Hey Moms. Listen up.
If your child is reading – leave them alone. Seriously.
If you know of a child who is reading…leave them alone. Leave that mom alone. Keep your opinions to yourself. Stop the judging. Please.
Do you remember when you first realized how awesome it was to get lost in a book? That first time when those words made sense? When you realized there was more to life than what you thought?
I do. I was in grade 5. I hated quiet reading time. HATED. IT. I struggled to understand what the words meant, it took me forever to read one page which often meant I forgot what the story was about. Until my teacher introduced me to a story with a dragon on the cover. I can’t remember the title of that book (I wish I could) but I lost myself in the story and I couldn’t get enough. Instead of shopping, I’d hang out in the library and bring home stack and stacks of books.
My daughters are all like me. My youngest, who is now 13 yrs old, has finally discovered books. FINALLY. All summer we’ve been visiting the bookstore so she could find ‘another book to read’. I’m ecstatic. Over the moon. Thrilled more than you can know. I’m so glad she loves to read. She’ll pop into my room and want to talk about her latest book and she’s been looking through my book shelves and boxes of books to find new things to read.
Lately I’ve had a few mom’s give me some unwanted advice on how I need to monitor what my daughter is reading, how I need to approve each book make sure she’s not filling her head with garbage.
Excuse me? Since when was reading filling your head with garbage?
Okay…before anyone says anything…I don’t want my daughter reading erotica. That’s a given. She doesn’t want to read that either. But I’m not going to monitor what she’s reading – I’m going to trust that she’s reading something she’s ready to read.
I don’t care if it’s fantasy. Suspense. YA. Romance. Horror (okay…that one might be pushing it because I don’t want her to get nightmares BUT she has to learn what she can handle just like I have to learn each time I read one and end up unable to sleep).
Our job as parents is to raise our children with awareness, right?
My mom didn’t monitor what I read. She didn’t like me reading Harlequin but I would sneak her romances from the shelves in her room and read them. I’d even get stacks of Harlequins from my other reader friends and would hide them in my closet because I knew my mom didn’t look in there (sorry mom…well, not really..haha).
I’m not going to limit my daughter on what she can read. How else will she know what she likes? Last week she was reading a fantasy. This week she’s reading my Elizabeth Mansfield novels. Next week…who knows? (Well, if she likes the Elizabeth Mansfield books then I know what she’s reading because I have A LOT of them).
If your child is reading…let them read. Encourage it. Let them explore and discover for themselves what they like to read rather than telling them. And the next time another well-being mother gets all judgemental and tells you what your child should be reading…hand them a glass of wine and tell them to relax.