When my kids were small, there were books that were not allowed in our home.
It wasn’t like I held the book in front of my kid and said, “This book is banned. We are not reading this book and fury to the child that reads the banned book!”
When my kids were little, there were shows that their friends got to watch that they didn’t. Like Sponge Bob, I didn’t like how the characters were not kind friends to each other. I watched several episodes and made a decision for my kids, my home. When my kids asked why, I told them why; I wanted them to learn kindness and the shows they watched would help them learn that or not.
Right or wrong, it was a decision I made. I also provided commentary as they consumed various media. We talked about it, I added in my two cents when I heard certain things happening, saying things like, “Oh that is really sad she said that to her friend.”
I am well aware this was a luxury I had as my job let me be home. LoverMan and I made sacrifices to have me home, it was not something he enforced but something I felt a privilege to have. Had he not had his heart attack, I would not have ramped up my work until I was an empty nester.. which sadly is in a few months.
I loved being a stay at home mom that worked part time. Growing up, my mom had to work. She was not able to monitor what shows we watched, and the world was different then as getting a movie was a big deal – going down to the Blockbuster to rent a movie and my family loved Bond movies.
I choose to not let my kids see those same movies at the ages I was allowed to see them. I made a different choice, I get to as a parent decide certain things. Not all parents have the same thinking and so different homes will have a different standard.
I have a friend who is a vegetarian, I am not. When her kids were over and they often were at my house I didn’t say to them, “You’re mom has weird ideas about food, here is some meat it’s super delicious.” I honored my friend and when my kids were at her home they didn’t notice the lack of meat as we had many meatless meals in our home.
When Nathaniel was young, we were in the car with a friend, he asked her a question that could be “religious.” My friend was not religious, my friend also happens to be bisexual. She answered his question not like she might have to her own kids. She answered with, “Your mom would say ____.” She didn’t answer with, “Your mom has some really weird ideas about this and you should know ___.” She honored our friendship and it was deepened by her respect, more importantly she held me up as a parent to my kid and I sought to do the same with her kids.
The debate on book banning is to me not really about which books schools, publishers say we can read. Many of these banned booked are being edited by their own publisher which is smelling a lot like a marketing ploy to me to get old books, hot again by making them less “problematic.”
The issue is about parental rights.
Who has the right to decide what values go into a child?
Schools? Government? Publishers? Democrats? Republicans? Or Parents?
I say parents.