I have always been an avid reader and wanted to instill the same in my kids too. From what I’ve heard we must do everything we want to instill in our kid when pregnant. And so, I read voraciously while expecting my first child, from articles on pregnancy to spiritual books (will cover in another post). Don’t know how effective it is, but can say that my daughter ‘A’ loves books already. It’s not that she prefers fairy tales but anything which catches her attention.
I introduced books or rather reading to my child when she was around a year old. I always buy a book for her when I’m buying for myself. I know it doesn’t really matter to her how many books I am buying for her or whether I am buying at all. But, while she is growing I want her to see and be aware that as her parents have a bookshelf she also has one.
A bookshelf for her too. This, I believe, would inculcate two things in her, a) reading is good and she should do it too, b) sharing things. When her parents are sharing their bookshelf with her she must share too.
Though A has grown up from board books to paperbacks, I am still very careful in picking up a storybook for her each time I am in a bookstore. Not because of the variety of books, but because of the story, the content.
Let me explain.
A’s first few books were Goldilocks and The Three Bears, Cinderella, Pinocchio, and The Sleeping Beauty.
While I loved reading her Goldilocks and Pinocchio I didn’t somehow enjoy reading Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Ugly Duckling (gifted). Why?
Because I don’t want to introduce terms like UGLY and STEPMOTHER to A when she is just 2.5 yo. When she is at the tender age of getting aware of her surroundings, her parents, relationships, and good and bad. She is still understanding me – her Mother, who a mother and how she loves, takes care, and pampers her child.
And I don’t already want to tell her about Stepmothers. That there can be a bad side to a mother too. That a mother can harm her child.
Likewise, when she is just trying to understand the difference between good and bad thanks to the need to teach children about good touch, bad touch, I don’t want to even tell her the word UGLY, let alone read out an entire storybook to her based on this.
I’m sure there are many children’s books which in some way or the other have something which I would not want my child to know right now.
And these books are not all. I will give you another very recent example of this.
Two days back I bought her three books Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, and The Princess and The Pea. I had read Peter Pan (I loved this) and The Princess and The Pea one each day, today was Snow White’s turn. I really like the former two books, as they contain no unwanted information.
So, today while I was reading Snow White to A I went silent and blank at a word. A kept asking me to continue reading but I just couldn’t bring myself to read ahead without thinking for a substitute word written there. This happened just 30 mins back and was the last stroke which probed me to finally write this post due from the day I read out Cinderella to her.
The word which I still can’t bring myself to speak to A is MURDERED! Yes, this was written in the story. In a fairy tale.
The line in the story read – “I shall have Snow White murdered!”
Another line read – The Queen got angry and decided to kill Snow White herself.
I am baffled at how can they even print such words in children’s books.
Are they really fairy Tales? With words like Ugly, Murder, Kill?
I would love to read her fairy tales which talk about magic, fairies, talking animals, giants, mermaids, unicorns, elves, or even dragons. I want my close to 3 yo child to fly in her imagination. Yes, I want her to believe in magic. I want her to make her own stories, to live her in her own fairyland, to imagine whatever she likes. Yes, I want her to get curious or maybe believe too that she can go down a rabbit hole like Alice In The Wonderland.
But I don’t want her to think about a different persona of a mother, a bad one. I do not want her to get curious about killing. I do not want her to think that something or someone can be ugly too.
Yes, I want my daughter to know about the harsh realities of life. But not now. Not Today!
Not when she is just stepping into our world with her innocent and pure mind.
Do share your thoughts on this. I would be happy to know what other mothers today think about this.
And, I would love if you could suggest me some good children’s books.
Featured Image and Pin Image Courtesy: Pixabay.com
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