Know What Your Child Is Reading
Not every book is right for every child. Here are some tips on guiding your child’s reading choices:

• Allow your child to explore the public library and remember that children are naturally attracted to materials intended for them.

• Provide clear guidelines for your child. Let her know that there are areas that you consider off limits, and explain why.

• Make a friend of your local librarians. Librarians know best what’s in the library, and are experts at selecting materials to match various ages, interests and abilities.

• Talk with your child about what she’s reading. This will give you insight into her special interests and concerns. If you consider a book inappropriate, express your opinion in a nonjudgmental way.

• Learn how to evaluate children’s books. Most libraries provide books and brochures with guidelines about what’s appropriate for and appealing to various ages.

• Encourage your child to explore new genres. Think of books as food: Just as you wouldn’t want your youngster to eat ice cream at every meal, you don’t want him reading the same type of book every single time.

Adapted from the American Library Association’s “Tips for Parents.”

See also:

  • Scary Stories: Are they good for your child?

  • When Horror is Real: Tips on helping your kids cope with stories that are frightening, but real.
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