I don't want anyone to think I am jumping on the band wagon here. I just wanted to post my response to Lauren from I was a Teenage Book Geek as it would have taken up way too much space in the comment box.
Lauren did a most amazing post on Saturday regarding parents restricting their children's reading, read it here.
Firstly, let me state I do not agree with restricting reading in anyway. You have to consider that parents will know their children far better than anyone else and in that respect should have some input into what/what not their children should read. With that in mind:
Meet my children here.
With Twilight in mind, I was quite shocked that in my library the series is restricted in age groups allowed to borrow it. The age group concerned includes the one I told my daughter would be the correct age to appreciate it. I enquired as to why there had been restrictions placed on the borrowing of Twilight. *I bet you are wondering too*. Apparently, there were complaints by a parent a few years ago regarding the content (what content) stating it was unsuitable for their child??? They even complained to the press!!! I would have asked them if they had read the book themselves in order to make that call. I agree that some children/young adults vary greatly in their emotionally maturity but to make a school restrict it for all of that age groups seem a bit of an over-reaction. Now, I have to tell any Year 7 & 8 that wants to borrow it, that they will need a note from their parent/guardian before I can let them have it. I do state that I do not understand it but I have to follow the regulations exactly the same as they do. To be honest it makes me feel really stupid having to enforce this restriction.
here). She is 8. The 10 year old loves scary stories especially Goosebumps she absolutely raves about them. So she persuaded her sister to read them. Believe we when I say they are like chalk and cheese, lol. Needless to say, she had nightmares after reading one book. Therefore, I have asked her not to read anymore of them in order to prevent nightmares. She completely agreed. I think this is fair. Do you agree????
Timeriders up in the local library, when she got home and started reading it, she came back downstairs shortly after. She said "I don't think you want me to read t his Mum' 'Why?' 'Because it has some bad words in it' 'OK, you can read it if you want to but I don't want to hear you say those words.' 'No, I am not happy to read them at the moment, maybe when I am a bit older'.
My advice; if you are concerned about the things your children read - read them yourself and discuss the points as to why you think it is unsuitable reading. You cant just restrict their reading without giving valid reasons, believe me this will just encourage them to read the banned stuff even more; encouraging them to keep secrets and behave furtively. I would rather have an open and honest relationship with my children, in the hope that they could discuss anything with me. Even come to me for book suggestions.
I hope I have made my position on restricting reading coherent. In a nutshell: if you have valid reasons for restricting a particular book and can explain to your child the reasons behind it - then fair enough. However, if you are just restricting the reading because of other peoples opinions and do not have the insight to be able to explain the ban succinctly - then think again.