Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was a freebie. I’m choosing to focus on kids. Because 3 years ago today – I had to make the choice to take my youngest daughter off life support. Because kids are incredibly freaking precious, and you sometimes only get one chance to do the parenting thing right, so you need to do it right. Because teaching kids to love the library can be an incredibly rewarding thing. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish. (Disclaimer because I don’t trust someone NOT to take this the wrong way: Obviously I’m not saying you drop your kid off in the library and leave them. I’m also obviously not saying that you even leave their side whilst you’re at the library with them. What I’m saying is that you respect their curiosity, personality, and individuality.)
Top Ten Reasons to Set Your Kid Free in the Library
(aka: Don’t rule over their book choices with an iron fist.)
- Even though they’re your kids, they’re not your clones. Just because you enjoyed Judy Moody books doesn’t mean they will. Just because they enjoy Junie B. Jones books doesn’t mean you will.
- It’s one thing to suggest topics you think they’ll enjoy. Its another to insist that they do.
- They may be capable of reading higher than you think they are. And even if they’re not there yet, they deserve a chance to try.
- They’ll know if the book is too easy, or too hard for them. Let them find out for themselves. Have them read a few pages as a sample.
- There is so much out there for them to experience. Let them pick it out. If they don’t like it, you return it the next time you come. What’s the harm?
- We have had this happen a couple times, but a lot less than you would expect. I never criticize her for not ending up enjoying something she picked up. I just put it to the side, and we move on to something else. Library books are free. Let. them. choose.
- It gives unexpected chances for shared reading time.
- Right now I’m reading The Archived by Victoria Schwab with the seven year old. Is it over her head? Definitely. Does that matter? No. She loves listening to me read it, and the beautiful prose that lends itself to being softly spoken lulls her to sleep.
- You get to see their mind develop.
- Almost every time we go to the library (which is a weekly thing), L goes straight to the computers, and looks something up that she’s interested in. She hardly ever discusses it with me before hand. We’ve gotten books on everything from seeds to frogs to the human body. The only thing I do is help her find out which ones are currently at the library we’re at. It frequently makes me wonder at her.
- Libraries are places to let the imagination wander, to indulge in whims, to explore and discover.
- I’d much rather my kid beg to spend hours in the library than to spend hours at Chuck E. Cheese. Wouldn’t you?
- You might just discover kids books that you love and never thought you would.
- For the record: I highly recommend James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein’s House of Robots series.
- Because you wouldn’t like it if someone tried to tell you what you could or could not read, so why do it to them?
- I made the mistake of telling L she couldn’t read one of my books because it was an ‘adult book’. (It was horror.) As soon as she found a chance, she thieved it and started trying to read it.
- It gives you a chance to talk to your kids.
- Miss L and I have a system. If she comes across a word whilst we’re reading that she doesn’t know, she simply holds up one finger. I immediately stop what I’m doing, and explain the word to her. Sometimes it’s a two sentence exchange. However, this has lead to some surprisingly deep discussions that I never expected.
- Because – why not? What harm could it do? Give them free reign in the kids section. Escort them to the teens section if they’re curious about what the ‘bigger’ kids read. Trust the little buggers. It’s not like a seven year old is going to go for the erotica section! (Common sense rule does apply. Just sayin’. )
Leave your links below 🙂