Should frum children have a library card? ✡️👪📚💳

Home Forums Yeshiva / School / College / Education Issues Should frum children have a library card? ✡️👪📚💳

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 86 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #617554

    Joseph
    Participant

    Should frum children be permitted to have a library card or go to the public library unsupervised as to what reading material they choose?

    #1149552

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Do you use the word “frum” as a pejorative?

    #1149553

    Joseph
    Participant

    I didn’t intend it to be or perceive it to have been pejorative.

    #1149554

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Yes, children should have a library card and they should go to the library with their parents and/or older siblings and choose books together. Public libraries are full of wonderful books for children and without them most families cannot read enough books.

    #1149555

    Joseph
    Participant

    To summarize, you believe library visits should be permitted but must only be done with adult supervision at the branch to insure no halachicly or hashkaficly improper reading material is accessed, correct?

    Obviously that would entail that the children shouldn’t have their own library card, which would permit them to check out books without supervision, and rather the adult should have a card to check out the approved books after reviewing them for their appropriateness.

    #1149556

    The Queen
    Participant

    The school my children attend have a no public library policy. There are Jewish libraries here which they can visit.

    Since my children are huge readers I buy each one a book every Pesach, Sukkos, and Chanukah. We have a big collection by now. Just bought more shelving from IKEA to accommodate the overflow.

    We also buy the heimishe weekly magazines.

    I rather my children not have enough books then they should fill their heads with shmutz.

    #1149557

    TheGoq
    Participant

    Ok lets try it this way Joseph do you think they should not and if so why not?

    #1149558

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Interesting topic.

    I agree with RebYidd that children should have a library card and go together to the library.

    Supervision is also very important. With the sadly lowered morality of the world around us, it is important to make sure that our reading material does not affect us negatively in a spiritual way.

    Personally, I prefer to place a hold online for books I want and then pick them up, because browsing exposes us to so much garbage.

    #1149559

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Parents should be able to trust their children not to go to the library without permission.

    #1149560

    takahmamash
    Participant

    When I was a kid, the library put a star on kids’ library cards, which restricted the kids to taking out books only from the children’s section. My parents gave permission to take the star off, since my reading level was far above that level.

    I took out whatever books I wanted, mostly non-fiction, and I think I turned out OK. Did my mom check them? No, but she saw what I was reading – I didn’t hide anything.

    #1149561

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    I was free to read whatever I wanted and turned out fine. But I don’t think from the beginning I want to live in a place where my children feel they need to go to the public library. Meaning that no one else does/it’s not in reach.

    #1149562

    Chortkov
    Participant

    Many, many books in libraries are problematic – and we’re talking about issurei de’oiraisah. If you don’t let your children read books with adult references/content [and you shouldn’t!], then don’t let them go to the library unsupervised. If your child is a ‘bookworm’, the chances are he will be reading things he shouldn’t.

    I can tell you from personal experience – I was always a very avid reader; when I picked up a book, I was in a different world until I put it down – which certainly wasn’t until it was finished. My parents were very careful what they allowed me to read; my mother read each book before I was allowed to read it. I never bought a book into the house that my mother hadn’t okayed. Yet, while browsing in the library for new reads, I came across things that my mother would be horrified to see me reading. Books that I regret ever picking up.

    The only way to truly safeguard your kids – or yourself – from reading ????? ?????? is to only allow books that you already know to be Kosher, either from your own reading or from someone you trust. To allow your kids to read unsupervised in the library is something very detrimental to their yiddishkeit, and certainly ossur.

    (This isn’t just my opinion. Almost every guy I know who used to read secular books agrees that they have ‘stumbled across’ – or read – books they wouldn’t read loud in front of their mothers [which is a pretty good guideline of what is considered Kosher])

    #1149563

    dullradiance
    Participant

    The more proper question should be should children be allowed to read any material that is not absolute Torah.

    If you hold that “whosoever teaches his daughter talmud teaches her tiflus” then surely allowing even boy children books that are Bobbsey Twins type books should be banned.

    ***scroll biographies which are not really biographies are may be borderline reading material.

    Cookbooks are probably ok. Even boys may be able to read them to understand the complexity of the kitchen in order to give them a background to problems related to Taruvos.

    In conclusion, Jewish Libraries should restrict their lending material to various version of Sefer Tehillim.

    #1149564

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    If you want to show off that your children are Frum, you should announce that they don’t have library cards, and that you won’t do a shidduch with someone who does.

    Hat Tip: Daas Yochid 🙂

    Seriously, I wouldn’t let my (smaller) child take books out without supervision of some kind. Luckily, our local library has an option where a child can only take out children’s books or DVDs, so I’m less concerned.

    A teen is his/her own subject, and each one needs to be decided on his/her own merits.

    #1149565

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Should frum children be permitted to have a library card or go to the public library unsupervised as to what reading material they choose?

    Of course, it depends on the age of the child. Young children should be guided by their parents as to what to read. As they get older, they should be allowed to become more independent (in stages).

    I’m not going to say that “At X years they should be allowed this much freedom and at Y years that much” because it’s dependent on the child. Every child is different.

    Of course, you could completely eliminate the word “frum” from the question and I would recognize it as just as valid a question and give you the same answer.

    The Wolf

    #1149566

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I’m with the Wolf.

    Also, I live out of town. Our children went to day schools, not yeshivos, even if the school had the word yeshiva in the name.

    The School libraries were sorely lacking.

    They had full secular curiricula and from grade 3 the public library was a necessary place to research and do homework and projects.

    Many books were put on reserve by the library matching the teachers’ reading lists. They could only be checked out with a child’s card. Children have a 4 book maximum check out limit in this area. This method kept unscrupulous parents from checking out all the books on a list to the detriment of other students.

    Our town’s library has computers available for research use. The ones in the children’s section, accessible only by scanning the bar-code on the child’s library card have internet access that if highly filtered by age level.

    #1149567

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    The books for children ages 1-5 are still mostly fine.

    #1149569

    yehudayona
    Participant

    When my kids were young, (1) they couldn’t be trusted to not lose their library cards, and (2) the library wasn’t in walking distance. That means we kept their library cards and we went with them to the library and supervised. There are many non-frum children’s books that are acceptable and are vastly superior to the typical frum children’s books. Also, where we lived at the time, there was no frum library. Later when we moved to a place where there was a frum library, it didn’t take them long to read everything there that interested them.

    #1149570

    The Queen
    Participant

    Not so sure that for the youngest children they are ok. My kids used to have Berenstein Bears, eventually I got rid of them. I found that the underlying theme was quite disrespectful to the Poppa bear.

    #1149571

    Chortkov
    Participant

    I was free to read whatever I wanted and turned out fine

    The issue of reading ????? ?????? is not only about the negative influence it has on the person; they are ???? to read even if they don’t influence you. “Turning out fine” doesn’t mean that you did nothing wrong.

    Seriously, I wouldn’t let my (smaller) child take books out without supervision of some kind.

    Why would you let your older kids (what age do you classify as older?) without supervision?

    #1149572

    flatbusher
    Participant

    yekke: could you explain what in children’s books that you are awar of are assur midoraisa? Could you provide some titles?

    #1149573

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Why would you let your older kids (what age do you classify as older?) without supervision?

    When it would be counterproductive and controlling (or viewed as such by the child) to do so.

    A teen is his/her own subject, and each one needs to be decided on his/her own merits.

    #1149574

    Chortkov
    Participant

    The books I am referring to are not for young children. I am more referring to books aimed at ‘young adults’ (seventh grade through high school). There are books that are ????? ?????. There are books that contain Kefira.

    See also http://beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=oc_x1532

    #1149575

    Joseph
    Participant

    Flatbusher: I provided a title of a children’s book that would be detrimental and assur to read. A children’s book. The mods, in their infinite wisdom, realized it was so bad (just by the title of a children’s book!) that they couldn’t even publish the comment mentioning it.

    My wisdom is finite.

    #1149576

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Yekke2, you and your Shulchan Aruch, next thing you know you’re going to make reading advertisements assur on Shabbos.

    #1149578

    Chortkov
    Participant

    DY – Actually, I couldn’t be bothered finding the page on Hebrewbooks myself [the navigation there annoys me and my browser], so I copied the link from this post!

    #1149579

    flatbusher
    Participant

    yekke: I don’t know if schools still do this, but we used to have reading lists for a particular grade. Are you suggesting some of those books are assur? Still not clear what books are you referring about. In any case, the original poster was referring to a library card so you oppose having one and assuring everything because by some chance, a child will go through the the library catalogue and pick out a book that you deem assur. Quite honestly, today’s kids get so much homework, how much time do you thing the general population of kids have to read anything for pleasure, and once they go away for the summer, they don’t even have access to a library in most cases?

    #1149580

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    When your child gets a certain age, you have no choice but let them go to the library on their own, use matches and do other things that can be dangerous.

    #1149581

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    The only problem is that there aren’t any good Jewish books in the generes I like. It was really hard for me to stop because I love reading, I was the kid who read 127 hours one summer from the public library, and now I don’t read anything at all.

    Best solution-don’t get your kids started on non jewish books, don’t live in an area where most kids read them, its accepted, or in reach of a goyish library.

    edited

    #1149582

    Chortkov
    Participant

    RebYidd23 – Only if you know for certain that the child is mature and stable enough that he won’t do anything dangerous. If there is a big chance that your child will be doing things ??? ?????, must you still let them do things on their own? Certain parents can trust certain of their children when they reach a certain age not be ???? in ???????; other children are sheltered enough that they don’t know what the ??????? are. However, avid readers who enjoy ‘browsing’ through bookshelves with books written for ‘young adults’ may be reading things (a) that are assur, (b) that can introduce them to concepts and language that they shouldn’t be reading/thinking about.

    flatbusher – I never said they shouldn’t have a library card; I warned parents to make it their business to be aware of what their children are reading.

    #1149583

    Chortkov
    Participant

    @shopping613:

    I have the same problem as you. Sorry Yekke, edited a bit-29The variety of reading material for a Jewish teen/adult is sorely lacking.

    Although my parents were very careful to censor what I read, I did end up reading things that I regret reading. I don’t read secular books any more, and I can’t remember the last time I read a Jewish novel. My reading is limited to articles in Jewish Magazines [Mishpacha, Binah, Ami, etc.] (- some of which have surprising amounts of toichen!).

    As a Yeshiva Bochur it is less of a problem than a school-aged teenager or a girl – during zman, someone who is correctly motivated doesn’t have time to read anything [obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone], and even bein hazmanim there is a lot more interest in a broader range of Torah subjects; dozens of fascinating seforim which we can learn even during time set aside to relax.

    However, ‘lack of options’ isn’t a reason to be mattir something which is wrong. If there is something wrong with the book, the lack of kosher alternatives isn’t a hetter.

    #1149584

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    You have no choice. Once they’re adults, they can get married without your permission, move across the country and raise seven children of their own and teach them all ballet.

    #1149585

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Once they’re adults,

    Even as teenagers, there is not much you can do.

    #1149586

    The Queen
    Participant

    RebYidd, gavra: As long as a child is living in the home of the parents. The parents are the boss. Why does the parent have to give up control over what the child reads before the child is an adult living on his or her own??

    The least the parent ought to do, if the child refuses to listen, is forbid Assur reading material from entering their home. An uncooperative teen, can be asked to please find an apartment to live in if they can’t abide by the rules of the house. (After doing the math, most will opt to toe the line).

    I am not talking about kids on the edge, I have no experience with that, and you would need specialized guidance in such a case.

    #1149587

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    It is illegal in most states to expel teenagers under 18 from your home under most circumstances (There are exceptions for physical danger issues)

    Bringing a forbidden book in the house is not one of the exceptions

    #1149588

    The Queen
    Participant

    Zdad, hope you realize I didn’t mean that literally!

    I’m trying to bring a point across. Parents today are often scared of their children. They need to take back their parental responsibility and stay in the drivers seat for the duration of their children’s growing up years. Children do better when parents have clear dos and don’ts and stick to them. Weak parenting isn’t in a child’s best interest, even if at the moment it is more pleasant to cave in.

    The attitude of ‘there isn’t much you can do’ just isn’t good for your children.

    #1149589

    NeutiquamErro
    Participant

    If I may interject, I think most of us would agree that for younger children, up until teens, their reading choices should be checked by their parents. This might mean supervising them to the library, getting books for them, or simply requiring the child to bring all books to the parent for screening, as the parent sees fit.

    After a certain age, children become far harder to supervise, seeing as they can travel independently, and generally become more able to make their own choices. At which age this occurs depends on each individual child. For these children, rules can only do so much, as there is little a parent can do if the child conceals things from them, which is not particularly difficult for most teens. For them, building barriers within is arguably more important than creating external barriers, and this is true for many issues apart from reading material.

    That’s not to say a parent couldn’t and shouldn’t do both. And seeing as each case is different, a single rule doesn’t suffice for all. Stronger parenting, as encourage by The Queen, is generally a good idea, certainly stronger parenting than that practised by many nowadays, but not every child responds to strength. For some, this will make them more, not less likely to rebel. Again, it is for the parent to make that judgement, not anonymous judgemental keyboard warriors.

    And I’d like to point out that I’m not downplaying the potential dangers, which I believe are even more significant than acknowledged above, but suggesting ways to address that problem. No child should be exposed to inappropriate material, and libraries, particularly now that they are often used as propaganda tools as much as centres of knowledge, are a major source of such material.

    #1149590

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Right now, I regret every time my parents took the driver’s seat. Because I was right most of the time. Had they been weak, I would have had things my way, which was the correct way.

    #1149591

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    The Queen – You are mixing up two different issues.

    A parent needs to be a teacher to pass your values onto the next generation. That is what it means to be a “strong” parent, one how explains, spends time, and hits the hard facts of life.

    A “weak” parent is the one who just has the rules, and says “no” without any explanation to the child. Even if the child listens due to fear of punishment, it is still a “weak” action.

    Once a child is a teen the “my house, my rules” approach of the weak parent simply causes frustration, rebellion, and eventual pushing the child to the edge which you “have no experience with that, and you would need specialized guidance in such a case”.

    A strong parent who has taught, explained, and works with their child when they were younger has done something. Once they are a teen, it is mostly too late.

    #1149592

    The Queen
    Participant

    Parents that spend the time to form a strong relationship with their child when they are younger, generally have it easier during the teenage phase. I don’t think my house, my rules, is weak parenting. As long as the rules are there to benefit the child. Communication is very important especially with teens.

    My house, kids rule makes children feel neglected and brings chaos. Children including teens need boundaries to push. It feels good and safe to come up against a firm wall that will not let you fall. Children with no boundaries are not happy.

    I recently had a conversation with my married daughter. She was reminiscing about high school and observed that as much as she resented her principal for being so strict, looking back she realizes that it made the atmosphere very stable and safe.

    A parent isn’t a principal obviously, however, children appreciate firm parenting, even if they won’t tell you until they are much older.

    Rebyid, I don’t know you or your parents. This works in a healthy dynamic.

    #1149593

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    i had a bunch of things to say but im just gonna second gavras post right above this one.

    #1149594

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    also – i am one of those readers who read while eating, walking to school, crossing the street, laying in bed. i remember my mother asking me to please at least lift my eyes to say hello to people when they enter a room. I stopped reading secular books for reasons i have previously posted in other threads and have always pre-read my kids books. Even stacks of them at a time. I cannot imagine handing over books that haven’t been “researched” (there are mom’s who share information on books they’ve pre-read). i did not want to give my kids harry potter even though many said it was fine til book five. I don’t think letting a kid read four 500+ page books and telling them not to read the finale makes any sense.

    books are very, very strong alluring and addictive. very. dont kid yourselves.

    #1149595

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    queen – as i understood gavra (and as i myself would have stated had he not) it isn’t “my house my rules” vs. “my house kids rules”. It is about the delivery, intent and consistency of the rules. The rules have a basis whether the kids understand them or not, and are not just “rules”. That type of parenting is very common and very weak. Anyone who works with kids will tell you that it backfires, it only works while they fear you.

    Being strict has nothing to do with that issue. You can be very strict in both types of “rulings” and the productive type is probably the one your daughters principal practiced.

    #1149596

    mazal77
    Participant

    Should frum children have a public library card? No, they should not. There are many books that are extremely inappropriate for children, even in the children’s section. I learned that lesson many years ago, picking up a seemingly innocent book in the teenage section, and read of subjects that I should not have read about, and wish I never did.

    There are Jewish Libraries ask around in more densely jewish neighborhoods. Ask around and you will find them.

    While more of the recent Jewish Adult novels coming out are dealing with peoples’s issues or problems. I think and feel if someone knows how to write books, we can use more authors who will write with the proper hashgachas that we as Jews need and want to imbue in our children.

    If one lives of town, and there is limited access, to kosher reading material, I think Torah U’Mesorah has a book list of ok reading material that can be used to pick up appropriate titles. But to let a child into a library unsupervised into a public library, with access to any all types of shmutz is inadvisable and asking for trouble. It is like asking someone to to go to a candy store and pick out from candies that does not have a kosher mark on it and let them guess which ones are kosher. Reading inappropriate material is just as bad as eating trief IMHO. They both will effect someone spiritually, and can have negative consequences. As a parent, are you willing to take that chance?? While we can help what we see on the outside world, we as parents are definitely responsible for what we are bringing into our homes. Same way as we have the responiblity to bring in only kosher foods.

    #1149597

    The Queen
    Participant

    Syag,

    you said:

    “The rules have a basis whether the kids understand them or not, and are not just “rules””

    I said:

    “As long as the rules are there to benefit the child.”

    I think we are on the same page.

    I start with the premise that the parent has the child’s best interest at heart, and isn’t making random rules like a mad despot.

    PS, I don’t really like the term ‘strict’ it has I think a bad connotation. I think in terms of ‘firm’ as in sticking to your guns when you know that your decision is the right one. And not allowing your child to wear you down. I see that as lazy parenting and not in the child’s best interest.

    #1149598

    The Queen
    Participant

    mazal77, well said.

    #1149599

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    queen – yes, when you say it that way i do agree. i just feel very strongly about the “my house, my rule” derech when it is meant as just that. and when you mentioned the opposite being kids rule that seemed to me to verify that thought.

    I also don’t use strict, i use firm and consistent, but that was the word used so i stuck with it. totally with ya on that one.

    #1149600

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Should frum children have a public library card? No, they should not.”

    ” But to let a child into a library unsupervised into a public library, with access to any all types of shmutz is inadvisable and asking for trouble.”

    No reason to think that if they own a library card they will have unsupervised access. Their cards are in my pocket. But it is their responsibility to make sure their books are returned on time or their card becomes frozen.

    Other than that I agreed with your post. Very well said.

    as an aside, we don’t really have a jewish library here and when we did it was very expensive and pretty inaccessible physically (regarding hours and location). I once took my kids there and there were jewish videos playing one after the other which was not something i was interested in exposing them to. I found that beyond frustrating. it is presently closed.

    #1149601

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    You dont need a library card to read books in the Library, you only need the card to take out books

    #1149602

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    queen – as i understood gavra (and as i myself would have stated had he not) it isn’t “my house my rules” vs. “my house kids rules”. It is about the delivery, intent and consistency of the rules. The rules have a basis whether the kids understand them or not, and are not just “rules”. That type of parenting is very common and very weak. Anyone who works with kids will tell you that it backfires, it only works while they fear you.

    Being strict has nothing to do with that issue. You can be very strict in both types of “rulings” and the productive type is probably the one your daughters principal practiced.

    Even if they don’t understand why, the child should understand that the rule is created out of love and care, not ease, social standard, or other ulterior reason.

    Well said, especially the point about consistency.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 86 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.