The 7:30 Report

Okay, I won’t say, “G’day, Mates!” again, because apparently that is about as cool as going to Kentucky and hooting, “Yeehaw,  y’all!” or, for that matter, arriving in New York and saying, “Greetings to my peeps!” (Unless, of course, one is greeting a cadre of small, marshmallow bunnies.) So hello from Australia where the food is great, the people are fun and the time is all screwed up. And below is my interview with Kerry O’Brien on The 7:30 Report.

Now I shall go throw another shrimp on the barbie…not. (Come on, I’m not that pathetic. And also: I’m in a hotel. No barbie.) — L.[youtube=]

43 Responses to The 7:30 Report

  1. corianne September 30, 2010 at 3:34 am #

    throwing a shrimp on the barbie seems to be a very strange thing to do to a crustacean and a plastic doll…

  2. Juliet Robertson September 30, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    Have fun in Australia. I like the idea of this event about “Dangerous Ideas”

    Oh yes – you come across very nicely in the interview.

    I’m busy compiling another blog post about strange health and safety concerns. Last week I heard about a local pre-school sterilising leaves before they gave them to the children to play with…!

  3. Larry Harrison September 30, 2010 at 3:49 am #

    Ms Lenore Skenazy, lecturing us about what is “cool,” ha ha–I like that. If you ever come to Texas, I dare you to wear a cowgirl outfit & sport a fiddle, ha ha! “Y’all let your yungions outside, ya hear?” Ha ha. (I’m not even that type myself, but I’d laugh just the same.)

    It was a really good interview, I liked it better than any of the others I’ve seen out there, most of which go back to the 2008 “ride the subway alone” period. I loved it when she said that she uses how she was raised as a guideline, I think that’s what a lot of us do.

    There is a YouTube link as well ( which I noted in the other thread.


  4. Rich Wilson September 30, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    Nice to see you on TV when someone isn’t cutting you off.

  5. John Dickie September 30, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    As a 60+ kiwi, lived in Aus and Asia a lot I loved your article. Crystalises so much of what I have felt through my life. As a 12 yo my family had a beach cottage, come mid-summer holidays my parents had to go back to the city to work so I asked “Why dont I stay here for a week by myself – you have made me tidy my own room for years, I know how to cook, etc”. Luckily my mother said “yes” – and I very quickly learned the sensible extent of freedom!!
    Keep it up

  6. Taylor September 30, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    Great interview! I mean that as a compliment to you and the ABC fellow.

  7. Arianne September 30, 2010 at 5:59 am #

    I had to share this interview with my friends on facebook. Really a great interview. I think that you truly are changing things for the better for this generation. At least, I know that you have changed things for me and mine, and I thank you for that!

  8. Heather September 30, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Thank you Lenore for your words of SANITY! Just loved your 7.30 Report interview and all it stands for.

  9. Kim September 30, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    I suddenly want to have dinner at The Outback.

  10. RobC September 30, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    “Train them to cross the street. Train them to not go off with strangers. Teach them how to swim.”

    In other words…do your job as a parent, and teach them how to live in the world, rather than hiding them from it!

    Great interview Lenore. Even though it does look like you and Kerry had been standing in a wind tunnel just before it was conducted. I know times are tough at the ABC, but surely they could have provided you both with a couple of hairbrushes!

  11. Alison September 30, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    You. Are. Adorable.

    That was a great interview, and I’m with Rich Wilson up there; it was nice to see you on TV with someone who wasn’t constantly interrupting you.

  12. Frank September 30, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    I totally agree with the above comments. I think you gave a great interview and what you’re doing with this website and your whole campaign is fantastic for bringing some sense of reality to parenting. We need to reassure each other for sanity’s sake and not get carried away by hysterical attitudes.

    I’ve got young kids (1 year-old and 3 year-old boys) and we’re trying to raise them using sensible but not restrictive policies as parents. Just like we were raised ourselves. They have to learn that we trust them to challenge themselves and take a reasonable risk to have some fun. Maybe they will sometimes fall off the climbing frame, and get a little hurt. We’ll be there to pick them up, but more importantly check beforehand that the level of risk is not too high. I reckon if they’ve still got ten fingers and ten toes when they reach adolescence my job is more or less done! 🙂

    By the way, where we live in Salisbury, England there are loads of children playing on the street from young ages, at a guess some could be five or six years old. Certainly there are many kids of seven and upwards riding their bikes in the streets and free to play on their own at local playgrounds. So do not despair, the closed-in world of the protective parent has not taken over completely!

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Jenny September 30, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Saw you on the 7.30 Report last night! I could cry with relief. A sane parent, in an insane world. Keep up the good work.

  14. Sonia September 30, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    Hi Lenore. I watched your interview with Kerry last night and found myself nodding in agreement the whole time. I am now rushing out to buy your book and daring my friends to do the same.
    I am happy to say that I dont think things have gotten as bad here in Oz as the US but give us time and we’ll get there.
    Anyway I cant wait to see you on Q&A on Monday night and I hope the Festival of dangerous ideas is a cracker!!!

  15. Bianka September 30, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Hi Lenore,
    I only learnt about you from yesterday’s interview with Kerry (who btw is an excellent journalist). I agree with a lot of your ideas and am looking forward to hearing you talk at the Festival. We do need more sanity around!

  16. Larry Harrison September 30, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Looks like the interview & Australia visit has brought in new support for this movement. How great is that? And Lenore, despite the wind-tunnel effect, you looked fresh, professional–totally “TV ready.” I just realized, with those glasses you wear, you look just like Lisa Loeb (the girl who sung “Stay-I Missed You” in 1994), that’s totally a good thing [smiles].


  17. Lynda Hill September 30, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    Loved your interview – I agree with other people on this board – you talk sanely, you bring up so many salient points…. I totally enjoyed hearing your common sense attitudes. I have grown up kids now (in their ’20’s) and I never, ever taught them about ‘danger’. They don’t live in fear, never have and never had any reason to (I guess we’re lucky on that score as we live in a good part of Sydney)… even still, no matter where people live, to teach children about danger danger danger is a horrible start in life. Good on you! More power to you!

  18. Toni McLean September 30, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Hi Lenore,
    First things first – I’m glad somebody told you most of us don’t actually say “G’day mate”. The first time I ever heard that was from a British woman who was trying to help me feel at home when I moved to Fiji for 2 years. But we might say “G’day” – that’s ok. 🙂

    Now, I hope you can help a whole bunch of Aussie parents develop some plain common sense. It may not be as bad as the US – I’ve just been listening to you on Life Matters (also heard you last night on 7.30 Report), but it’s not great.

    I’m 58 years old and I’m actually someone who was a (rare) childhood victim of a very serious crime when I was walking home alone from the train station, in broad daylight, aged 12. However, in spite of that, my parents never curtailed my movements after that time. Maybe they just thought lightning didn’t strike twice in the same place, I don’t know, but if anyone could feel justified in helicoptering it was them. And I didn’t let it influence my children’s freedom. I suffered a little opprobrium (in the 80s) for not keeping a closer rein on my kids, and there were times when I made decisions based more on the fear of what others would say rather than what I thought was okay, but mostly I tried to exercise common sense and do what you’ve said – just think about how I was raised in that regard. My kids had nothing more than the ‘usual’ childhood tumbles.

    I think you’ve got a huge job ahead of you … but go Lenore!

  19. Vanessa Prosser September 30, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Hi Lenore,

    I watched your interview on the 7:30 report and having heard some of your back story was not disappointed by your passion and commitment to bringing some reality back into the discoures about “good’ v “Bad” parenting.
    I am the proud parent of 2 free range kids, both girls, 12 and 17. I have often felt the penetrating gaze of the righteous over protective parent as I have made choices for my kids based on their right to “have a life” that others may deem irresponsible.
    One thought that I have begun processing this morning is the impact our highly individualistic western societies and the attendent social norms may be having on the perception of parents that their kids are not safe in the world.
    What does it say about ou society that parents feel their kids are not safe on public transport – do these parents believe that a child could be assaulted, kidnapped or abused in front of a number of adults and no one will step in? I think the problem is a deep and complex one requiring some pretty heavy soul searching. It would be sad to see the every (wo)man for her/himself that often is reflected in consumerism spill over into other realsm of society such as this.
    I for one think the world is full of good people and I want my kids to feel that, too.

  20. This girl loves to talk September 30, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    you are way cute.. just wanted you to know! cuter than that picture up the top of the blog….

    I loved the interview and shared it on facebook

  21. Mike September 30, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Refreshing. Love your energy and am 100% behind what you are doing. Great interview with Kerry.

    …and yeah ease off on the g’day mate 😉

  22. thinkbannedthoughts September 30, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    So fantastic!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! If my kids weren’t asleep in bed I’d send them back to the park just for good measure!

  23. Robert Werry September 30, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Hi Lenore

    Brilliant interview. Thank God for people like you!

    I’m not a parent, but have worked in the teaching profession for many years (which means that I’ve probably spent more time with young people than most parents have). It really worries me that we are creating a generation of wimps.

    These days I write fiction aimed at teenage boys. My Super-Twins series of books places a very heavy emphasis on self-reliance, daring to be different, healthy living and “getting a life”.

    I would like to make two small points:

    1. Kids are great at looking after eachother and know there is safety in numbers. Predators, for example, are unlikely to approach kids who are part a group. By wrapping their kids in cotton wool and isolating them parents may well be making “stanger danger” a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    2. It amazes me that parents are quite happy to allow their kids to be involved in dangerous organised sports such as boxing and football, which have a very real chance of damaging their bodies permanently, yet won’t let them ride a bike, play outside or walk to school. Such a double standard!

    Keep fighting the good fight.


  24. Suegee September 30, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    I have been following your website for a while now and it’s great to see you here in Australia. I am looking forward to hearing you speak at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on Tuesday evening. My son is 17 now so I am past most of the issues raised on this website. I was trying to be a free range parent without realising it, although at times it was hard to put away my fears about what might happen and let him work home from school or to the corner milk bar, but the look on his face when he returned home made it worthwhile. We also sent him to a small independent primary school that was definitely free range. School camps were held on a block of land in the bush with very rudimentary facilities, but the kids loved it. They had school camps every year from the first year of school.
    Keep up the great work.

  25. Jennifer September 30, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Congrats on the interview. You are really getting around.

  26. Bertie Beetle September 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Saw you for the first time on the 7.30 report last night … my thoughts on it? At last something sensible coming out of America!!
    The fact is that this country has accepted without question so much that is damaging from the US – it’s violent movies, it’s letigious attitude when anything goes wrong (an inability to accept the consequences for one’s actions), its frightful TV fare etc etc. … and many here worry about Muslims affecting our society. It’s nothing to what America has already done to us.
    So I’ll get off my soapbox and just say “God bless you, keep up this wonderful effort – all strength to your arm!”

  27. Elizabeth September 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I think that was your best TV appearance yet. You did a great job articulating why we are free range. Yay, you! And thank you. Now that my child is getting older I am so glad to know I’m not alone in my hatred of paranoia.

  28. Novelactivist September 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Saw the interview. I was a free range kid. We’d roam for miles. Our first moral priority is to do that which best encourages our children’s ‘full’ potential. We hold our kids back in many ways, so I’m glad you’re out there adding your voice. I’ve put you on my website under ‘people I like’ at I probably take a somewhat more ‘radical’ stance, but I can assure you it is based on solid evidence. The real danger to our kids is ‘imagined’ harm and often it takes the form of highly subjective ideas of ‘moral’ harm. I’m much more interested in protecting kids from real harm. Sadly the desire to protect kids from imagined harm only causes real, measurable harm. We need to think very carefully about why we are so fearful, for our kids’ sakes.

  29. ashghebranious September 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Loved the interview. I remember as a kid being allowed a reign of freedom that let me do the kid things as well as learn responsibility to be home on time as when I wasn’t this cost me a week or two of that privilege.

    We live in so much fear these days. Sure, there is a point of making sure your kids are safe, but one day, you have to cut the ties and its much easy for parents as well as a growing adult to be taught and learn.


  30. owen59 September 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    G’day mate, heard your interview on Radio National this afternoon. Give ’em curry.

  31. Tracey from Central Coast Seachange September 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    I like your comments re Sesame Street. Has anyone watched the Kay Perry/Elmo’s filmclip on YouTube?

    Can’t believe they got rid of that one, do they really think kids don’t know about boobs?

    Great interview Lenore.

  32. Douglas John Bowen September 30, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Lenore, you handled the interview superbly, transcending the kind inquisitor’s softball questions and really making a clear statement.

    I have no right to be “proud” of you — but I am anyway.

  33. Once Fallen dot com September 30, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    The risk of sounding like a lazy bum, I’d like the link to that News article you mentioned about the Take your kids to the park and leave them day.

  34. Gareth October 1, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Thanks for making America look good.

  35. Sky October 1, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    I really enjoyed the interview.

  36. SquiggleMum October 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    I missed the interview the other night, but am so pleased to have caught it here. Great job Lenore. Thanks for bringing your message to the Aussie parents who don’t already read your blog.

  37. Alison October 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Travelling from Canberra to Sydney on Friday I heard you interviewed twice (both on the ABC) and sought out your website when I returned home.
    As a teacher of nearly 40 years and more recently a grandmother, I struggle with the helicopter parents who constantly take responsibility for all aspects of their children’s lives. Even when they get into trouble, instead of encouraging them to take responsibility for their action, they go in to bat for them, defending their every move.
    When my son was 15 (he’s now 35) he came home from school announcing that he wanted to participate in a 12 month exchange program. Despite his age and small stature, he left our small country town for a year in Hong Kong…no emails then, no mobile phones…just snail mail and the odd phone call. Many people questioned me letting him embark on such an excursion, but 12 months later, he dutifully returned to Aus, mature and worldly. I have never regretted that decision.
    Common sense and trust certainly provide a sound basis for developing strong, self reliant and resilient adults!
    Keep spreading the word!

  38. baby-paramedic October 2, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Now now, out bush we still say gday mate 😉

    But, in the Big Smoke (ie, Sydney) it is not said. Too proper for that 😉

    Hope you are enjoying your time in Australia!

  39. mmrmar October 4, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    You’re funny and engaging.

  40. Andy M October 5, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    If you follow your G’day with a smile, you could get away with it anywhere.

    The interview was as engaging as it was compelling, and the state of your hair made your sincerity shine.

    You would be surprised how hardball Kerry’s interviews are with politicians. But then they often don’t come to the pitch with a straight bat. You hit a six!

  41. Jennifer Jo October 5, 2010 at 1:16 am #


    Just watched this and WOW.

    And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

  42. Gry Hazardowe Ruletka May 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up!