Aug 05, 10
Read from August 03 to 05, 2010
I loved this book but not necessarily the style of writing. I read it appropriately while staying in NYC with my 19 month old. It inspired me to do some things differently. One evening at a park/playground in central park, I sat down and let my son go off on his own. Although I didn't take my eyes off him, he was pretty far away. Not once was he scared, did he get hurt or did he lose track of where I was. He happily explored and interacted with other kids without me helicoptering and managing. A few adults approached him and I could almost read their lips "where is your mommy" and my barely speaking toddler would turn and point his chubby arm right at me and I could see his mouth say "mama". I would wave and Then they would go away. This proves two of ideas: 1. Strangers aren't bad (mostly) and 2. Other people will think you are nuts when you become a "free-ranger". But guess what? The kids will be all right, if not better for it.
My favorite parts of the book were the section on Halloween, walking (anywhere), playing (without supervision outside), and the part about strangers/abductions.
I feel like I was already on board with 95% of what she suggests before I read the book. I worry about a lot of things but I've always been a pretty laid back mom compared to my friends. I serve my son his food right on the table at restaurants (and if it falls on the ground it gets picked right back up and eaten), I didn't "spot" him around all the time when he was first learning to walk, I don't have a baby gate on my stairs.... I guess I just feel like I know my kid and his limits and what he's capable of. I know he us going to run over to the stairs but will pause at the top before attempting to go down. I let him have a lot of freedom and I think he is smarter, more independent and confident because of it.