Monday, January 12, 2009

Moms, what would you do?

Time for a post that has nothing to do with infertility!

First, let me say I have not read the Twilight books nor seen the movie. However, I am under the impression that they are geared towards teens. Am I right about that?


Last year, when I was still teaching fourth grade, I noticed two of my female students reading Twilight. When I noticed the first girl reading it, I asked her if her mother knew she was reading that book. She said no, and I suggested she go home and let her mom have a look at it before she continued reading it. When she returned to class, she said her mom said to tell me thank you, and that she was going to have to wait to read it until she was in fifth grade. The other girl showed up with the book a few weeks later, and I asked her the same question. She replied that her mom had purchased it for her to read. Oy...

Now, I am a third grade teacher, and I have a female student reading Twilight. I asked her if her mother knew she was reading that book, and she said her mom gave it to her. Sigh... She's only just turned nine years old!

I don't understand why parents allow their young children to read and/or watch material that is not geared towards their age level. Why do they need to start thinking about complex male-female relationships like the one in the Twilight series? When I was their age I was reading chapter books about horses!

Moms, am I overreacting, or would you allow your nine and ten year old daughters to read the Twilight series?


AprilMay said...

No way would I let her!! Has that mom even read the book herself? I read the books just to be "up" on what teens are reading, as a future librarian. I did not like them, but that's just me.

Maybe you could send home a "general" reminder about age-appropriate reading material with a list of suggestions? Connect it to a reading unit or Dr. Seuss' birthday in March and remind parents to screen material before letting their children read it (or for that matter, watch it). Good luck!

Michele said...

I only have a 6 year old, but since she reads at the 5th grade level I have to screen all that she reads. However, I have a 10 year old niece and she asked for the Twilight books for XMAS. Her mom's response was "absolutely not." I like the idea about sending out an short article/reminder about age appropriate reading material. I bet there are lots of parent friendly newsletters online about this very topic.

Good luck! I would love to shelter my girls for as long as I can. Why rush what they are exposed to???


Julie said...

No you are not overreacting! I think it's great you did that.

On another note, why in the Disney film Tinkerbell, must she wear such suggestive clothing and them have a part about males oogling her suggestive clothing. Can't she just flutter around? Ugh!

Jen and Jared said...

Hi... I found your blog through my sister-in-law Jill Averitt's blog.

I am in total agreement that these books are inappropriate. I have not read them but I get an eerie feeling just from the cover. I have two little girls and I agree that there is no reason to expose children to such adult siutaions, as there appears to be in the Twilight books, until they are mature enough to handle it. I absolutley love that you said something to the girls in your class and I only hope that when my girls are in school their teachers care as much as you do!

Jen Averitt

Rhonda Rae said...

Like Jen I found you though Jill. I dont think that the books should be read by anyone under 14 or so. I just finished reading all 4 1/2(yes I am a loser) and tho I loved them I do not belive that 8&9 year olds should read them. I would freak out if my kids read them. When i was that age I was reading The babysitters club and the Cam Jansen books. Where are all the good books like that.

Michelle said...

Okay, not a Mom here, but worked with junior high aged kids for quite a while.

Hoenstly? I think they allow it because a lot of Moms don't take the time to actually look at what their children are reading(or watching) and they don't KNOW that it is inappropriate.

When I was working at the after school care center we would go on myspace and look up all the pages of the 13 year old kids(who claimed they were 19 or so) and totally bust them to their parents.

Each time the parent was so grateful for the heads up. The kids, not so much :)

Anonymous said...

First of all, let me just say that I am a hopeless Twilight fanatic. Yes, all the books were read within a 2-week period, yes I stood in line to watch the midnight premiere of the movie. That being said, I would never allow my 3rd grade daughter to read the book, much less the series. Some friends have let their young girls read "just the first book, but please, that's a very slippery slope. The books get progressively more suggestive and explicit in nature- I would hesitate before letting Katie read it when she's a teenager!
You have every right to send a note home stating that books brought to school need to be age-appropriate.
You go, Girl!
(But if you want to read the series "just to be sure", let me know!) haha

Alex and Jill said...

I don't have children (as you know :) but Alex wouldn't allow them in our home for the very reason that they are about vampires.

kris said...

I've read all 4 books and NO WAY would I be letting a kid that age read those books. NO, they are not in ANY way explicit but way, way too complex emotionally.

asiangarden said...

Would the books you read be The Misty books, I used to love those...and Beverly Clearly books were nice too...but Twilight? Um no thanks! You did the right thing.
Maybe write a note home to the girls mother?

Tammy said...

Just had a conversation with my sister about the Twilight books. She knew I read the books & her 13 yr old daughter asked if she could read them. My advice to her - NO WAY! The book hints at sexual attraction (not puppy-love-pre-teen crushes) throughout most of the book.

I realize that kids can get their hands on things from friends without our knowledge, BUT... censor, censor, censor.

Being an educator and aware of the content, you did the right thing. As a mom I'd appreciate your concern.

fuzzandfuzzlet said...

I honestly do not know that much about the series.

In answer to your question it would depend on the kid. I would be more inclined to let my son read something advanced than my daughter. Not because of gender but because of maturity. My kids are only a year part in age, but they are years apart in every other way.

I do have a couple of friends that let their kids read the series at a fairly young age. They read along with them.

I must say I would appreciate a teacher taking the time to make sure I knew what my kids were reading. Especially if it was something that many might consider too mature or a bit off color.

On that note, my daughter brought this Camilla:A Novel by Madeleine L'Engle home from the school library. I read this book as a young adult and loved it, but I thought it was really inappropriate for a 3rd grader ( especially my very immature 3rd grader)

Sara said...

Hmmmm, that's a tough one. I saw the movie and think that the content of the book is probably too mature for a young reader. I hope that my girls WANT to read long books when they are in 3rd and 4th grade, but I will try to steer them toward things that may be better choices (Harry Potter, anyone?) I do remember that when I was a kid, the book "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" was controversial because it dealt with puberty...scandal! I wonder what type of issues I will have to deal with when my girls are older...I don't even want to imagine!

Kristin said...

Well, I've only read book 1 and book 4 (skipped those pesky others) and I have to say that it depends on the child.

Book 4 would probably put any girl off pregnancy and childbirth for life so maybe it's not a bad idea...