat being the REAL risk. Yesterday I did likewise while getting gas. That’s because I understand kidnapping to be an extremely-exagerrated risk & I live in small towns on top of that.

    Played basketball at the park about 100 feet from a spot where I let the 1 & 3 year-old play at the swingset. I had the 3 year old push the 1 year old while I looked on shooting hoops.

    Just left Arby’s where our 1 year old walked to a stranger & acted friendly to HIM & his kids, which I did not discourage.

    THAT’S what free range is all about–cautious without worry-wart’ing & letting kids have fun in the world safely vs being scared of it & the people in it.

  3. JaneW September 4, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    My grandfather went sledding every year up to the age of 86. Didn’t do him any harm.

  4. Larry Harrison September 4, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    I’m reminded of an old Redd Foxx joke I heard about sledding. “I always wanted a sled, my dad couldn’t even get me a sled. Had to slide down the hill on my cousin.” Ha ha.

  5. bmj2k September 4, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    A close reading of the sledding article shows it to be without real usable facts. A “head injury” could be a small cut below the scalp as easily as a concussion. It generally lumps together children as young as four with those of 19, and sensationalizes the injuries of the 19 year olds, who are often prone to wilder activities. It says that children four or younger are more prone to sustain a serious injury, but that is true of four year olds in general in any activity, and I am sure no one would let a four year old be unsupervised on a sled or elsewhere.

    As for “the largest US study,” it tells little we don’t already know- boys are slightly more prone to injury than girls in physical activities, and just over 1/2 happened at a recreation place where, often, there are more kids packed into a small area than at your local park. It seems clear that those places are requiring helmets more for legal liability reasons than any medical reasons.

    “The study found traumatic brain injuries represented 9.2 percent of the total injuries.” That is totally without context, straight fear-mongering. What is the percentage by age?
    What is the percentage compared to other sports? Compared to car accidents? School bus accidents? Percentage of injuries wearing helmets vs. those not wearing helmets?

    Articles like this, wrapped in the veneer of respectability, are what we have to question, fight, and look out for. They sound good, but a closer look shows them to be full of nothing but empty calories.

  6. Jane September 4, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Thought you might be interested in this:
    “Senator Tommy Tomlinson and Representative Gene DiGirolamo are introducing bills that would make it a 3rd degree felony to leave a child under 13 in a motor vehicle without adult supervision.

    The offense is currently classified as a misdemeanor, but would under the new law, increase the maximum penalty to seven years instead of five.”
    Full article:

  7. bequirox September 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I’m very disappointed in Harry Connick Jr. for selling out to Ralph Lauren.

  8. Emiky September 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    My little brother had an open fracture ankle break caused by sledding when he was 12. Apparently lots of blood. 3 twelve year old boys on a cheap sled doing stupid tricks is admittedly not a smart idea. But guess what? They’re 12.

    And it was a very unsafe incident. My parents were at a wedding. See, most of us were considered mature enough to stay home alone for a few hours around age 8 or 9. 12 should have been safe. And they had climbed over the fence to the reservoir area that’s no trespassing in order to sled. His twin’s 911 call was very interesting because of that… On the bright side, the paramedics were happy they had cut off the barbed wire as it made it easier to get boy-on-stretcher over the fence.

    The thing is, that was a freak sledding accident. Freak accidents are called such because they beat any reasonable risk of danger. There’s no logical way to avoid them.

  9. helenquine September 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    The sledding article is classic media fear mongering and classic poor reporting.

    The most common injury was fracture not “head injury”. The most common body part injured was the head. But that’s hardly surprising since, when you bang your thigh and you’re sure it’s not broken you don’t bother going to the hospital, but you do (and should) often get your head checked out even when you can’t tell if something is wrong.

    Since only 4.1% of all injuries required hospitalization those 9.2% Traumatic Brain Injury must be mainly concussions, which are nothing to be sneezed at, but aren’t quite the “turned into a vegetable on impact” injuries that the phrase “Traumatic Brain Injury” makes you expect.

    Further – sledding can be dangerous? Who knew? I mean – isn’t that half the fun of it? Pushing the limits so that you learn what yours are?

    On the wisdom for kids going to college, I loved:
    “‘My mom told me not to talk to strangers,’ Jessica McBride, at BU”

    Had to clean the coffee off my keyboard.

  10. Peter K. September 4, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Of course sledding is too dangerous, hasn’t anyone read Ethan Frome?

    A sledding accident can leave you a mangled old husk of a man, full of regrets and unrealized dreams, living with your harpy of a wife and once warm beautiful but now bitter and equally mangled cousin.

    Is this a risk you want to take with your children?

  11. baby-paramedic September 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Best student advice: Use protection and watch out for your mates. If you have their back, they’ll have yours.

    I require more information (ie, the actual research paper) before I can really comment either way on the toboganning article. However, kids should be kids. And how we learn to not be so silly is by taking risks LIKE climbing trees, or (where Im from due to our lack of snow) dashing down the sand-dunes on piece of cardboard.

  12. Emiky September 5, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    If you don’t break a bone during childhood, what wonderfully fun things aren’t you doing?! I think it’s morally wrong not to let kids play outside, climb trees, explore, sled, ride bikes, etc. What awful parents are shutting their kids inside each day like prisoners?

  13. Candice September 5, 2010 at 1:08 am #


    I never had a broken bone growing up. I ran, played outside, climbed trees, rode bikes and got into all kinds of mischievous behavior. I did come home with quite a few bumps, scrapes, bruises, and cuts. I attribute my lack of bone breakage to a love of drinking milk and having parents who let me be a kid. 🙂

  14. dmd September 5, 2010 at 5:49 am #

    While my son always wears a helmet biking (as do I), I don’t think I could bring myself to make him (or me) wear one sledding. It’s not a big issue for me – we only get a dusting once every 10 years or so. But I did take my son to New England expressly to go sledding a few years ago. He wanted to sled so badly and his grandmother lives there. Of course I had to pick THE COLDEST four days of the year. Single digit temperatures. He did sled, but only for 30 minutes because it was literally unbearable, especially since by that time his clothes were soaked.

    As for advice, my grandmother summed it up: Be good. But if you can’t be good, be careful.

  15. pentamom September 5, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    “On the wisdom for kids going to college, I loved:
    “‘My mom told me not to talk to strangers,’ Jessica McBride, at BU”

    Had to clean the coffee off my keyboard.”

    How’s she going to answer questions in class or participate in group discussions? Or did her parents vet and introduce her to every one of her professors and classmates? (Rolls eyes.) Not to mention roommates — most are strangers to freshmen. 😉

  16. Jay September 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Make sure you follow the entire story…it looks like it was written from this bog.

  17. bmj2k September 7, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    I understand why you “require more information (ie, the actual research paper) before I can really comment either way on the toboganning article.” It is sesnible.

    But remember, the article itself will reach a relatively small audience. The articles written about it will be disembled to the masses, and that is where bad journalism + fear mongering + people don’t do more research = panic.

  18. Rebecca O September 7, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    I just had to get you this excerpt I picked up this book from hastings on clearance it is from 1976 and it is called “your four year old wild and wonderful” by Louise Bates Ames, Ph.d. & Frances L. Ilg M.D. just a few pages in you can see the difference between now and than.

    excerpt, “for all his expansive and out of bounds tendencies, four can, when he puts his mind to it be very reliable. Many go on small errands outside the home provided they don’t involve crossing the street. and many by 4 and a half, have reached the point where they can be trusted to play outside with out much supervision or checking.”

  19. Emiky September 8, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Candice, good parents!! As for not breaking a bone, well, I’m sure you know what I meant. :). I shall amend to “if you don’t get some sort of injury during childhood…”

  20. Ron November 6, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    My 12 year old son died because he was not wearing a sledding helmet. Glad yours is okay!