Hi Folks! Well, it only took me about two years longer than I’d hoped (okay…three), but here at last is the new Free-Range Kids site. Allow me to point out some wonderful features (besides the ads, which are a first for me! Don’t hate on them — making a living is good!)
Our tour begins at the top of the page where you’ll find, among other things, an updated tab for “My TV Show,” including a 2-minute clip. (Still seeking a gutsy U.S. station to take the series!) There’s also a spanking new “Speaking Engagements” page. And the “Press” tab has some videos of my appearances on The View, The Today Show and Anderson Cooper. Woo hoo!
Then, on the left, you’ll find all sorts of ways to “follow” Free-Range Kids, along with a pithy mission statement.
Underneath that, there’s a link to a list of non-fiction books with Free-Range relevance, which I hope to keep adding to. What I’d also like to create, at some point, is a list of wonderful Free-Range-ish children’s books, like “My Side of the Mountain,” and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.” If anyone wants to volunteer to organize that — or start recommending books in the comments below — weigh in!
You’ll also find a “store” that has some great t-shirts, including my favorite, available in children’s sizes: “Don’t Bother Abducting Me…I’m a Pain in the A**.” Is it a special someone’s birthday? Hmmm! Also available are shirts and hats emblazoned “America’s Worst Mom” (along with a Dad version, too). And thanks to a reader long ago who came up with the idea, there’s also a free, downloadable “Free-Range Kids membership card” for kids to carry with them. It explains to anyone wondering what a child is doing out in the wild that the parents are aware of the situation, and cool with it, and if there’s any problem or question, here’s a number for the worried onlooker to call.
Below that are ads (right now there’s a sponsored survey), and a link to “advertising opportunities,” in case you know of someone who’d like to get his/her name in front of about about 7,000 – 10,000 very brilliant people each day!
Moving over to the right hand side of the site: We’ve got a search bar, and then a lot of links, including my piece brkbfseait
de resistance, a whole lot of REASSURING CRIME STATISTICS gathered over the past four years. These are suitable for printing out and bringing with you to the playground, PTA meetings, family reunions — anyplace you’re likely to hear, “I’d love to let my kids play outside/walk to school/stay home by themselves for a little bit like we did, but TIMES HAVE CHANGED!”
Below them you’ll find a list of “Hot Topics” categories I’ve slotted all 1,235 posts-to-date (!!) into. And alas, the one thing not yet on this site is a “Find a Free-Range Friend” feature. It would allow folks to type in some basic info and find out if there are other Free-Rangers nearby to connect to. This item, however, turns out to be a very tricky thing to program, so please stay tuned. Or, if you want to program it, just let me know!
And the WAY to let me know is by virtue of contacting me — which you can now do by clicking on the “Contact” tab at the top right. At last!
So that’s the basic tour. It took a lot of time to build this new site, and the reason it is so attractive and multi-faceted is because it is the work of Eileen Mullin, web designer extraordinaire, who was brilliant, good-humored and incredibly patient for several years! Thank you, Eileen! Thank you, too, my husband Joe, for so much advice and support. And thank you, readers, for being the lifeblood of this site. Your stories inspire, engage and enrage me. As they should. – L.S.