Diary Adventures of LagosMums: DALM | What are our Children reading
What are your children reading? My husband and I are very big on minimizing screen time and encouraging the children to do other things. Especially now on Christmas holidays; if we do not step in they can stay on screens all day. We are talking the total time spent on television, YouTube and tablets. One of the things we encourage them to do instead is read books!
My son in particular used to be a reluctant reader, but we did not give up and kept encouraging him. One tip that worked for us was to get him books on things he was interested in. So in the early days we would get him all sorts of books on cars and bedtime reading was a regular. Over time, he developed his own love for books.
Holiday and reading
With the first week of holiday underway we were having the conversation again about the need for them to read books. He complained that he has read most of his books and needs new books. Side note, I wish we had a library so we could just borrow the books instead of having to buy them all; especially these books that are part of a series.
Just this morning he told me one of his favorite authors is David Walliam; he wanted even more of his books. I decided to do some digging myself and find out why he loves this author so much. So I googled his name and started reading up on the author and his life.
As i read on I noticed a phrase I had never heard of called pansexual. Apparently the author has hinted that he is pansexual in one of his books. In summary, pansexual people may refer to themselves as gender-blind. I don not know in what way this was introduced or in what book. I have come across books recently that have ever so gently introduced an agenda such as transgender.
Being Aware and Intentional
I keep reminding myself and telling parents, that everyone seems to be pushing their own agenda. As a parent you better have your own agenda. If you are a silent parent, you can be sure that there is an alternative thought pattern that your child might be introduced to. When it comes to what are your children are reading, even though it is tagged a children’s book does not mean that it is child friendly as you would want.
What does all this mean? You need to do more research and know what is being shared via many of the touch points your child has access to. I rely heavily on a site called commonsensemedia, because they rate various games, movies and books with respect to their (real) suitability for children. You wold be surprised how some games are filled with violence, drugs and sex and young children are playing them. e.g. Grand Theft Auto
[Read: How Video Games Affect Children]
Raising a Thinking Generation
In reality you cannot stop your child from reading all these books or being introduced to all this content. However, you must speak to them early and consistently about the things that you believe in. Where your conversations can go to the word, use the Bible to back up what you are saying. Children of today in addition to being quite exposed, are also very logical and are what I call a thinking generation.
They ask questions and do not just take “because I said so” as an answer, This was me as a child, so i cannot complain now!
Over the summer my 10 year old got a lot of books from the “children/tween” section. One such book was full of sexual innuendos and alternative suggestions. Here are some exact experts from the book “If I marry, or as is more likely, become a high-flying executive lesbian, I am never going to do housework” #What?
In another part of this book “ I hope against hope that my dad is not a transvestite”.
When she first picked the book I didn’t like the title. However, she read the back and said “Mum, you know the title does not match the description of the book; i think they just made the title like that for marketing”.
Very logical explanation for a 10 year old! and to be fair the summary at the back did seem harmless. Anyway, after a few pages she was the one to bring the book to me and say “mum this book is bad, please take it”. She stopped reading it. I have spoken to her about a lot of this stuff already, so she knows what sounds contrary.
So what am i saying really? In addition to all the work we have as parents, we need to spend even more time discussing with our children than ever before. What might appear innocent and suitable for kids just might not be. Do your best for your values to be louder in their head than what they are picking up outside.
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