Simple Kids Community Book Talk: Free-Range Kids

Today is the day for the first ever Simple Kids Book Talk!

I am so looking forward to hearing your thoughts and responses to Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy.

Last week, I shared some starter questions to inspire your response to this book. If you would like to, you could answer any or all three of these questions:

a) Which passage or chapter did you find to be the most profound, informative, or eye-opening?
b) Were there passages/chapters with which you do not agree?  Why?
c) What impact has reading Free-Range Kids had on your parenting philosophies and choices?  Were you inspired to make any changes to your approach to parenting?  Did you feel affirmed in any of your parenting decisions?  Explain.

Or if you would rather, you can take another direction in your discussion.  If you are a blogger and have posted your response to Free-Range Kids, please leave a link to your post in the comments section.  If you are not a blogger or would prefer not to post your discussion on your blog, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Don’t forget that in order to encourage a spirit of community discussion, it would be wonderful if you could visit the discussion links posted before and after your own.

I am so looking forward to hearing your thoughts on both the book and the philosophy.

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  1. I’ve put two posts on my blog ( about Lenore Skenazy’s fantastic read. Please feel free to check them out and let me know what you think!

    .-= Flabby Brain´s last blog ..Free-Range Kids =-.

  2. Oh, I am so glad you shared your link! I LOVED what you had to say!!

    Here is the link to my thoughts which I posted on my personal blog:

  3. I really enjoyed preparing for this book talk. I had seen Lenore Skenazy on several tv shows, but I’m not sure I would have picked the book up from the library had you not hosted this. Thanks!
    .-= Fun Mama – Deanna´s last blog ..Free Range Kids – Book Talk =-.

  4. I loved the book and had the chance to interview her the other night for our series. I’m one of those moms who is trying to loosen up a bit and seeing her statistics comparing crime rates today and those back in the seventies really hit home for me. I realize that my daughter is not going to be kidnapped if she’s out of my site for more than five minutes and I’m starting to convince my friends that their kids won’t be kidnapped either : )

    Here’s a link to my blog:

    • That is me, precisely – just trying to loosen up some. Feeling guilty for not worrying but not wanting to worry so much anymore.

      Such an exciting opportunity to get to interview her! Thanks for sharing your personal response.

  5. I tried to get the book from my library, but they don’t have it (seems weird for Austin not to).
    I’m looking forward to reading the blog entries listed here since I was unable to read the book.
    .-= Gabriel´s last blog ..Baby Stuff =-.

    • That IS weird that Austin wouldn’t have it at your local public library branch! I would definitely put in a book request for it. I wonder if you could track down a copy though InterLibrary Loan?

      I know so many in the Austin parenting community would enjoy reading it.

  6. I love this book. It is written as if I was just sitting down having this conversation with my friend at the playground. Since I started reading it I have been trying to share it with all my friends. Of course they think I am crazy. Being that it is october I really enjoyed the part about letting them eat chocolate. We returned from Belgium where Halloween is celebrated much differently and the candy distribution is very different. I definitely have relaxed more with my inspection of all candies.

    • You know, I honestly think that is one of the biggest challenges of moving towards a more free-range approach – the judgment and perception of other parents. We are ALL so conditioned to worry, worry, worry, and when we see a unworried parent, it sets off alarms for us. Lenore speaks to this several times in the book.

      I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying it – I think we, as parents, deserve to be better informed about the TRUTH of what is actually risky in terms of parenting choices and what is absolutely NOT risky.

  7. Megan–I am a week late in reading this with you. Just finished the Halloween chapter and whoo boy I already have stories. I wrote Lenore with one of them it was so huge.

    Today I dropped my five-year-old off in the circle at school and did NOT walk her into the school, the cafeteria, and right up to her teacher. This was the first time I’ve done that. Not only that but I was running late so she had to go all the way to her classroom instead of going in to the cafeteria (where her class gathers before being walked as a group to the classroom). Reading Lenore’s book I realize what a small thing this is, but can I tell you…Owen was thrilled. “I’ve never done this before!” she said. She was so excited to be given this small amount of independence.

    This weekend I let her walk her sister to my dad’s house, which is right next door, and I didn’t even know if he was home! It felt so daring and scary. They walked down our driveway, up our little rd to his driveway and up his steep steep driveway. But there are only three houses beyond ours on this rd. (one of them my dad’s) and it was broad daylight on a Sunday and they held hands the whole way and I can see them most of the way (until they’re at the top of his driveway). I watched them go, but when my dad wasn’t there, they came down by themselves.

    You should have seen their happy faces at being given this small thing (plus they adore their grandpa).

    This is such a great book and so freeing to know that I am not a terrible mom because I don’t hover over their every move!
    .-= wesleyjeanne´s last blog ..Legends of the Fall =-.

    • That’s what I love about Lenore’s approach in the book – it’s all about baby steps, isn’t it?

      I think it is so interesting to hear how different schools handle different procedures. I drop Dacey off in the drop-off lane every morning. A teacher helps her out of the car, helps her get her back pack on, and then she heads up the steps and into the building on her own – and she has to walk the length of the school to the library on her own, too! I don’t think it’s ever occurred to me how independent she must feel doing that because that’s just how our school does drop-off!

      Anyway, I would love to hear your Halloween story! I hope she shares it on the blog. Thanks for sharing your free-range baby step and victory!!

  8. Actually it wasn’t a Halloween story–it was a “left the kids in the car while I picked up my dog from the vet and almost got the police called on me” story, that I am still afraid to share publicly because every single person I have told this story to has lectured me or been horrified and made me feel as if I should have my kids taken away…

    (really it was a very very short time on a 68 degree day in our small, low-crime-rate town, and just to pick up a dog who was coming out of anesthesia and had stitches and a collar on and I was by myself and the kids had been terrible when we dropped the dog off for said stitches…)
    .-= wesley jeanne´s last blog ..Legends of the Fall =-.


  1. […] will be no Showcase or weekend links this week because I want to encourage you to read the Free-Range Kids Book Talk entries from yesterday. It’s not too late to add your own thoughts in the comments […]