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S/O Why do parents regulate what their kids take out of the library? Do you? - Page 2

post #21 of 124

DSS was 8 and struggling to get over his mental block of reading a chapter book.  You know that block that says, "WOW THAT BOOK LOOKS TOO BIG!!"  So rather than choosing to read it, which he was more than capable of, he would grab little golden books and Dr. Suess.  Now, I had no trouble with him reading for pleasure, but I DID have trouble with him limiting himself to small children's books out of fear.  So yes, I did push him and require him to pick out chapter books which, once I got him to start reading them, I couldn't get him to slow down.

 

DS is 9 now.  At 5 he was reading reference books, we had a limited supply of the type of book he wanted.  So we would go to the library.  Problem was, he was obsessed with dinosaurs, he has been since before he was a year old.  He would ONLY pick reference books about dinosaurs.  So once again, when he got to be about 7 and had read these books through and refused to read anything that wasn't based on dinosaurs I DID force him to pick out a fiction book.  Once he read one, he loved the series and now he is such an avid reader that I have trouble keeping enough books around for him to read.

 

DD is 7 and isn't reading well.  She has trouble with it.  She will pick out only books with pretty pretty pictures of princesses and ponies and then demand that they be read to her.  Well, why am I going to read her a book full of facts and information about ponies if she isn't willing to at least attempt to read a book that is at her level?  So yes, I demand that she picks out at least one book for HER to read.  THEN I will allow her to pick out a book for me to read to her. 

 

 

Every family situation is different and you never know what their reasons are for making those decisions.  You may not agree with them, just as you may not agree with my reasons, but they are reasons, and well thought out reasons that I contemplated for a long time before implementing.  Now, for dss who is 13 and ds who is 9, I let them go get whatever they want.  For dd, we are still working on it.  But, once they get past whatever trouble spot they are in, I no longer feel the need to control that area.  Dss's issue lasted for about 2 months.  Ds's issue, once I decided to deal with it, lasted about 2 weeks.  DD has been having this issue for about a year now.  Each one is different.  I am actually hoping that with ds who is 4, won't have any issues and I won't have to control that issue at all.

post #22 of 124

 

DS is only 2, but in the future I can see having him choose more appropriate reading material if it's for school or something like that. I also agree with censoring certain books if you know your child is not ready for those concepts yet. 

post #23 of 124

 

Quote: And as for the trashier stuff, I'm pretty well-read and enjoy many types of books, including sometimes the trashier bits, lol. I was a *huge* Babysitter's Club fan, and I would read one of those books along with something like Gone With the Wind.
 

'Cause Gone with the Wind isn't trashy? winky.gif I went through a huge GWTW phase in my teens as well, but I'd hardly call it a proof that my taste had survived Sweet Valley Twins intact. It's a total sex-obsessed melodramatic soap opera, never mind the racism (I reread it recently and was all "What, Ashley was in the KKK? How did I miss that?").

 

I read plenty of "lite" books in my youth as well, and I don't think it impaired my ability to read better books; but I'm also not sure that that's the point. I watched a lot of junk TV too, and while it didn't stop me watching arty foreign films at Uni, it did mean I'd wasted a chunk of my childhood watching junk TV. The question isn't necessarily whether trashy books will doom kids to having poor taste, but whether or not it will fill their minds with harmful/sexist/materialistic/gossipy/trite/ethnocentric/lookist junk, affect their behavior, attitudes or values, become addictive, be a good use of their time, and so on. And that probably depends on the child as much as the book.

 

That probably sounds like I'm a lot stricter than I am... In general, a lot of those evils can probably be mitigated by talking about the book with the child - which is what I plan to do with Gone with the Wind!

post #24 of 124

I kind of do what you're talking about, but I'm not forceful about it. I tell him a book is easy for him and he'll be through it in an hour, and we only check out five books at a time and go to the library once a week. So, really, I encourage him to pick longer, more challenging books, because otherwise he'll be done in no time and complaining that he needs more books. We *could* go to the library more often, but I try and limit the number of errands and trips out of the house we take to save gas and money. 

 

I don't think what I'm doing is wrong. He's smart, and I don't think he would continue to learn and develop as a reader if he's never being challenged by what he reads. 

 

I don't let him borrow comic books for the same reason, but I have also gotten flak for that. 

post #25 of 124

Wait, people stop their kids getting too easy books?? Way to make it clear that reading is hard work that you never do just for fun. There's a reason libraries don't limit what you can get credit for in summer reading clubs--they know that reading more books results in more reading.

 

 

I've stopped my dd getting certain books, but it was when she was likely to tear books that weren't board books.

post #26 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post

I kind of do what you're talking about, but I'm not forceful about it. I tell him a book is easy for him and he'll be through it in an hour, and we only check out five books at a time and go to the library once a week. So, really, I encourage him to pick longer, more challenging books, because otherwise he'll be done in no time and complaining that he needs more books. We *could* go to the library more often, but I try and limit the number of errands and trips out of the house we take to save gas and money. 

 

I don't think what I'm doing is wrong. He's smart, and I don't think he would continue to learn and develop as a reader if he's never being challenged by what he reads. 

 

I don't let him borrow comic books for the same reason, but I have also gotten flak for that. 


But that has to do with other limitations than level/ability.

 

Mind you, if you have a regular problem, and he gets an allowance or has another way to earn money, it might be time to figure out a way for him to have the choice to get more books that he is totally responsible for.

post #27 of 124

Sapphire, my 7 yo loves to read. Loves it. And yet he heads immediately to the easier series books that he can finish in 15 minutes. They are written to engage children. In my opinion, marketed to them much the way products are on TV. The illustrations and how they're written. I do not stop him from reading them, but I highly encourage him to pick out non series books, or to try new series. Or I'll pick out some for him. And yeah, he's in second grade reading at a 5th grade level, and reading things that were easy for him in 1st grade still. I've had the most success with reading him a chapter or two of a book, then he'll want to keep reading it on his own. He was reluctant to try out encyclopedia brown until I started reading it to him, now he goes and picks out several of them on his own. 

post #28 of 124

I encourage my dd to go for things at her level rather than way below it (mostly discouraging leveled readers), but I don't refuse to let her get something her heart is set on, and if it is a book I know she likes returning to again and again because it is hilarious I don't say anything about it.  I think the picture books are really great, they are engaging and they cover many reading levels (some go up to 6th grade level) so I don't limit or discourage those at all.  I remember being so sad when I moved to a level where the chapter books stopped having pictures.

post #29 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post




But that has to do with other limitations than level/ability.

 

Mind you, if you have a regular problem, and he gets an allowance or has another way to earn money, it might be time to figure out a way for him to have the choice to get more books that he is totally responsible for.



He has a little brother that gets simpler books, and he reads his. We also have a lot of books at home that he has free access to read whenever and however he wants. I am talking only about the five books he gets at the public library. He also gets two books a week from his school's library. 

post #30 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petie1104 View Post

DSS was 8 and struggling to get over his mental block of reading a chapter book.  You know that block that says, "WOW THAT BOOK LOOKS TOO BIG!!"  So rather than choosing to read it, which he was more than capable of, he would grab little golden books and Dr. Suess.  Now, I had no trouble with him reading for pleasure, but I DID have trouble with him limiting himself to small children's books out of fear.  So yes, I did push him and require him to pick out chapter books which, once I got him to start reading them, I couldn't get him to slow down.

 

DS is 9 now.  At 5 he was reading reference books, we had a limited supply of the type of book he wanted.  So we would go to the library.  Problem was, he was obsessed with dinosaurs, he has been since before he was a year old.  He would ONLY pick reference books about dinosaurs.  So once again, when he got to be about 7 and had read these books through and refused to read anything that wasn't based on dinosaurs I DID force him to pick out a fiction book.  Once he read one, he loved the series and now he is such an avid reader that I have trouble keeping enough books around for him to read.

 

DD is 7 and isn't reading well.  She has trouble with it.  She will pick out only books with pretty pretty pictures of princesses and ponies and then demand that they be read to her.  Well, why am I going to read her a book full of facts and information about ponies if she isn't willing to at least attempt to read a book that is at her level?  So yes, I demand that she picks out at least one book for HER to read.  THEN I will allow her to pick out a book for me to read to her. 

 

 

Every family situation is different and you never know what their reasons are for making those decisions.  You may not agree with them, just as you may not agree with my reasons, but they are reasons, and well thought out reasons that I contemplated for a long time before implementing.  Now, for dss who is 13 and ds who is 9, I let them go get whatever they want.  For dd, we are still working on it.  But, once they get past whatever trouble spot they are in, I no longer feel the need to control that area.  Dss's issue lasted for about 2 months.  Ds's issue, once I decided to deal with it, lasted about 2 weeks.  DD has been having this issue for about a year now.  Each one is different.  I am actually hoping that with ds who is 4, won't have any issues and I won't have to control that issue at all.


Eh, but in your example, you still let them get the book they wanted, they just needed to get other books too.

post #31 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooshersmama View Post

Why does it have to be a right vs. wrong thing?  Families are different.  Maybe they are working with their kids on reading skills/comprehension.  Maybe the kids have checked out those types of books in the past and never ended up reading them because they were too simple.  Maybe they have those books or similar ones at home. 


Could be, but that brings up a whole new question. Why wouldn't they tell their kids that instead of getting into a fight about books being "too easy" and "like candy"? Why not say "remember that book you checked out last week and thought it was boring? Those are the same type." Or "sweetie, we own that one, it's on your book case".

 

And keeping a kid from checking out a book because they have a similar one at home is a ridiculous idea. Unless similar is "different edition"? Even then it could be valid to get it if there are different pictures or if say it's a different translation.

post #32 of 124


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I have one kid that was a very gifted reader very early, (think 5 years old and reading adult level books). The only things I ever pulled off her stack were erotica. Apparently, some of them have pretty covers. Once my kids were ten or so, I let them read whatever they wished.



I can get erotica at the library???



Depends on what you consider erotica. Most public libraries I've used during my life have racks of paperback series romance (Harlequin and etc) somewhere in the library. A lot of the time, they're out front of the fiction area, since they are things like spinning racks rather than shelves. I always thought they were kind of dumb but I remember friends of mine going through those like popcorn at 12, 13 years of age.

 

They also seem to sell them off a lot on the "getting to end of life" shelves. That always annoyed me, that 90% of the 10 cent books were series romance.

post #33 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
 if she shows a preference for Sweet Valley High, I might well limit or forbid them, because I think they're vapid tripe. Censorship? Yes, I suppose, but I think part of my job as a parent is to encourage her to develop good taste. There are plenty of pleasurable, light, "fluffy" books that are actually well-written and aren't all about boys, lipstick, high school drama and queen bees. (Just like there's plenty of delicious food that isn't full of HFCS and artificial blue dye...) I'm a huge reader, have an English degree and have hundreds of books around the house, and go to the library frequently. So I don't think she'll grow up deprived of books. And hey, once she's 21 if she has an unmet need to read all the Mary-Kate and Ashley books, she can go nuts... so it's hardly a permanent deprivation.


ITA.  I like my 9 year old check out crap (like Hannah Montana "books") occasionally, but generally I don't.  I don't care if it's not right at her reading level, but I do care if it's total mindless crap.

post #34 of 124

 

I limit the amount he gets out since he is disorganized and often misplaces his library books. He has a library bag with an attached wallet for his library card. Each Saturday the idea is to grab the bag and go but with out fail he is searching high and low for a missing book. irked.gif So now we limit to 3-4 books.

 

As far as censorship goes it is not really an issue now. Like me, he gets hooked on a series and likes to read them in jags.  Right now he is making his was thru the Goose Bumps series and is on the last of the Hardy Boys. In que is the Wizard of Oz series. He doesn't spend much time away from the children/young adult section.  I can't imagine there are many books that would give me pause enough to "ban". I sure we would be able to talk about it.

post #35 of 124

I've had this discussion with my son. It's about wanting him to have a bit more balance in his reading. It also has to do with a crisis of confidence we are working through. He doesn't realize exactly how much he can read and often rejects a book because it looks to hard then really really enjoys it once he starts it. That doesn't mean there can't be a lot of easy level books in between reading the occasional book closer to his reading level, but I'd like to see him explore a bit more literature open to him. He does need help picking out the books that are closer to his reading level because he is sensitive so that also discourages him a bit from the harder books. But I do think it's good for him to discover that he can read and enjoy something a bit more difficult. I'm not even asking him to read something hard for him, just harder than what he picked. Basically my 7 year old reads at a 7th grade level, he's in 3rd grade and picks lots of book at the 2nd grade reading level. That is fine. He can pick all of those he wants to take home and read. But I'd like to see at least one book more in the 4th, 5th grade reading level.

post #36 of 124
I have a six year old, and twins almost four. My six year old is a fluent reader; the twins know the ABCs and like to be read to, or to "pretend" to read. The only restrictions I place on their reading is that I can only get 50 books at a time on my card, and there MUST be some slots left for me to take out my own books. So when DD2 presents me with a stack of 32 Berenstein Bears books, I make her put a few back, sure. But otherwise I don't restrict. My six year old will take out 400 page novels, and board books, on the same day, and I think that's fine. And the twins, who can't read at all, will still bring home big fat chapter books, that they will sit and happily page through, pretending they're "big" and reading "big people" books. I think that's awesome-- I want them to imitate the reading habit.

One thing I do do is to make suggestions-- I'll go, and bring home a stack of books I think might be just right for them at this time. Then I leave them around the house and let them discover the ones they're interested in. Otherwise, I don't get very involved in their reading choices, other than to be available to read out loud or to answer questions.

I haven't let DD1 get her own card yet. Between my 50 books, and DH's 50 books, there's enough for me to keep track of. Another 50 books is just too much. And when she loses books, which has happened twice, I require her to help scrape up the money to pay for them.

I think I'd feel differently if I was actually buying the books. Then I'd try and steer them toward more appropriate choices, books I know they'd get a lot of time out of, and that would be satisfying to reread. I don't have much money anymore to spend buying books, so when I do, it has to be a pretty special choice. But at the library-- next week we just bring them back and get more, so what's the big deal if a few are dramatically inappropriate?

As far as content-- I think if DD1 wanted to read things I thought were not so right for her, I might make some gentle suggestions towards better things. I might suggest to her that she allow me to read the book too, so that we can talk about it if we need to. But I don't think I'd outright forbid anything. Nobody ever censored my reading-- and I read some pretty sketchy stuff as a child-- and none of it did me any harm. It certainly exposed me to some things I wouldn't have encountered otherwise-- but it all fit into a balanced exposure to lots of other influences, and I turned out fine.
post #37 of 124

You have never had an 11-12 year old try to check out Ann Rice or Richelle Meads Succubus Blues. LOL

 

I have with this child do 1 for 1 match. 1 Vampire book (easy reads for her) for something more challenge. I have only done this when she is lacking balance. Just like I would suggest eating something nutritious along with the junk. Everything in moderation.

 

Also, sometimes suggesting books is like encouraging your child to try that nutritious dish.  

 

post #38 of 124

I work in a library.  I think it's great when parents help children with their book choices.  It's also fun when they ask our help with their book selections.  Just like with eating, if you eat the same thing over and over again, and never try anything that might challenge your taste buds, you'll never know if you like it or not.  Kids can't know what all is available and if a child is reading at a 5th grade level, but is still reading the Rainbow Fairies for the 4th or 14th time, then I think it's wonderful of parents to gently guide their children to other literary prospects. 

 

My dd is in 3rd grade and she never would have picked up A Wind in the Door (Madeline L'Engle) if I hadn't pointed it out to her.  She loved that series (as did I at her age) but, as I said, wouldn't have picked it up because it has a plain cover and isn't all sparkly.  She gravitates to the books that have pretty covers.  There's a reason that there's the famous saying about books and covers.  And with guidance she has broadened her literary horizons beyond even what I anticipated.  She reads way beyond her grade level in English, but she does read some easier stuff occasionally.  I will say that she is trilingual, so she reads *at* level in one of the languages and tends to like easier books in that one language.  I never force her to read a particular level.  She gets a great variety, but also great guidance from us and from the gals I work with.

 

I think series are great to teach continuity and repeating themes, but a kid is not likely to branch out on their own without some guidance.  That's what librarians (and parents) are for.  I don't see anything wrong with making suggestions.

post #39 of 124

A lot depends on how far below reading level we're talking. A 10yo wanting to check out, say, Goodnight Moon? I would discourage that. (unless there was a specific reason for it) My son was reading Homer at 10, but I'd have had no problem with his reading, say, Hardy Boys or something on that level.

post #40 of 124

I don't see anything wrong with suggestions, either. But I can't imagine forbidding a book because it's too easy. Unless the books are being picked for specific reasons. But for pleasure? I dunno. I can respect other parents for wanting to do what they feel is best, though.

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