Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Range Kids.

I just finished this wonderful funny book about letting our children have the freedom that we had when we were children. For reference I was born in 1965. Yes, I know. Long time ago. Moving on..
This was such an excellent book and the back pages worked to dispel parents fears from A to Z. The B section was

Bats (Aluminum). She went on to tell us why aluminum baseball bats are no more dangerous than the old fashioned wood counterparts. Then she wrote:
Bats (Vampire) Avoid these. Funny. You get the gist of the tone of which the book was written.

Lenore Skenazy supplied worried parents with statistic after statistic which proved that it is actually as safe for children now, and in some areas safer, as it was in 1970, when I was five.

So picture me, sitting on the sidelines of Athena's swim class on Saturday. A long row of parents all watching every move their little ones made, commenting on form, style and whether or not private lessons will be needed. And there I sit, not paying attention at all, reading my Free Range Kids book. Halfway through the class, a man taps me on the shoulder to tell my that he thinks my girl got hurt. Sure enough, the teacher is helping her out of the pool and she is crying. She has a small goose egg on her head. I go over, a little embarrassed that I hadn't witnesses the event because of course I was busy NOT being a Helicopter parent and I was doing my own thing. Ahem.

She was okay, just forgot to open her eyes while swimming and bonked her forehead on the wall. She jumped back into the pool in less than an minute and I... went back to my book.

Next day. My older daughter Jill's 24th birthday. We had all just come back from the city after watching Eden's (her daughter) soccer game. The girls were out in the back yard trying to find Parker (see earlier post about our squirrel). Eden knocks on the back door to ask me if they can play in the front yard. Of course they can. I go into the front room where Jill and Clint are watching Paul start a fire in the fireplace. I start to tell them the story printed above when she says " Why are the girl in the front yard?!!" She is from the city."Is this why you are telling me about your book?" I tell her that Athena plays in the front yard all the time and that she is perfectly safe in our little small town. About 10 minutes later I hear Jill scream and Paul run out the door. The neighbors dog (Dutch Shepherd) got loose and was running and growling after the girls. All turned out well once again but geesh! What are the chances?

I still recommend you read this book if you have children or if you are thinking of having children. And then read "Last Child in the Woods. Saving our children from nature deficit disorder." And then shoo them outside to play and don't worry so much.

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