height=  height=  height=

when dialogue is key

image from Ginger at GReads!

you guys, this is my fave meme. and it's not just because i think Ginger is amazing or because tons of bloggers are linking up each week or because the image is so cute. it's not even because i love the word meme (which i pronounce may-may in my head). it's because some seriously rad questions are asked and everyone provides some insightful and funny responses. yeah, it's pretty cool.

this week the lovely Ginger asks:

Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

this is a tough one. and timely too, as it IS banned books week and all!


but then, if i take .5 seconds to absorb the question, i realize that not all ages are ready for all reading materials. and that's where censorship comes in and that's where things get hairy.

do i think Harry Potter is going to turn children into witches? no. 
do i think video games are going to make children violent? no.
do i think reading about paranormal romance is dark and sends an anti-feminist message? no. well, sometimes, but mostly no.

for me this always comes back to the parents. parents should know what their children are reading. and more importantly, they should be encouraging their children to read all the time! for example, one of my coworkers sets a timer every night for her daughter to read for 20 minutes. her daughter dreads this, but the coworker makes her do it anyway. last month, she found a book she absolutely ADORRRED. pretty cool, right?

but wait. there's more. 

the daughter went to the library to get another book by that author and was thrilled to start reading it. but then it was talking about 'drinking' and 'virginity' and the daughter was disgusted! things like that are GROSS and she wants no part of it. 

and then, the best thing ever happened - the daughter told her mom (my coworker) about it and how she did NOT want to read it. mom said "okay", and they found a new book.  let's go over that again. the daughter TALKED TO HER MOM about her book. in this case, the reader made the decision about what's appropriate and what isn't - which i think is largely due to solid parenting.  the mom thought she was ready for the book and the daughter didn't. they are both more aware of the reading comfort level and the communication between the two of them is open. i love it and i hold it as an excellent example. 

as far as part two of the question, i don't think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to. if a school board deems something as not okay for my kid to read, but i deem it okay, we'll just read it at home. i realize there is a whole can of worms inside of the 'the system telling us what to read' idea, and that's a larger problem than i'm willing to tackle today (or ever, probably.)

ultimately, i think it comes down to dialogue between the parents and children. 

but what about you? what are your thoughts? let me know in the comments and be sure to link it up over at GReads! and don't forget to celebrate banned books week!

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I agree completely.. The main problem here is not talking with your kids.

    and as a fellow gamer, glad you mentioned the video games. That's another thing that gets my blood boiling.. parents blaming games.. and music... tv.. Grrr.

  2. I completely agree with this 100%! Communication is key. TALK TO YOUR KIDS. How else will you ever know if a book is age appropriate or not?! And shouldn't the PARENTS know their child best? Btw, love your co-worker for pushing books on her daughter ;-)

  3. my children are incredibly awesome. they are pretty much self-discerning, and what i mean by that is like the kid in your example, they pretty much know what is appropriate and what is not. if it is a book, tv show, movie, or game that they feel icky or conviction over...they RUN to me or mike and let us know about it and...GASP...we talk about it. i take mothering seriously, and i consider that kinda sorta, well, mothering, ya know?

    not quite two weeks ago, my children were told that they shouldn't read harry potter books because wizards are from hell and the books are satanic. which was an issue here because harry potter and the awesomeness that surrounds the harry potter world is used in the classroom of my girls, because they are the teacher's favorite books ever. so i had to go meet with the teacher because my girls were confused about why something "bad" was being 1) taught in the classroom and 2) PROMOTED AT HOME BY ME. (don't worry, this issue is FIXED.)

    take a deep breath, asheley....okay, i'm okay.

    i simply don't need anyone to intervene on behalf of my children as far as their reading is concerned. that is what i am here for. i read what they read, and it is awesome fun. if parents would ALLOW themselves to do the same, they might would find ways to connect with their kids and know their kids better. i think it is totally cool if a parent needs to set limits on their own children for what is appropriate, but that right ends where their walls end. i can handle that at my own home and it tramples on my right when books are kept from me/my kids.

    sidenote: on the way home from school today, 5 year old jack told me he wanted to read his captain underpants books again this afternoon because it is almost the end of banned book week. banned book week has been a huge hit at the Tart house. we have celebrated it, and therefore the books, muchly.


  4. When my children were young I tried to read what they were reading just so we could talk about it together. I wasn't always successful at reading everything, but that way we opened up a dialogue which I really treasured.


Hey you! What do you have to say?