Friday, August 5, 2011

Kids, Peer Pressure and Age Appropriate Books

This article appeared in the Huffington Post (written by Pamela Dodson, a teacher and children's librarian)
and was passed on to me by a colleague who well understands my frustrations, along with the frustrations of many parents, teachers, librarians... the world in general, when it comes to children and age appropriate books. It makes some very fine points and takes a very practical view of the dilemma. As we've all heard 'but everybody's reading it',  I thought I'd pass the link on to you, along with a couple of quotes.

"Today, parents of children in grades 3-5 complain of being harassed by their children to allow them to read books that were written for teens. Titles like Twilight, Hunger Games, and the later Harry Potter novels. These books were written for young adults who have the age and experiences to understand more mature themes and relationships and to process them accordingly. They were never intended for elementary school children."

"Most parents know very little about teen books and acquiesce to the constant whiny entreaties of their child, agreeing to let them read the book. Other parents feel these books are a bit too mature for their child, but think if "everyone is reading it," it must be OK. There are also parents who stand their ground, but the child may well borrow a friend's copy and read it in secret, or download it onto an electronic device. After all, giving in to peer pressure, and finding a way around parents to do it, is nothing new for kids."
And this quote, which provides an opportunity, not only to solve the reading dilemma, but creates a stronger parent/child bond.
"If your child is determined to read a "hot" title that deals with more mature themes, you might want to strike a bargain and read it together. You could share one book reading it together, or form a book club where you each have a copy and read a portion, then talk about it."
By actually sitting down and reading with your children, especially as they grow that bit older, it let's them know that you are still interested in what's going on in their lives, you are interested in them and you have time for them. (I suggest setting this down firmly before they become teenagers!)
And here's the link for the article....
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pamela-dodson/books-peer-pressure_b_909145.html?ir=Books

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