I just finished reading the delightful Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy. The good news for us worrywart parents? Turns out we have a lot less to worry about than we thought. In fact, the world (at least here in the United States) is actually safer than it was when we were kids!
The author gained the title “world’s worst mom” when she was lambasted for letting her 9-year-old son navigate the New York City subway system independently. She’s a columnist and wrote about it in the New York Sun. Before you knew it, she was famous and, in response to the unexpected hub-bub, began writing the very book I am telling you about.
With chapters like “Know When to Worry: Play Dates and Axe Murderers: How to Tell the Difference” and “Be Worldly: Why Other Countries Are Laughing at zee Scaredy-Cat Americans” Skenazy will have you laughing out loud even when you recognize your own irrational fears (and resulting parenting decisions) in the topics discussed. Skenazy deftly tells the story of how and why American parenting culture has shifted to one of unnecessary fear and attempts at control through real-life antidotes and lots of reassuring statistics. Each chapter ends with suggestions on how you can start “Going Free Range.”
So take a deep, relaxing breath and dive in to find out how you can worry less and let your kids explore more.