What We’re Reading
‘Stop Censoring Your Kid’s Reading Materials, They’re Smarter Than You Think’ Says Judy Blume
Judy Blume has always been a favorite author of mine, but her thoughts on censoring kid’s books makes me love her even more. According to The Telegraph, Blume thinks parents “worry too much” about the types of books their kids are reading. She spoke today at the Hay Festival in the UK, and says she believes that kids will “self-censor” things that are beyond their comprehension. And as a kid who grew up with almost no censorship whatsoever, I can tell you that this was absolutely true for me, and it’s probably true for your kids, too. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for, and can handle more than we think.
In case you grew up under a rock, Judy Blume is well-known for tackling difficult subjects such as racism, puberty, masturbation and teen sex. This led to quite a few of her own books being banned, which Blume says was “alarming” and left her feeling “very alone.” She told the Hay Festival audience that parents should be less worried about whether or not a book is “suitable” for their kids, and worry more about finding books that their children will love:
“A lot of people worry much too much about what their children are reading.Â A lot of people will want to control everything in their children’s lives, or everything in other people’s children’s lives.Â If a child picks up a book and reads something she has a question about, if she can go to her parents, great.Â Or else they will read right over it. It won’t mean a thing. They are very good, I think, at monitoring what makes them feel uncomfortable. If something makes them feel uncomfortable they will put it down.”
I would think this would be obvious, but apparently it’s not. Kids are way more resilient than anyone realizes. I’m not advocating letting kids pick up a Playboy or Penthouse, but the books on mostÂ banned books lists are ridiculous. Hell, even The Diary of Anne Frank has been banned, because of a passage Frank wrote referring to her own genitalia. Pretending that kids are just SO delicate that they can’t handle reading about sexuality or mature subjects, especially when we get into the tween and teen range, is silly and does no one any good. We’re underestimating our kids, and it’s B.S.
(Photo: Getty Images)