Thursday, May 29, 2014

Censoring a Child's Reading: Yes or No?

I've been asked a few times about censoring a child's reading and I struggle with this answer. Truth be told, we didn't censor our daughter's reading growing up. What she read was up to her. However, I do understand this may not be appropriate for every child. I also hope I do not draw the ire of some people when I admit to our parenting style. 

My daughter was a very advanced reader who started reading at a young age. This proved difficult in providing her with suitable reading material. The books in her age category weren't challenging enough so I had to begin to let her read above her level. I believe that if this is handled responsibly, it can be a good thing.

If you have an advanced reader, encourage them to continue reading, to progress ahead. Don't let them stagnate because you don't feel there are viable options for them. See where their interest takes them.

The one thing I found helpful was to always read the same books as she did. That way I would know the subject matter she was reading and we could discuss it in depth. It is a commitment of time on your part, but well worth the rewards!

The funny thing is with this lack of censorship came a whole new enlightenment: self-censorship. My daughter would look at a book, read the jacket, and say, "I don't think this one is appropriate for me." It followed suit with all aspects of her life. She was suddenly able to discern what was suitable and responsible for someone her age and what was not. This awareness, and degree of maturity, made parenting so much easier--not that I had any problem laying down the law when needed. However, 99% of the time we were able to keep an open dialog and she would listen with a keen mind as to why we would or would not allow something.

I truly attribute part of this personal growth to the freedom she had growing up and learning to censor herself. Again, I do not think or promote this for every child as every child is different. However, if your child is bored with their current reading level, encourage them to seek out more challenging books. Engage in those books with them. Together you will help build not only their literary accomplishments, but their maturity, and self-awareness as well.

Know your child. Know where they belong, and what they can and cannot handle, then allow them the freedom to responsibly explore...

Wishing you all a little adventure,

K. Lamb
Author of the Dani P. Mystery series - Like Us! or @danipmystery

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  1. This subject has always been a tough one to confront. Ideally, we want our children reading at their maturity level but sometimes, we don't always have that type of control. If a child/teen wishes to read a certain book, they will find some way to do so.
    BUT, with this being said, I love what you wrote about reading alongside them. If our children wish to read books we are unaware of, then I think it's best to do the research and see whether or not the title is appropriate. Some kids are too smart for their own good and wish to read books that surpass their age range. We can only do our best as parents and guardians by doing the research and engaging in conversations which center around the books they are reading.
    P.S. I'm commenting under my other alias because I do all of my blogging from this name.... as you already are aware of=)

    1. Twice I have tried to respond to your kind comment, and twice my response has been lost in the world of technology never to be seen again. Both were a long commentary, so now you get the short and sweet version!

      Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy schedule to read my blog and comment. I know how hectic life is for you right now so I appreciate your thoughts on the subject and you making time to keep up with my blog!

      Have a lovely day my sweet friend!