I was horrified when I saw what my son was reading! Want to know what I did? I shoved the book back into the library bag.
“Don’t read that.” It’s one phrase I dread saying. I don’t derive any pleasure from censoring my children’s reading interests or creating family “banned book lists” but…
I am the parent. God has entrusted me with the job of training my children. I am aware of God’s standards for holiness. My children are still learning them. If I don’t teach them, who will?
My oldest son devours books. The older he gets, the harder it is to keep up with everything he reads. A few weeks ago he brought home a book from the library out of a new series he’d excitedly discovered. The title was eyebrow-raising but, per the publisher, the book was targeted at his age group so I didn’t say anything. I was busy. I told myself I didn’t have time to comb through his literature.
He brought more books home from the same series. I noticed one cover mentioned vampires. I flipped through it and decided it wasn’t a plot focus – not really vampire lit. I asked him if the books were appropriate. He said that he thought so.
I went along with it. Big mistake! Let’s be clear. I generally trust my son. He has shown himself to be a truthful boy. However, as a child he lacks mature discretion about selecting literature. He has not fully learned to apply my Philippians 4:8 standard or evaluate his books based on the ten characteristics I look for in children’s literature.
Finally, I picked up a novel and started reading. Red flags fired off during the first paragraph. The characters were rude, used strong language (words like hate, not expletives), reveled in the crass, and did not share my values.
“Honey,” I said. “We’re gonna put that stack of books back in the library bag. We’re returning them. You’re not reading another one.”
Was he disappointed? Yes, but the experience has provided a great training opportunity. We talked about how the characters were acting and what they were saying. I realized in his childish immaturity, he didn’t really understand just how disrespectful some of the language was.
I steered him toward another book I took the time to pre-screen. He’s reading it happily and asking for more by the same author.
Was banning the book trouble? Yes. It would have been easier for me to sit back and say nothing, but that’s not what God has called me to do. He’s called me to raise my children in holiness.
What about you? Has banning some form of literature ever provided a valuable learning experience for your child? Please share positive outcomes in the comments.
I may link up this post at Literacy Musing Monday, Titus 2sdays, Mom 2 Mom, Mama Moments, Life of Faith Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up, Raising Homemakers, Missional Women, Wise Woman, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, Works for me Wednesdays, Mom’s Library, The Mommy Club, Cozy Reading Spot, and Grace and Truth.