October 31, 2003

The agenda of books... I am surprised that I can still be amazed at the agenda's pushed in children's books, but I can be. We stopped at the library to pick up some books this afternoon and we came home with some surprises. I admit to being in a rush there and did not take the time to preread and screen our finds (I almost always do this) and just gave them a quick glance over. You would think I would then prescreen them tonight when we got home. Alas - my brain was off tonight and I just picked up the books and started reading - only to find myself surprised and editing as I read aloud.

Some might argue I am sheltering or shielding my children. I however think I am just not introducing them to concepts they are not old enough to understand or handle, nor do they need to face them yet. Lisa Whelchel expressed it well in her books "Creative Correction" (as I do not have the book here I am going to paraphrase) through a word picture she used. A young girl asks her father a tough question about a word she is too young to understand or need to face (I forget the example) and the father asks her to try lifting his suitcase which is heavy. Then he helps her and takes it from her and lifts it. He says there are some things you are too young to carry yet - let me carry them for you. That example really struck me and has stuck with me. Let's carry some of our children's burdens and let them face them when they need to - let them be kids a little longer.

Some may disagree with me and that is fine. Let your kids read whatever you deem appropriate and I'll let mine read what I feel they are ready for when they are ready for it. I'm not saying those books shouldn't be written - just that I find myself occasionally surprised at the subjects covered and the manner in which they are covered in innocent looking children's books. If you don't prescreen what your kids read or watch you may want to consider it - or you may find yourself faced with some real tough questions before your kids need to or can know the answers.

Just my .02,
tenn

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