Stop! Don’t Read That!

     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.

stop-634941_1280 copy     “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 MondayTitus 2sdays, Mom 2 Mom, Mama  MomentsLife 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.

About Forever Joyful

I am a devoted wife, mother of three great kids and, most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ. I love long summer days, photography and stealing quiet moments for writing.
This entry was posted in Holiness, Literature. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Stop! Don’t Read That!

  1. Karla Cook says:

    Congratulations! You are the winner of the prize package for Sonlight’s June Blog Party! Please email me at kcook @ with your address and I’ll get your prize package out to you.


  2. Good for you Mom! You did the right thing for the right reasons. Your son will learn from that. Visiting from Harvest Lane Cottage. You left a comment on my Catching Faith Review. You made a good point about watching the movies so that they’ll make more.

    Do you know that you’re listed as a no reply blogger? When you comment on a blog, the comment goes to the writer’s email, but she cannot respond by email. If you’d like to change that, here’s a post about it.

    By changing your settings, you will probably get more responses to your comments.

    Have a wonderful day. I’m off to read more of your blog.

    Laura Lane
    Harvest Lane Cottage

    P.S. It might be different in WordPress. I had to log in using my Twitter account.


    • Thanks! Good post about avoiding being a no-reply blogger. I have used Blogger for a long time for another blog, and I just switched to WordPress for my new one. There’s a learning curve for me.


  3. Cathy says:

    This has happened to me many times while raising my kids. I would just tell them there is so many other greats books out there to discover, lets not dwell on this bad book. I’d also briefly talk about the bad book and tried to let them know, in a general way, what was bad about it. This really helped take their curiosity about it away, as well as got us talking about what God wants for us. It made them feel their opinion mattered, even if mom or dad got the last word. : ) My kids are all adults now and have chosen wisely some great books to read. They even borrow my books!

    Found you at the ‘Wise Woman’ link-up.


  4. Mommy A to Z says:

    We’re not at this stage, but I’ve banned certain TV shows because the characters are rude or disrespectful. Thanks for sharing this at the Manic Mondays blog hop!


  5. Carolyn says:

    Good for you. It’s so hard to know what will be appropriate, and impossible for us to preread everything! But what we read had a profound effect on us (especially as children). There are so many good books out there, hopefully he won’t be upset for long.


  6. MaryHill says:

    i agree. We have to guard our children. I think we as parents need to act and make sure our children are reading materials that reflect our belief system. I think he can find other titles. If you don’t mind telling me the series, as a former school librarian maybe I can make recommendations for other titles.

    Liked by 1 person

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