Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Teachings--Should we Censor our Children

I have been reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series.  My 14-year-old daughter has asked me more than once if she could read the books.  I am the first to say that I rarely, if ever, keep my child from reading anything she wants to read.  I am not at all for banning books of any type, I am all for freedom of speech and freedom of choice.  My mother never kept me from reading any books I chose to read and I truly believe that is why I continue to be such an avid reader today. 

However, with that it our duty as parents to shelter our children from some of the horrors that are detailed in some books?  I remember reading the Flowers in the Attic series in middle school and being completely enthralled by the things that I was reading about.. if you have not read the series, you really need to read them!  I remember having long conversations with friends about incest, being held hostage and the such.  I think the books were definitely a growing experience for all of us that read them.

I know that books are rated for a reason, but if my daughter has a curiosity, do I allow her to read a book that may not be age-appropriate?  I will say that, thankfully, she could not get through the first chapter because of all the rather large swedish words(places and names). 

I definitely have my opinions about this and I say, yes, she should be allowed to read whatever she chooses.  However, as a parent, it is also my job to discuss the sensitive information with her and discuss what it right or wrong.  As a teacher, I have no problem discussing anything with my child, or anyone else's child for that matter.  However, if a parent is not comfortable discussing sensitive issues, then maybe they should monitor more closely what their child is reading. 

My opinion is that I have my opinions on what is appropriate for my child and you have your opinions about what is best for your child.  Secretly, I am thankful she chose not to read the series, but I would not have kept her from doing it.  With that said, I would also not encourage my daughter's friends to read the book but rather tell them to check with their parents first.  I think my bottom line is this...I respect your opinion with regards to your child even if I don't agree with it and expect the same respect in return with regards to my child as well as everyone else's children.

What are your thoughts??

1 comment:

  1. Absolutetly agree with you. Even though I have rather definite ideas about certain things in books (sexual content, for instance)...I would never have told my son that he couldn't read something. (He's 18 now) I always made sure I read any books that he wanted to read that I was unfamiliar with though. That way we could talk about anything that came up.