Pre-teen and censoring reading - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 43 Old 10-26-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
That doesn't make it right, though.

I was thoroughly traumatised by being forced to read Lord of the Flies in grade 7 or 8 before I was ready for it.
Me too! Anne Frank as well - in fact, I still struggle with WWII fiction although I occasionally read it.

I'm tough as nails IRL - I'm your gal in a crisis. But a lot of fiction or biography just guts me. It seems my DD is the inverse , and my son is certainly a sensitive soul.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#32 of 43 Old 10-26-2010, 03:29 PM
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I would first ask myself why the topic of rape bothers me more than the topic of murder. I would then ask myself what I'm trying to protect my daughter from. Personally, if I had girls I would want them to be well aware that rape exists.

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Dd knows that it exists, but I'm not sure that I want her reading about it in detail at her age. Obviously, both are disturbing, but sexual violence as women is a greater likelihood in our lives. Granted, we could all be murdered. I guess that I just see her as being more personally damaged by hearing specifics of rape. The murder wasn't covered in detail. You know she was murdered, but they didn't describe it.

Either way, the question remains in regard to censoring what she reads.
I usually read through threads before replying, but I have a ton of homework to do, so I haven't read the responses.

I was under the impression that you wanted opinions on whether you should censor what she reads. Because you said....

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What I am worried about her having read were the scenes that dealt with sex and especially the rape of the main character, who was 14, before her murder. Recognizing that dd and I have a close relationship, that she is a fairly "old soul" type of kid who is comfortable in her own skin, and that she tends to have friends who are 1-2 years older than herself due to where her bd falls and that she skipped a grade in school, would you censor her reading things like this? Simply discuss the content with her? Anything else?
Bolding my emphasis.

I'm not big on censorship. I am big on discussion and questioning our own fears and hangups as parents, which is why I responded the way I did.

I think most people avoid reading or watching things that bother them. I trust my kids to censor themselves, for the most part.

And no, I don't believe the book covered the murder in detail, but it does refer to blood, body parts and knives more than once, IIRC. It's pretty obvious that the main character was dismembered.
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#33 of 43 Old 10-26-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Me too! Anne Frank as well - in fact, I still struggle with WWII fiction although I occasionally read it.

I'm tough as nails IRL - I'm your gal in a crisis. But a lot of fiction or biography just guts me. It seems my DD is the inverse , and my son is certainly a sensitive soul.
I may have read your post incorrectly, but just to clarify...Diary of Anne Frank is non-fiction.
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#34 of 43 Old 10-26-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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I may have read your post incorrectly, but just to clarify...Diary of Anne Frank is non-fiction.
I know . I was typing fast. I meant I struggle with the WWII period generally, whether fictionalized accounts (what I'm more likely to read these days), non-fiction, biography or autobiography. I read Anne Frank when I was 7 and that was a mistake. It is probably what underlies my profound sensitivity to that particular period. I'm currently reading a great fiction book that takes place in the Vietnam War and I'm fine, but WWII gets me for some reason.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#35 of 43 Old 10-26-2010, 09:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
I know . I was typing fast. I meant I struggle with the WWII period generally, whether fictionalized accounts (what I'm more likely to read these days), non-fiction, biography or autobiography. I read Anne Frank when I was 7 and that was a mistake. It is probably what underlies my profound sensitivity to that particular period. I'm currently reading a great fiction book that takes place in the Vietnam War and I'm fine, but WWII gets me for some reason.
I know what you mean. I'm the same way.
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#36 of 43 Old 10-27-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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As with music and movies, we do not censor books in this house. We discuss them. I'm not forbidding anything like that because I think they'll read it anyway (I don't see/control them 24 hours a day),
We discuss too. And I don't forbid. But I don't have the attitude or experience for that matter that my kid will just do it anyway. I find that pretty sad and not a worthy reason at all. We have a lot of respect for each other, I inform her of things that she might want to take into consideration and then let her decide. But she trusts my opinion as I trust hers, but it's been moderated by maturity level and experience over the years. I know for a fact she has used me as an excuse for why she can't do or go somewhere when she was younger, and it was actually her decision. But I accepted the role of scapegoat willingly

They will do it anyway is just so defeatist.
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#37 of 43 Old 10-28-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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My dd1 is only 8.5, so she is younger than most of the kids we are discussing, but this issue is one we deal with all of the time. She is a very precocious and very fast reader. I have frequently dealt with being in the situation of questioning whether or not she should read a book, only to discover that she has already finished it. I make a big point of discussing things with her and reading some of her books. Thankfully, she is willing to take some guidance at this point, and she is pretty good at knowing what is too much for her. So far, so good.

We did have a funny exchange a couple of weeks ago. Dd1 was a huge Roald Dahl fan for a long time and has read all of his books many times. I was reading a book on his WWII spy career (The Irregulars) and she asked to borrow it. I said it was fine, but to be aware that is has both sex and violence. Her response? "Separately or together? 'Cause you know sex should never be mixed with violence!" It was all I could do to keep a straight face and agree with her.
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#38 of 43 Old 11-21-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Another mom who discusses instead of forbids.

 

My 11yo is drawn to books with strong female characters. Two of her recent faves are The Deed of Paksenarrion and Clan of the Cave Bear. Both have explicit rape scenes, and one also has brutal torture and (essentially) Satan-worshippers. In both cases, the female protagonists rise above the abuse and become stronger for it. I have had some amazing discussions with my daughter about both of these books and I am so glad she read them.


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#39 of 43 Old 11-23-2010, 07:16 AM
 
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i don't have a reader yet, but the two specific times my parents outright censored my reading (that i really recall) it just made me obsessed with getting my hands on it. the first book i still don't understand why my dad felt like he had to forbid it... i was maybe 8, and he found me reading the first page of the Deptford trilogy by Robertson Davies, took it out of my hands and said i wasn't allowed. of course, i snuck back into his office at every opportunity to find out just what was so bad about it! the thing was, the books were pretty much beyond my reading capabilities and i would have given up on my own in a couple pages anyway if he'd just left me, and i still don't know what he thought was so offensive about the book. it is pretty much required reading for most middle-school kids in canada.

 

the other one was a book of slightly inappropriate poetry written for adults by one of my all-time favourite children's authors, Roald Dahl. this one i understand my mom taking away from me when we got home from the library and she realized what it was about, since i was maybe 6. but again, just forbidding without explaining why or discussing it in any way just made me desperate to get my hands on it... when i finally did get a chance to crack it open, i remember thinking how boring and weird it was! i think i got through one slightly racy poem about grown-ups playing hide and seek (yikes.gif... haha, finally get what THAT one was about) and went to read something more interesting.

 

anyway, i guess my point it that you can forbid and censor (and certainly, sometimes it is appropriate to do so) but you can't guarantee that your kids won't read it anyway. and if you've forbidden without a detailed explanation of why, you are peaking curiosity and simultaneously cutting off discussion, because first your kid will have to admit they disobeyed you. 9 times out of 10, what is truly inappropriate is also beyond their interest or comprehension anyway... i was a very skilled and avid reader but i can only think of a few times where i read something that really disturbed me before i was ready to handle it... a couple of those times i was an adult reading whatever i wanted, and a couple were as a kid reading something "appropriate" that just bothered me for some reason.

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#40 of 43 Old 11-23-2010, 07:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by littleteapot View Post

I wouldn't censor, either. If you think it might bother her, or is too much, maybe try bringing it up with her in a "non authoritarian" way... like, "I read that book and I was really bothered by the rape of the main character. It made me really uncomfortable!"... and see what she says. She may agree, prompting a conversation about it. She may not agree, and say that she was able to separate herself from fiction. Either way, she's learning more about what her personal boundaries are.
 

I agree with this approach. My parents never censored what I read but they often did make it clear that they were open to discussing it and sometimes initiated the conversation about it.

 

My parent's favorite books to discuss were anything that someone was trying to ban from a library. They really wanted my take on weather or not I thought it was appropriate for my age group or not.
 


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#41 of 43 Old 11-23-2010, 07:32 AM
 
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My parent's favorite books to discuss were anything that someone was trying to ban from a library. They really wanted my take on weather or not I thought it was appropriate for my age group or not.
 


 

lol.gif   Nothing is more guaranteed to make me get a children's book and offering it to my own children than finding out someone has challenged it.  My dc often decline to read whatever it is, because it doesn't capture their interest (or they don't want a prolonged discussion with me about whether it should be banned, whether it's appropriate, whether the issues are dealt with fairly....... rolleyes.gif  )

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#42 of 43 Old 11-23-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

 

My parent's favorite books to discuss were anything that someone was trying to ban from a library. They really wanted my take on weather or not I thought it was appropriate for my age group or not.
 


 

lol.gif   Nothing is more guaranteed to make me get a children's book and offering it to my own children than finding out someone has challenged it.  My dc often decline to read whatever it is, because it doesn't capture their interest (or they don't want a prolonged discussion with me about whether it should be banned, whether it's appropriate, whether the issues are dealt with fairly....... rolleyes.gif  )


Yep. That pretty much summed up my parents take on the books. Us kids attitude about it as well. My parents were usually fairly disappointed when we weren't interested in a book that was a topic of controversy too. Occasionally it was a book we had read and the conversions really were about our take on the issue.


Mom to DS 4/24/03 and DD 4/17/06
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#43 of 43 Old 11-27-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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I would never censor outright. It wouldn't really accomplish anything IMO. I would, as many other posters have said above, openly and honestly discuss any concerns I had with the material. "Just so you know, that story has some pretty intense stuff in it about murder and rape. I don't have objections to you reading it really, but I wanted to touch on that with you just so you wouldn't be shocked or overwhelmed by it. Do you think it will bother you a lot or no?"  Something like that...  Also just letting her know that you're there to be a sounding board for any part of the book(s) she wants to process.  I think it can actually be a great way to share your thoughts on weighty subject matter in a semi causal way. :)

 

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"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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