It is a LOT EASIER to just tell our children what they can read instead of teaching them discernment.
In the short term, we have no worries and our children are protected from books that we would deem unsuitable.
However, in the LONG TERM, this does NOT teach our children to be "self discerning" or teach them "self discipline". Not allowing them to have these teachable moments can cripple them later.
The girls go to the local library on a regular basis and read up a storm. Anna and Sarah read ALL THE TIME. I have MANY, MANY good books here, and they read them too, but it is just fun to go and check out books at the Library.
As the girls have gotten older, they have developed certain reading tastes and if I notice they are gravitating towards just one thing, I might make suggestions to try something new. They are always willing!
We have had many conversations about discerning reading material and what to do if you find a book that is not suitable.
A good litmus test of a book is the quality of the writing, combined with the content of the book. Is the book uplifting? Is the book teaching any kind of value? ANY KIND? Or is it just mind candy?
Of course the books I like for them to read show true values in life, honesty, integrity, and have a wonderful life solution. There are also mysteries that are fun, and good always wins over evil.
THAT SAID: We had an experience that I would like to share. Sarah brought a book over to show me that looked like it was from a series she had read before, but a different title. I didn't look at it very carefully and she didn't either, but she checked it out.
She loves mysteries and Nancy Drew type books. So she was excited to start this book.
She began to read it and didn't say much about it. Daddy got up this a.m. and saw it on the table and began to read a little in it. He asked, "Mom, have you read this?"
I was busy cooking breakfast and said, "No, what is it?"
He began to read a most horrific scene of a child being dragged to a basement where there was blood, BY HIS PARENTS, who had his teeth ripped out so they could purchase more gin! REALLY?
This is a CHILDREN'S BOOK??? This was in the CHILDREN'S section of the library!
We asked Sarah if she had seen that and she said she had. Did you think that is something to keep reading? She said she didn't think so, but was curious. She was hoping for a better part and there would be a rescue, but nothing had happened.
We went to the middle and back of the book and found even more awful things. By then, I was feeling very badly for her because she didn't know. And honestly, I didn't know there could be such DARKNESS out there targeted at children.
I guess I must be naive in thinking adults intend for children to read life giving, healthy books that teach virtue and goodness and love for each other.
This book was totally empty of anything like that.
Together we looked up the author to find only 1 paragraph available. She was "fascinated with Macrabe since seeing a ghost as a child and ever since has been fascinated"..... She lives in a haunted house in Kent England where she displays a dismembered hand on her mantle.
BTW- her picture is lovely, so "normal" looking.
So then, as we researched a little more, we asked Sarah, "do you want to fill your mind with writings from this person? Do you think this would be a good idea? Of course her answer was no, and that she had no idea!
Poor girl! I apologized to her too because I had no idea either!
But we all learned something! Don't judge a book by it's cover!
The name of the book was "The Black Book of Secrets"....by F.E. Higgins.
I am thankful for my girls hearts that want what is good. I am thankful that they also love to read and do NOT want to read trash. And I am thankful that they are learning to discern.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)