There is a second-hand children's clothing store in Federal Way, Wa that I always go to for my kids clothes. It's not too close to me, but whenever I run to our storage locker I always hit the place up for anything glorious (as seen here). This time meant a glorious buy 2 get 1 free coupon when you sign up for their email list. Sadly Brianna has now officially outgrown the consignment store sizes...but I can still find Kai things and there are always books and toys and baby stuff that I can't wait to get my hands on again. When I started going there 6 years ago we found Brianna a princess crown and wand and so it has forever been named the "crown store" in our household.
Going to the "crown store" is always a treat.
While browsing through some books Brianna picked a certain one up-- The Princess Diaries. I told her I thought the writing was a few grade levels ahead of her since it was quite novel-like, but she insisted and who am I to hinder a mature reading ability? We saw the movie so I knew it was cute and left it at that and she began reading it right away.
Today she came to me and said.."uhmm....this might not be a good book for me to read, Mom." I asked why and she showed me a sentence that said the "a" word. I thought about it a second and made the decision that it was okay for her to continue reading it after our candid conversation since she knew the word was inappropriate to even bring it up to me.
Then she came back a few minutes later and said, "Mom...I really don't think I should be reading this." I read another sentence thinking it would be along the same line when I was surprised by a wierd word.
So ya... we're going to hold off on that particular book--but I have to ask what age is it even appropriate at all? It looked like 6 grade+ reading and although I understood the context of how and why each word was said, I still don't want my kid reading words like that.
I am realistic. I think, unfortunately, kids are exposed to not-so-nice words and phrases because this is the world that we live in. I try to teach my kids what words are not nice and inappropriate and send them off into the world hoping that not only will they not say them but try to ignore them when they are heard. So when reading-- it is sometimes tough to decipher whether you should ignore certain words in moderation or completely eliminate the option of them being read. I recognize that in retrospect those words are not the worst--although in this context they were meant as a negative statement which makes them such.
I am really curious what other parents do? At what age would you let her read that book, if at all? And when she IS older, is there a point when you need to trust your child's judgement without being overprotective?
In our home we are pretty open on the right or wrong scenario. Maybe this is not the ideal technique, but when Brianna comes to me with questions regarding something that might be deemed a "gray" area-- like attending a birthday party on Sunday which is a religious day for us...I just ask her whether or not she thinks it's right or wrong based on what we have taught her and to figure it out and come back to me and we'll discuss. She's a smart girl and she KNOWS. And she always comes back with a good "right" answer.
So I wonder, is literature the same? What's your opinion?
PS. I am really liking THIS helpful site for ratings/reviews on media.