Recently finished reading Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. Borrowed this one from the library as per being environmentally friendly. The book argues for giving children more freedom and unsupervised time in contrast to today’s more typical ‘helicopter parenting’. It includes real-world suggestions (both baby steps and giant leaps) for those parents trying to become free-range.

This book had a similar message to sections of Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder.

Both books discuss the common worldly fears we as parents have about letting our children out into the world. The later with the focus on giving children freedom in nature where Free-Range Kids tends to focus on societal tasks such as going to the grocery store of walking to school. As a scientist I did prefer Last Child in the Woods because it is written more academically with discussion of specific scientific studies. Free-Range Kids was also a decent book and I would specifically recommend it to those who prefer to read a lighter, more commentary-based, writing style.

So why is this parenting book falling under my environmental mandate? Because being indoors is boring. I think when we unintentionally trap our kids indoors (to keep them safe) we consequently need more toys/games/videos to keep them occupied. As well, being excessively concerned with safety equates to purchasing more safety gear. Yes, baby knee-pads are a real thing. All this boils down to greater consumerism and garbage.

My daughter is too young to really implement a free-range parenting style (we are years away from going to school not to mention walking there alone). We do however, try to spend time playing outside to foster a love of nature. I have tried to keep it minimal with the baby safety gear: I really only have baby gates. This might change as she gets more adventurous in her explorations!

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