Do you restrict your kids’ reading?

The tote bag haul wasn't too shabby either.

The tote bag haul from BEA wasn’t too shabby either.

After my first ever visit to BEA  last week, I picked up the kids and announced that I had a lot of books for them. Cue applause. No really, there was actual applause. As soon as we got home, my daughter spread out all the books on the living room floor, counted them up, and announced, “You only got 16!” That was around 3:15pm. By 10pm when I called lights out, she had already finished two novels. NOVELS. And in between, she had to do homework, violin practice, have dinner, and shower. So she’s a reader. My son…well, he’s getting there.

So when my daughter asked to borrow my copy of The Fault In Our Stars, you’d think I just handed it over without a second thought. Nope. She’s 11, and I think that’s just not appropriate for her. “But some of my friends in class are reading it.” Still nope. And then I wondered if I was like one of those hey let’s ban all the books! kinds of parents, and if this is how it starts–by deciding that it’s not appropriate for my kid, and therefore not appropriate for any of them. I suggested she read the signed copy of Seeing Red that I procured from Kathy Erskine just for her. (Kathy even sent stickers.) The poor kid just looked disappointed, which is when I relented, but with one caveat. “If you read anything that you don’t understand and want to talk about it, you let me know,” I said. Her eyes went wide, but she walked away looking very pleased with herself.

The jury is still out on this one. I mean if she came and asked me to read Lolita, would I let her? Clearly I’m a wuss when it comes to my kids and books, so yeah, probably. Besides, I think that some of that stuff is going to go right over her head. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

7 thoughts on “Do you restrict your kids’ reading?

  1. rnewman504 says:

    Tracey, I do restrict if the subject matter is above my son’s level. And it’s hard b/c my son, a first grader is still not what I call a reader. He wanted to read Hunger Games b/c of all the hype and I, of course, said no. So, he preceded to take it out of the school library. (Does make you pause that no one stopped him, but I’ll save that for another rant. :)) Anyway, he read the first para, didn’t understand it, and that was pretty much the end of it. Great post!

  2. Tracey says:

    I should mention that since that conversation and my Very Serious Warning, she hasn’t picked up the book nor has she asked to read it again.

    Hunger Games is definitely too much for 1st grade. It’s so funny that he went out and got it himself 🙂 I was even surprised to hear kids in my daughter’s 6th grade class were reading it, though I’m not as concerned about her reading violence as I am about her reading about sex. But that’s based on her personality and what I think her reaction to both would be. I think bottom line is you just have to know your kid, and you absolutely have to know what they’re reading/watching.

    Thanks for commenting! (and yeah, auto correct is awful)

  3. mainelyhopeful says:

    I read Sybil, Rosemary’s Baby and Salem’s Lot when I was 11. Clearly someone wasn’t paying attention to what I was reading. Jury is still out on whether it warped me 😉

  4. Tracey says:

    I read a story about a year ago from another writer who read Lolita when she was 12, she says she didn’t get all the references because she was too young, and kept wondering what all the fuss was about. So maybe we only retail the things we can handle 🙂 You don’t SEEM warped 😀 😀

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