Censorship

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The other day Oliver brought home a library book from school for the first time. His school was newly built this summer, and the library wasn’t ready for customers until recently.

I opened up the plastic-covered book (ah, library books, I had forgotten) and started to read.

And then I stopped because it was about bullying. Actually, that’s not true. It wasn’t the subject matter, it was the language.  The protagonist in the story was expressing his feelings about being bullied so clearly (e.g. I hate them!  They are mean to me!) that I felt it would be too upsetting for him.

He’s not even 4 yet.

I asked him to tell the librarian how old he is (“3” “Turning 4!”) and to ask for her help in selecting another book.

*

There are books in our library at home I won’t read.

They know this – well, Oliver knows it well now.

I won’t read Thomas the Tank Engine stories. I won’t read a lot of Scholastic books.  I won’t read Guess How Much I Love You even if the sentiment is nice.

[Lucky for them, Daddy will read anything.]

I like cadence. I like rhythm and rhyme. Overall, I just like a GOOD STORY.

I will read Goodnight Moon, the Runaway Bunny, the Gruffalo, the Gruffalo’s Child, Where the Wild Things Are, Olivia, anything by Dr Seuss, any of the Hairy McClairy books.

Yep, I am aware how evil that is.  But I have standards.

*

I change the channel if Max and Ruby comes on.  Unless I’m busy doing something else, and it came on by accident, and put them in a tv coma.  I won’t budge them from a tv coma.  That’s the best time to be able to get things done at home.  Tv comas, you make me feel guilty, but I love you.

I can’t stand that show, though.

I don’t like Franklin the turtle. I don’t like any of the slow and soft shows, like Little Bear.

I want more Yo Gabba Gabba.  I want more Sesame Street.

I grew to appreciate In the Night Garden.

I will tolerate their love for Dora and Diego and Chuggington.

I am glad they like the Backyardigans.

But there will be NO Caillou in this house.

What about you – do you censor your kids’ books and television shows?

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7 Responses to “Censorship”

  1. Lady Mama Says:

    Honestly half the time I’m just glad something has their attention so I can get other things done around the house. Like you I cannot stand Max & Ruby or Franklyn – I find them so unrealistic and cheesy and generally irritating.

    I let them watch most of the shows on Treehouse and a few Disney movies. I won’t let them see adult animation like Simpsons or Family Guy. No shows aimed at adults. No video games. Books – we haven’t ventured into anything beyond my toddler’s age range yet, so I haven’t had to censor books.

  2. Rebecca Says:

    I’m a little waffly about it – there are some things I don’t let him watch (I hate Caillou, but sometimes it’s on, don’t like older kids shows etc, and the obvious tv for us), and I haven’t had to limit too many books so far – an older Dr. Seuss that had a gun fight in it (cops and robbers kind of thing but drawings of guns, not my thing right now).

    I have let him watch some Disney, but even then, not often and I don’t always love the language – I don’t like ‘stupid’ ‘hate’ ‘idiot’ etc that show up in some or scary imagery.

    So we just test the waters a bit, see what he likes and limit what we aren’t comfortable with.

  3. Sara Says:

    I wish I could edit – but we are on a 100% Dora all-the-time-Dora, nothing-but-Dora diet over here. I too would like a bit more Sesame (because I’m a Grover fan, he cracks me up). Then again, she’s only 2 and perhaps I should just be relieved she has gotten over the In the Night Garden stage…

  4. mapsgirl Says:

    Yes, there are definitely things that I won’t let them watch on tv. Max and Ruby is a big NO and so is In the Night Garden. After ITNG they both run around talking in baby talk and it just drives me crazy.

    We like Little Bear and DD is now reading the Little Bear books. I have a fondness for Maurice Sendak’s work and I like that DD likes the stories.

    Dr. Suess is a bit hit in our house too.

    Curious tho as to why you don’t like Guess How Much I Love you.

  5. 1001petals Says:

    There are books and a couple tv shows I really don’t like but if my daughter likes them and expresses a strong preference than I stand back. Now of course I would draw the line at adult matter, like if a television had a lot of violence or sex, but fortunately she only likes kids stuff.

  6. Rebecca Says:

    Since I canceled the cable a couple months ago, there’s a lot less to censor. But now we’re stuck with the couple DVD’s we own and TVO which sometimes has shows aimed for older kids. But I’m not too picky. . .
    I can’t stand In The Night Garden but, like you, won’t disturb a tv coma.
    I’ll also read most kids books. But with both tv and books I make sure to tell Colum what I thought of them and why and to ask his opinion. And I’ll also hoist books on him that I like or that I think are good for him.


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