Like many parents, you may be overjoyed to see your child reading a book. Any book. After all, kids who like to read often have better vocabularies, higher grades in a traditional school setting, and a greater knowledge base than those who don’t. It may improve their IQ; deepen their social understanding; and provide glimpses into other people’s lives that they would not otherwise have had. There’s just one other thing to consider.
What, exactly, is it that they are filling their minds with? If your child is an avid nonfiction reader, you’re probably golden: lots of knowledge, exposure to many different subject areas, and plenty of new words and concepts to explore.
On the other hand, if your child is reading fiction, you might want to take a close look at what they’re reading. Think about your own attitudes when you’re reading a certain type of book. Do you develop an attitude when you read about main characters with attitude? Have a more positive outlook when reading positive books, and a negative one when your reading material seems to have a poor outlook?
Does your child do the same thing?
You can’t control every word that your child reads as they get older, nor can you truly prevent them from reading something that seems interesting to them. However, you can temper this response by making sure to provide other kinds of much more positive books to fill the corners of their minds.
What common themes run throughout the books your children are reading? Do they tend to lean toward one type of story, or one genre: love stories for your daughter, adventure stories for your son, or fantasy for either one? Do they like fairy tales, or science fiction? What other themes run throughout their books?
How is it affecting them?
Over the next few days, we’ll consider some of the questions you may not have been acting, including: “How are authority figures portrayed?” “What types of behaviors are being idealized?” “What kinds of morals are the norm in these books?” “What kinds of lessons are your children learning?” and more.
What questions do you ask when choosing a book for your children?