Saturday, June 9, 2012

Monitor What My Kids Are Reading? Nah.

The other day I was having a conversation with Hubby, aka Uber Nerd.  *Note that I said coversation and not debate*  We were in total agreement on the subject.  We were just blabbing around about how our oldest is just beginning to read and how cool it's going to be when we can share some of our favorite books with all three of the kids.

Even though we've had this conversation countless times (remember, nerds) we were talking about how we think our parents raised us in an environment that made it really easy to love reading.  We have two things in common on that front.  We learned to read early and were never restricted on the materials we could read (aside from straight up Romance or something).

I started off in the MG/YA of my time which was pretty dinosauric when I think back.  After that portion of the library had been exhausted I just read the authors my parents were reading.  Dean Koontz, Robin Cook, Peter Benchley, John Grisham, Stephen name a few.  Keep in mind, I was probably 10 or so when I started reading these.  My parents did say that if it had anything inappropriate they didn't want me to read it, but I was allowed to self-monitor.  I did a pretty good job most of the time :)  I do remember reading Stephen King's Pet Sematary when I was 12ish. It was effing scary and had the first erotic scene I've read.  It involved a bubble bath and a rubber cleaning glove *yig* that I remember almost 16 years later.

Do I think a twelve year old should be reading Stephen King.  My knee-jerk answer is "H to the No".  But looking back I was mature enough to stop reading when I felt uncomfortable.  I stopped reading at that scene and didn't finish the book until years later.

Reading those adult books created a spark that ignited my mind and still burns to this day.  I am a ravenous book consumer and I love to write as well.  I give alot of the credit for that to my parents.  I feel I would be doing my own kids a great disservice if I used the modern day, micro-managing parental mindset and didn't let them open their imaginations and let their own creativity blossom .

If my kids can read and comprehend adult books and they are interested in reading them, I say "Go for it!".  Within reason of course :)

What do you think?  Were you given free reign at the library as a child?  What will/do you do with your own kids?


Vegan YA Nerds said...

I definitely agree, I was reading a mixture of teen books and adult books as a child/teen and I definitely knew what I liked and if I didn't like it, I stopped reading.

Jackie's Little World said...

There is such a vast difference in MG/YA today compared to when I was in that actual age range. There are so many amazing YA books to choose from they may never feel the need to move on to Adult books :)

Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

I totally agree! I get all worked up when parents get worked up because a book (even YA) has anything sensual or controversial in it. Even some of the books I read in our dinosauric children and YA section had some stuff in there that could be considered "risque." And I loved cutting my reading teeth on Mary Higgins Clark and Dean Koontz and whatever else. For some reason I still have never read a Stephen King book, although I did end up reading some weird books in Grandma's closet that I'm pretty sure she had no idea I was reading... But it comes down to the fact that censorship is stupid. Encountering ideas in books is the safest way to encounter them, and if a parent isn't all prudish about it, it can lead to some interesting and important conversations.

Jackie's Little World said...

Jess, I love that point you made in your last sentence! It really is the safest way to encounter ideas and if parents are doing their job then it really should lead to some interesting conversations. Granted, not all parents like to read...but they should or they're dumb...kidding, kidding :)

HA! I remember finding a few questionable books in her closet too :D