“A Note on Children’s Reading” by me.

“A Note on Children’s Reading” by me.
When it comes to what children read, it shouldn’t be just about getting children/tweens/teens to read, no matter what a book’s about, it’s about getting children to read good books, books that teach about objective morals/values/ethics, purpose in life, courage/bravery/valor, through the medium of fiction or fantasy in written form, to influence the new generation in a positive way, not to just write a story where the characters do what feels right to them at some moment but to do what’s right even when there’s a high cost to self involved, to teach about love that Christ spoke of in John 15:13 as well as love between an and woman, parents and children, real love and not lust or selfishness pretending to be love.
These are the things that should be praised in a story, what the main and secondary characters should be an example of, they should follow objective moral standards and not moral relativism, and even if they are treated wrong when they do right, the lesson must be that doing good, doing the right thing is more important than trying to escape pain when doing good. Such books have a lasting impact on the minds and hearts of a new generation, for they teach and encourage following objective morality, not doing ‘what feels right’ one moment but may change the next.
Expedience leads down a dark road and leaves behind many ruined relationships and is a practice of unstable living.
All children deserve to be taught truth and not lies, virtues and not vices, love and not selfishness, righteousness and not unrighteousness. Fantasy/fiction books without these things fall short of being good for children and are lacking in key aspects of good fantasy/fiction literature, and while they may entertain children for a little while, they serve no greater purpose, or rather, no good lasing purpose in positively shaping the child’s thinking concerning the important things in life.
Therefore, parents who just give their children any book they find that may look like something the child will read aren’t being prudent, they’re not being discerning, they’re not wisely choosing what their kids read, they most often pretty much exclude themselves from the process of book-selecting, that is, they tell their child that they should read whatever they find interesting even if it’s not recommended for their age, this isn’t all parents but enough to be a problem that requires attention.
To be so careless in allowing your own children to read whatever as long as they keep reading is not wise parenting, obviously. More thought must be put into this process.
Christian parents should lovingly and discerningly give their children books which they themselves have read or at least read reviews about and found it to be a book that can have a positive influence upon the child, teach something, encourage virtues, present to the child not just a fun story that doesn’t have really any purpose other than entertainment.
This sort of filtering process isn’t some arbitrary method of restricting the child’s choices to only what the parent approves, though it may seem like it to some. This is simple reasonable Christian parenting, protecting their child from things which clearly teach and propagate things contrary to Christianity, moral objectivity, laudable actions, virtues, qualities worth imitating, lessons worth learning.
This is my opinion on the matter, but it’s not one I’ve made up subjectively, it’s one that corresponds to a reasonable Christian view shared by plenty, and one that reflects what I’ve learned on this important matter over the years. I’m not a parent but one need not be one to hold views which are sound and are held by many parents who have learned how to wisely guide their children in the experience of reading books.
These views may not be held by all those who may read them but I thought I’d share my opinions, my thoughts, which reflect others’ views also which I agree with, specifically a Christian view of reading choices that should allowed by and encouraged for children/tweens/teens to choose.


5 thoughts on ““A Note on Children’s Reading” by me.

  1. A very insightful post… I am glad this discussion came up, because in my teen years, I find myself being put under bad peer pressure to read things I shouldn’t, from my friends. It doesn’t mean that even if I did want to read these things my parents would let me, but the pressure is still there.

    Fortunately, my parents have built a firm foundation of truth from the Word of God in me that I push against this peer pressure… but again, the pressure is still there.

    • While it could be easy to say ‘well, if your friends want you to read things you shouldn’t, it’s time to get new friends” I don’t think that’s the best resort or the only option.
      Knowing you shouldn’t read this or that is one thing; knowing Why you shouldn’t is another. Knowing why you shouldn’t read certain books and being able to say why, give reasons, elaborate on it, explain it in simple language, that should be your first resort, your first response to their pressuring you, you’ll be showing your friends why you think you shouldn’t read this or that and it’ll be not just your opinions or feelings towards this or that, it’ll be based on reason, knowledge, the answers given you by your parents and others you’ve learned from about what you shouldn’t read and why you shouldn’t.
      This may not change their opinions, they may say or think you’re just restricting your reading list or confining yourself to a few books out of the total number available, and while that’s true, it’s not wrong and your decision to do so is based on good reasons for choosing not to read certain books.
      Your friends may not share your views concerning the reading of some books but you can still remain friends. Friendship is not based on both sides agreeing on everything; rather, despite major differences and disagreements still choosing to remain friends.
      You should make it obvious that you’re not interested in doing what they’re pressuring you to, that you’ve made your choice, made your stand, and you’d like them to respect that if they can or at least stop pressuring you on the matter because you’re not backing down, not giving in to their pressure. You can tell them it’s obviously not that you think you know everything or you think you’re better than them because you believe this about not reading certain books but because your parents and other wise people believe and know better than the younger people when it comes to this matter; it’s not about you following your parents’ every word like some goody-goody kid, it’s about doing what’s right and wise now to avoid the consequences of bad choices.
      That may sound like a recipe for losing friends to some but I believe those who are really your friends will not stop wanting to be friends over this matter, it’s not a trivial one but it’s also not one that should lead to the end of friendships.
      Push against any such pressure though it’s obviously not going to be easy, even if you’ve been raised and taught faithfully by parents, pressure will be there as long as you live, from different sources, in different forms.
      Resisting pressure is done by relying not on your own strength but on Christ’s strength because His strength is, well, the strongest, best kind of strength available to people, it’s strength that doesn’t fail, it’s strength that keeps you standing through life’s hardest times. In the midst of the storms His strength will keep you in place, He’ll be there before it, during it, after it, He’s not going to go anywhere, He’ll stay with you, won’t leave you or fail you.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, there’s always pressure from others to do or read or say what you know you shouldn’t (you know it because your parents taught you what you should and shouldn’t do) and resisting peer pressure is the better but not the easier thing to do; it may not seem like it now/at the moment but later you’ll see it was better to not do what others wanted you to do because it wasn’t the right thing to do.

  3. You’re welcome. Glad I could be of any help. You can take my advice after you’ve heard your parents’ advice on this matter, they’re older and wiser than me, I’m sure, and pray about it; I believe God will show you how to act in a way that’ll be best for you in the long run even if it may seem otherwise at some moment(s) before then. God knows what’s best for you now and always; He’s really the only one you can look to for the best advice and wisdom for.what decisions to make during difficult times and seemingly-easy times also.

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