My son wanted to pick up a book in the library, which I did not approve of. No, not that it was beyond his age but it just appeared to be too silly. He is proficient in reading and in my opinion could handle a higher level and more meaningful book than the one he was holding in his hand. But of course all the research available to read comes back to my mind and tells me that I must not impose my own opinions and preferences especially when it comes to books. However, I am unable to let this one slide as he wants to pick up all the volumes in that series. I simply had to step in and suggest that he can take one of those and try something else for the remaining quota. That irritated him to the core and he took off saying that he does not want any book to read.
It just brought me back to my dilemma. Should a parent let their children read anything as long as they are reading something? Even if it means reading substandard books that do not have well written prose? After mulling over the matter I have come to the conclusion that it is ok to read something that is not up to the mark as long as you have something really good to supplement it with. It is just like us wanting to watch or read something incredibly silly, simply to have a break or have some time off from using the brain a little too much. Telling them to avoid those books completely sets the rebel in them to grow and all the years of hard work to inculcate the love for reading is lost just like that.
The middle path solution
After much thought, I came up with a middle path solution. I found out what attracted him to the book and then reasoned out that taking more books of the same series may backfire if he does not like the first book in the series. I also added that we may not be able to come back to the library until next week, which means he would be stuck with a pile of books that he may not like. Instead if we had some variety, even if one does not work, there is a high probability that some other book might be an excellent read. That rationale worked! Later, he agreed that the book in question was not as great a read as he thought it would be. In fact another book that he had picked up from a totally different genre was extremely good and he would like try more of those.
Have you been in such a situation? Do you have some tips that others can use? Feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and get a chance to be featured!