Do you ever monitor what your teenager reads? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 54 Old 10-10-2009, 10:05 AM
 
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We don't censor reading materials. We like to know what DD is reading, but it's all up to her what she reads.




Hehe... This is gonna bug me so I'll just say it.

You watch anime and read manga. The only time you read anime is if your watching original Japanese with subtitles.
No problem. He (as in Ds) would know that - but I don't, lol
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#32 of 54 Old 10-11-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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I can't think of a reason that I would ever restrict what they read.
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#33 of 54 Old 10-11-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Well, I'm the odd duck but don't mind being so. Yes, I decide what my kids can and can't read just like I decide when they are old enough to do anything else. I feel it's my job as their mother to protect them from things their younger eyes and minds shouldn't ingest.

However, that being said, our daughter (13) has no issues with how she is being raised and the morals & values we have in place so there hasn't been an issue with books. I have even helped her pick out books, only to find out there were things in it that were inappropriate. She always brings them to me with disgust and chooses not to continue reading them. None of my kids baulk at my help in finding them books. There are way too many good books out there, imho, to 'have' to let them read trash.

We actually have more issues with movies, than we have books! Because a movie can be 95% kid-friendly but it's that visual 5% that'll suck the young life right out of them...

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#34 of 54 Old 10-11-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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My parents never restricted what I read, and I'm grateful for it. I am also grateful that they DID restrict the movies I watched!

From approximately age 12+, I read EVERYTHING - "junky" middle reader series (Babysitter's Club, etc), Nancy Drew, Cosmo magazine, Wuthering Heights, Flowers in the Attic, picture books from yard sales, sex books I snuck from my parents' collection, teenybopper magazines, Stephen King's Cujo and Pet Sematary, special education textbooks, Ann Rule's true crime novels, ASL manuals, Mothering, American Baby magazine, the Mists of Avalon, occult books, Betty & Veronica comic books, my mom's cookbooks, B.F. Skinner books, and on and on. I needed that. I needed the complete freedom to read books that were below my level, too adult, weird, frivolous, mainstream, obscure, etc!
Sometimes I'd start to read something that I then discovered was wrong for me in some way - e.g. it was boring, or I didn't understand it and didn't want to keep trying to, or it freaked me out - so I'd just stop, no biggie.
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#35 of 54 Old 10-11-2009, 11:04 PM
 
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No restrictions here.
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#36 of 54 Old 10-12-2009, 11:43 AM
 
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No, no restrictions.

I have some idea about what my 14 year old is reading. She gets books from teachers, school and public libraries, and friends, though, so I don't always even see what she reads.

I know what my 11 year old is reading, because she mainly gets her books from the public library.

I would never restrict what they read. They are smart, inquisitive kids. I might discuss it if I see something that shocks me or that I think is inappropriate, but I'm not going to take it away and censor it. Even trashy books can make you think. I'd rather help provide her with a critical mind, to evaluate a story or book. A trashy novel can bring up some great social issues. A popular piece of Oprah-lit can be terribly written or edited. A so-called classic can really suck, no matter what your ancient English teacher says.

My oldest is reading the Odyssey (for school), Three Cups of Tea (for fun), and some trashy vampire novel (also for fun, and if I can find it in her pigsty of a room, I'm going to read it, too). And whatever else that might be in her locker at school.

My youngest is reading one of the Redwall books (for fun), a nonfiction book about space (for fun), and the Giver (for school).

We also still read aloud to the girls at night. They still like it, even though they are in middle school and high school. I like it, too!
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#37 of 54 Old 10-12-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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Lorijds, we read aloud too. Though not at night. The whole family gathers in the living room and we pass the book around so we all get to read and we all get read to.

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#38 of 54 Old 10-13-2009, 04:59 AM
 
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I monitor and advise, but don't censor. The closest to censoring I come is that I refuse to buy her total junk. If she wants to read Twilight or the like, she can be 2498th on the waiting list at the library, or spend her own money on it. Though, that's unlikely, because she read 2 random pages of it at the bookstore and said that she wanted to throw the book across the store (to quote her, "it's written badly, but mostly, Vampires DON'T SPARKLE!!!")

If a book makes me itch for a red pencil, I tell her so, and she usually chooses not to read it.

I also advise her if I think a book is too scary for her, as I know her threshhold. She has yet to not follow my advice, but I'm sure that's coming down the pike, and that's okay.

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#39 of 54 Old 10-13-2009, 05:29 AM
 
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How terribly ironic.
no kidding! good for your mom.

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#40 of 54 Old 10-13-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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It would be a full time job to monitor what my 14yo DD reads. She simply devours books.
I have, at time times, engaged in hand wringing over the trashy stuff she's read...obsession with manga, Gossip Girls, etc.
But she eventually drops one literary obsession for another. Her current one is Existentialism. She's currently reading The Brothers Karamozov in her free time, Mary Shelley's Fankenstein for school and David Sedaris and Vogue magazine just for fun.
With the heavy existential stuff, her dad and I engage her in conversations about it.
One thing we do is offer incentive for our kids to read personal development books. I pay them $5 for each one they read. It's opened them up to all types of ideas and perspectives they may not have otherwise been exposed to.
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#41 of 54 Old 10-13-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
I started sneaking my mom's slutty romance novels at around 16

I have no idea if she would have let me (probably would have) but no way was I going to ask her if she minded me borrowing her smut books! I hid them udner my bed (the same place she hid hers). I am sure she knew I was taking them, LOL.
Ha ha.
I found my mother's copy of The Joy of Sex and How To Be a Sensuous Woman when I was 11. My sister and I devoured them. A few years ago my daughter found my copies of Anias Nin and The Story of O. She and her best friend read them cover to cover in one night! I think that was the pint where I decided there was no way I could sensor my kids' reading without emptying our bookshelves.
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#42 of 54 Old 10-13-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AbigailGrace View Post
There are way too many good books out there, imho, to 'have' to let them read trash.

We actually have more issues with movies, than we have books! Because a movie can be 95% kid-friendly but it's that visual 5% that'll suck the young life right out of them...
I find that my dc have learned to be quite discerning and critical about what they read BECAUSE I haven't restricted their choices. They read all sorts of material, including excellent quality children's - and now adult - literature. They still read trashy books - for fun and to find out what their friends are reading. It hasn't stopped them from reading Jane Austen, George Orwell and Lewis Carroll, to name 3 authors my 13 y.o. DD has read in the past couple of months.

I agree about the problem with movies. I had no problem with DS reading A Clockwork Orange when he was 14. I have a much bigger issue with him seeing the movie - even now that he is 16.
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#43 of 54 Old 10-17-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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No, I don't censor what she reads. I would probably intervene if she started reading bodice rippers. And yeah a lot of what she is reading is quite disturbing stuff for AP English.

I know a lot of kids into anime and I would probably screen some of that with my teenage son.
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#44 of 54 Old 10-17-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AbigailGrace View Post

However, that being said, our daughter (13) has no issues with how she is being raised and the morals & values we have in place so there hasn't been an issue with books. I have even helped her pick out books, only to find out there were things in it that were inappropriate. She always brings them to me with disgust and chooses not to continue reading them. None of my kids baulk at my help in finding them books. There are way too many good books out there, imho, to 'have' to let them read trash.
I was thinking about your post today. How long, do you think, you will keep supervising their reading?

Also, I wonder how many books can one advise their child against without actually reading the book? Do you label the book as "trash" after reading it? before reading? or from judging by the cover? I ask this because DSD and I had pretty cool conversations on relationships after she read "those kinds" of books. So my question is, why is a book a "bad" book, if it promotes understanding of the concepts that I want my kid to think about, AND is fun for them?

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Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#45 of 54 Old 10-18-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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I was thinking about your post today. How long, do you think, you will keep supervising their reading?

Also, I wonder how many books can one advise their child against without actually reading the book? Do you label the book as "trash" after reading it? before reading? or from judging by the cover? I ask this because DSD and I had pretty cool conversations on relationships after she read "those kinds" of books. So my question is, why is a book a "bad" book, if it promotes understanding of the concepts that I want my kid to think about, AND is fun for them?
Yup. I was thinking the same thing.
For instance, we're Jewish. Recently, DD discovered the Bhagavad Gita. It sparked incredible dinner table conversations...both DH and I have read it. We've explored parallels, contrasts, unity in the two traditions.
Same with Gossip Girl books. I made myself read them when DD was immersed. We discussed the values (or lack thereof) that the characters displayed. We also explored the similarities between the GG characters and folks we know who actually live like that. We also explored how poor writing can still make someone a lucrative living. GG books are an excellent exploration of mediocrity and superficiality.
When DD found our "Sex" books (hidden in our bedroom closet)we had no choice but to begin the discussion of sacred sex. She was only in the 5th grade but we had to address those Chinese silk screens with over-sized and somewhat intimidating organs.
In short, keeping the literary world wide open to our voracious reader has been the only way to go.
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#46 of 54 Old 10-22-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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I'm 20, and grew up with no restrictions on what I read. I also LOVE the Alice series, and still read the new books as they come out. I remember reading "Are You There God, it's Me Margaret" when I was about 10, and a few of my friends weren't allowed to read it. While my mom had always been very open about periods, and there were never any hang-ups about it, it was nice for me to actually be able to immerse myself in the story of a girl getting her period, and when I got mine two years later I had gotten both the informative talks from mom and the "personal" story.

Same with trashy romance novels. I started reading them in early high school. I found that with reading all those dark, depressing novels for school, I wanted something with a guaranteed happy ending. It also helped me understand sexuality a little more without actually having to SEE it. Obviously the books are a little unrealistic, with candles and ten orgasms a day, but when you're 14 and only know the mechanics due to an abstinence only education, it's nice to be able to learn about it from non-embarrassing sources.

As a result, I can say pretty assuredly that I won't restrict what my future kids read. My sister and I have always read years ahead of schedule, and we read probably 2-3 books a week(sadly only one a week now as I'm in college). If I saw my child gravitating towards very violent books, I'd reconsider, but I've found that it's the forbidden fruit that most tempting.

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#47 of 54 Old 10-24-2009, 03:20 PM
 
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I totally am into reading what my kids read if they show a real interest in it, it's usually pretty good.
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#48 of 54 Old 10-25-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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No.
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#49 of 54 Old 10-26-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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I also discovered "the Joy of Sex" and "Kama Sutra" while babysitting at other people's houses.
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#50 of 54 Old 10-27-2009, 01:24 AM
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It would be a full time job to monitor what my 14yo DD reads. She simply devours books.
.
same with my dd.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#51 of 54 Old 10-27-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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My kids are such avid readers that I cannot keep up with all they read. I let them recommend books to me and enjoying connecting with them by talking about books they like, but I only read a fraction of what they read.

I wouldn't want to limit them to only books that I had time to read first or forbid books based on what someone else said about them. Plus, forbidding a book was a way to get me to read it when I was growing up, so I just don't see that working.

None the less, I am uncomfortable with a series that my 13 old likes (The House of Night) because it discusses oral sex. I still don't believe in censorship, but I find it uncomfortable.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#52 of 54 Old 10-27-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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Never censored. How would they learn to think for themselves? Another angle of it for us was the conviction that whatever we were trying to show them had to hold up no matter what they read or encountered, or it was worthless.

Our younger one is in HS and taking an English course that included an essay about whether the students' reading / watching / computing had been monitored or restricted by parents. I believe there was a component asking for their opinions of the decision, and I so wish to be a fly on the teacher's wall to see what the students think of all this!

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989), DS2 (1992), an underachieving Bernese Mountain Dog (2006-2014), and an overachieving mother (1930).  Married to DH since 1986.
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#53 of 54 Old 10-28-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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I never had the books I read censored by my parents and don't plan on doing it to DS either, when we get to that point. I was reading adult books by the time I was 11 or 12. I read so much I don't think there was any way for them to even keep up with what I was reading.

If DS started reading books I didn't feel comfortable with, I would much rather discuss it with him than ban it... I think banning books just make them more desirable to read!

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#54 of 54 Old 11-02-2009, 03:32 PM
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My dd is only 9, but in general I have an open library policy. I read fast too, though, so if something looks "adultish" I will read it first. So far, I haven't forbidden anything. I make sure I am available to discuss what she reads and sometimes I will bring up things that I know she has read and we talk about it. My dh has a hard time with the open library concept, but I really believe that if it is over their head, it isn't that interesting (unless forbidden). So far, the books that I really didn't think she would be truly ready for, she has put them down saying that they are boring.

My parents never forbid me growing up, but I still had a feeling of needing to keep things secret--like "if they ever found out. . . " type of thinking. But I read a lot and my parents didn't. Once, I did give my mom a book to read and afterwards she was in shock that I had been reading "that stuff" and she didn't know. But, she was smart enough to know that she wouldn't be able to prevent me from reading stuff. By then, I was in 8th or 9th grade. I think she was happy that my best friends mom read everything too, and knew that there was an adult (actually a few) that I regularly book chatted with.

Amy

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