By the Roadside…

Cover of "Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edit...
Cover of Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)

By the Roadside

(Observations on life, books and the like…)

Traci Kenworth

 

Living where I do, in Amish country, is simple, easy, and a bit breath-taking. You see some quaint things you don’t see every day in the city. I think it’s part of the charm. Yet, more and more residents are having to move on due to the economy. It’s heart-breaking to get to know people and then have to say goodbyes. I love the neighbors I have and hope and pray that nothing makes them have to leave. But twice now, one neighbor has put up a for-sale sign. It makes me wonder if the house will stay empty, what the new people will be like, how we’ll get along.

My daughter is dealing with the loss right now of one of her best friends. They grew up together and now as they enter their teen years, they’ll do so apart. I wish I could stop the change from happening but I realize it’s part of life. I went through many friendships that ended at some point due to moves. But these days, it seems to be more frequent, and less of a sure thing to keep friends forever. Even my son has gone through several losses. Why you can’t protect them from the hurt, you can encourage them to take the risks, the chance that things will become more stable somewhere down the line.

I suppose this is why I like books/TV shows/movies etc. that show the turmoil that comes with life. It’s an expression of where we’re at in life. Hopefully, they give us the hope, the will, to go on, to face that mountain. Books like The Hunger Game series paint a dark landscape, absolute chaos to be sure, but they also show the perseverance, the strength, of the characters who deal with it. When we as parents try to block our children from reading the books they want to, we’re showing a lack of confidence in them to sort through what their reading and take away from them the experience, the joy of being able to read, the thoughts of what they would do under the circumstances. I’m not saying ALL material is suitable for children i.e. ADULT material, but we need to foster in our children the desire to learn. And if picking up Twilight, or another book of this type, gets them to read, I say let them.

How else are they going to travel that road to adulthood?

In my youth, I read everything from romances to horror. My daughter’s read Stephen King. It hasn’t warped her mind or sent her on some rampage. It’s helped her see that fears can and are meant to be worked through. Controlling your children is never the answer. Instead, give them the opportunity to read and come to you with questions, concerns. It’ll encourage more communication and respect for both your children and you. I know as parents we like to think we’re protecting our children, but sometimes in our efforts, we stifle them.

Just give them the chance, the voice they need and I think they’ll surprise you.

The road may be rough but we’ve got each other to make it through. And that is what matters most of all.

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3 thoughts on “By the Roadside…

  1. Traci. I’m the same way, I generally let my kids read what they like.
    I’m thrilled that they want to read and I also have an open relationship with them so if they have questions they know they can ask.

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  2. Rebekah, I think they need to learn to make those all-important choices and reading becomes one of the first steps toward branching out on their own. There were a LOT of people who thought Harry Potter would twist the mind’s of youth to witchcraft, and kids didn’t take it that way at all.

    Laura, I get that they are concerned about certain subject matter (my own daughter knows her limits, set by herself, of what she can and can’t handle). I do. But forbidding them from reading something that might help them or someone they know isn’t helping. When I was a teen, I had a friend that had been molested by her father and step-father. She had no where to turn. I tried to help her as best as I could but there was little material at the time to show her that she was “normal.” Now, there are books that define the struggle she went through and how to seek help. Not that speaking out didn’t help her (she got moved to a foster home, but, sadly that was the last contact I had with her) but I just think if she could have had books that connected her to hero or heroine going through the same thing, it might have helped relieve some of the scars that made her think she was alone in all of this.

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