Saturday, July 3, 2010

a parenting book to set you FREE

I figure since I espouse and talk about it I should probably read the actual Free Range Kids book. So I checked it out of the library last week (though I've interestingly been on a waiting list for a while... it's a popular item around here!) and have been motoring through it. And I LOVE it. It may change my life. So many of the things she suggests are things I was already practicing (I don't hover near my 2-year-old on the playground, for example, and he's a climber. Yes, he might fall, and he might get hurt, but he won't kill himself, and the independence he gains is worth more...) but I felt guilty about them, even while believing they were right.

Oh if she can lift my guilt. So far it's working.

Also, she's got the statistics. She tells you how many kids have been abducted randomly (it's fewer than you think) and what the actual risk is if you want to let them walk down the block to Josie's house by themselves. She addresses directly the hysteria about not being able to let them out of your sight, gives you the actual numbers and lets you decide if our reactions are out of proportion. (Okay, she goes ahead and tells you they are in fact out of proportion, and even how we got to this ridiculous place.)

She has a whole chapter about how you should not read parenting books (except for hers, of course, she says cheekily) because parenting "experts" only serve to tell you what you're doing wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Well intentioned though they may be. (She also points out how completely absurd and unfounded and incorrect some of their suggestions are, and though they may go against our better judgement, we feel the "experts" must know more than we do, and so, if not trying to implement something because it feels wrong to us, we feel guilty....)

She's got a lot of good sense. Go read it! Or at least look at her blog.

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