At what age do you give your dc completely free choice of books?

(14 Posts)
beansmum Thu 28-Nov-13 09:51:29

ds is 9 - I let him read pretty much whatever he wants. I said no to game of thrones, and gave him some Raymond E. Feist instead, but other than that I haven't thought too carefully about what he's reading.

I've picked up the book he read yesterday (Spud by John van de Ruit) and it's a bit old for him. Lots of willies and wanking and girls, drunk adults, bullying, sounds like there might be a teacher/student relationship going on. Nothing majorly inappropriate for a 9 yo, but I'm only halfway through. It's a good read, but I'm not sure if I would have encouraged ds to read it if I'd read it first.

I suppose the point of this ramble is should I be checking everything he reads? If so, when should I stop?

DeWe Thu 28-Nov-13 13:50:26

I have only removed one book, and that was a Jacqueline Wilson talking about anorexia at a time when my dd2 (age 8) was talking about being too fat.

I do often flick through the books they read, but generally use it for discussion rather than banning.
If I was anything to go by they'll be even more interested if you stop books and find a different way of getting the book.

brass Thu 28-Nov-13 13:58:56

I think from the point of view of assisting learning rather than censorship it makes sense to target age appropriate books that he will get something out of.

If they are too mature for him he will miss the point or something may be ruined for him because he isn't mature enough to understand it. Don't know if I'm making sense!

beansmum Thu 28-Nov-13 20:19:49

That does make sense - I suppose I've been relying on ds to self-censor. I've assumed that if he doesn't understand something, or he doesn't like a book, he'll stop reading it. I don't choose his books, we tend to go to libraries and second hand bookshops a lot, he just browses freely and picks whatever he wants. I sometimes make suggestions or offer books similar to one he's enjoyed, but that's about the extent of my involvement.

I do remember my mum banning a book about father/daughter incest when I was 11ish. I read it immediately, of course! I don't think banning things really works, so maybe making sure ds is comfortable asking me about things he doesn't understand, and keeping a bit of an eye on his reading so I'm aware of the issues that might come up is the way to go?

Ragwort Thu 28-Nov-13 20:21:12

I don't think I have ever banned a book - to be honest if my 12 year old DS is reading anything I am delighted grin.

beansmum Thu 28-Nov-13 20:58:37

There is that as well! He reads LOADS at the moment. My interference might put him off.

brass Fri 29-Nov-13 15:24:08

no I haven't ever banned any either but I do try to steer them, they haven't had an issue with it so far.

lljkk Fri 29-Nov-13 20:12:57

I "ban" plenty. Am amazed at how relaxed people are about this (usual schizophrenic MNetters).

I suppose I will give up around age 16.

BriarcliffBelle Fri 29-Nov-13 20:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BriarcliffBelle Fri 29-Nov-13 20:20:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have never banned a book, but when they were younger, I asked them to wait until they were a bit older before reading certain books (Mockingjay, certain things by Jacqueline Wilson). They trust my judgement on this and have gone along with it so far.

DS1 is a sensible and mature 13 and these days there's not much I would discourage him from reading.

Takver Sat 30-Nov-13 10:15:08

I've encouraged dd not to read something because I think she'll find it upsetting, but I haven't banned outright. The one specific example was when I actually gave her a book to read that was bound up in a collection of 3 - I thought she'd really enjoy that one as it was on a subject she'd been talking about, but not the other 2.

AFAIK she didn't read them . . . on the whole she takes after me, I think (eg when people on here say 'don't google X', I generally take their advice!!!)

legoplayingmumsunite Sun 01-Dec-13 18:19:30

My Mum went to a boarding school where they distributed a list of banned books. Guess what the girls spent all their time trying to do?

Having said that my kids are too little to worry about this, my eldest is just reading her first chapter book (PMM!) so I guess it might not be too long but we're still on picture books and simple chapter books at the moment.

wonkylegs Sun 01-Dec-13 18:23:24

My DS is too young for me to currently worry about this but I doubt I'd ban anything as that automatically makes things interesting.
I think you must remember that often kids take different things from a book than adults do. I read all of the Tom Sharpe books at 11/12 and when I re-read them as an adult I was surprised at how different they were (now I understood them)

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