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It's OK to Go Up the Slide

It's OK to Go Up the Slide

Renegade Rules for Raising Confident and Creative Kids


It's OK to Go Up the Slide

About the Book

When it comes to parenting, sometimes you have to trust your gut.

With her first book, It’s OK Not to Share, Heather Shumaker overturned all the conventional rules of parenting with her “renegade rules” for raising competent and compassionate kids. In It’s Ok To Go Up the Slide, Shumaker takes on new hot-button issues with renegade rules such as:
- Recess Is A Right
- It’s Ok Not To Kiss Grandma
- Ban Homework in Elementary School
- Safety Second
- Don’t Force Participation
Shumaker also offers broader guidance on how parents can control their own fears and move from an overscheduled life to one of more free play. Parenting can too often be reduced to shuttling kids between enrichment classes, but Shumaker challenges parents to reevaluate how they’re spending their precious family time. This book helps parents help their kids develop important life skills in an age-appropriate way. Most important, parents must model these skills, whether it’s technology use, confronting conflict, or coping emotionally with setbacks. Sometimes being a good parent means breaking all the rules.

Product Details

On sale: March 8, 2016
Page count: 384 Pages
ISBN: 9780399172007

Author Bio

Heather Shumaker is a national speaker on parenting and early childhood topics, and is the author of It's OK Not to Share. An advocate for free, unstructured play in homes and schools, she lives in northern Michigan with her family.


"In her thought-provoking new book, Shumaker challenges some of our assumptions as parents and teachers. She shows us clearly and candidly what kids truly need. This is a helpful and inspiring read for anyone concerned with raising the next generation of healthy children."
—Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls

"Heather Shumaker, the agent-provocateur of the young childhood set, is back in fine form with It's OK to Go Up the Slide. By refusing to accept received wisdom without questioning it, Shumaker makes the reader think about what children really need when it comes to safety, homework, technology, and interpersonal interactions. She'll provoke you to think afresh in places where you didn't even think there was a choice."
—Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting

"The fact that Heather Shumaker stops to re-examine almost all the conventional wisdom about childhood to figure out which of it is based on anything other than, 'That's just how it's done' makes her my hero."
—Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)

"Sensible and provocative. This book will turn notions about kids, families, and schools upside down. From homework to strangers to technology, Shumaker tackles all the big topics facing the preschool to elementary set. Do your family or classroom a favor and grab this book.”
—Amy McCready, author of The "Me, Me, Me" Epidemic and If I Have to Tell You One More Time...

"Once again, Heather Shumaker challenges our unquestioned assumptions about child-raising with such clarity that you’ll wonder why her points weren’t glaringly obvious to you before reading her book. Addressing the issues of middle childhood, Shumaker makes a convincing case on issues from 'safety first' (which poses a greater danger to your child than healthy risk) to kindergarten (your child may do better to skip it). Parents will especially love the 'cheat sheets' where Shumaker gives suggested words to use to implement these renegade rules in real life."
—Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

"Heather Shumaker’s comprehensive and courageous on-target book emanates common sense grounded in solid research. For parents desiring the best for their children, it can serve as a practical guide to responsible resistance to unsound current educational/parental dogmas."
—Stuart Brown, M.D., founder and president of The National Institute for Play

"The norms of parenting today—with their over-concern for safety and promotion of continuous surveillance and control—are stifling our children. In this delightful book, Heather Shumaker teaches us how to be renegade parents, willing and able to flout the norms in order to promote the long-term mental and physical health of our kids. I recommend it not just to parents, but to anyone involved with the lives of young children."
—Peter Gray, research professor of psychology at Boston College and author of
 Free to Learn

"This book is chock full of reasons for joining the renegade army! In a gentle, yet direct fashion, Heather encourages us to remove our adult lenses and take a hard look at how some of our own actions lead to many of our family’s stressors. She leaves us with supportive next steps and a powerful sense of 'I can do this!'"
—Lisa Murphy, M.Ed., early childhood specialist and cofounder of Ooey Gooey, Inc.

“This book frees parents from unfounded fears that limit their children’s ability to climb, jump, run, and express themselves honestly, replacing that fear with a courageous style of parenting that benefits the child.”
—Vicki Hoefle, parent educator, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Parenting and A Straight Talk on Parenting

"School needs a revolution. Parenting needs a revolution. Guess what? The revolution has arrived. It's time to go up the slide."
—Anthony DeBenedet, M.D., coauthor of The Art of Roughhousing

"I'm in love with Heather Shumaker's new book, It's OK to Go Up the Slide—it's going to rock boats, challenge thinking, and nudge adults in the right direction when it comes to early learning. The book's Renegade Rules often swim against the current of conventional thinking, but they are based on solid research, shared with warmth and humor, and come with ample ideas for implementation. This is a must-read for both parents and early learning professionals."
—Jeff A. Johnson, coauthor of Let Them Play
"Shumaker is like the wise elder we need beside us. In this day and age when recess and play have been set aside for worksheets and sitting still, we need to hear and heed her voice. Every parent, caregiver, teacher, and administrator will want to return to this book over and over again. Bravo to Shumaker for encouraging us to reclaim our children's childhoods."
—Sara Bennett, coauthor of The Case Against Homework and founder of Stop Homework

"More play. Less homework. More risks. Less sheltering and entertaining. What sounds contrarian is actually common sens​e that's great for ​our ​kids​! Shumaker helps us put this into practice with tools like her 'words to say (and avoid)' and terrific 'try this' suggestions. 
—Paula Spencer Scott, content chief at Kinstantly, and author of Momfidence

"Heather Shumaker demystifies modern parenting in this immensely practical book, tackling tricky topics like technology and risk-taking. She advocates for a balanced and sensible approach to parenting that gives families tools to wade through the oceans of parenting advice. This book continues the revolution that her first book began—hold on!"
—Emily Plank, author of
Discovering the Culture of Childhood

"This is the book I have been waiting for. Heather again has provided us with practical and respectful parenting advice for the child entering the big world of the elementary school years. This book is tender and completely engaging. You will want to keep it with you at all times.
—Daniel Hodgins, author of Boys: Changing the Classroom, Not the Child and Get Over It: Relearning Guidance Practices