Uncommon Sense: the This is True Podcast
028: Reading TRUE to Kids
In This Episode: Not having children myself, this is a topic I find fascinating, so I asked the experts: readers who do have children! The question: should you consider reading This is True to your kids? Lots of parents do — or let the kids read it themselves. Here’s why.
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* For those new to the concept (which probably means listeners who aren’t readers), the concept of Zero Tolerance is introduced here, and there is a ridiculously long section of ZT stories in this blog.
Not having children myself, this is a topic I find fascinating, so I asked the experts: readers who do have children! The question: should you consider reading This is True to your kids? Lots of parents do — or let the kids read it themselves. Here’s why.
Welcome to Uncommon Sense. I’m Randy Cassingham
One of the topics I promised we’d cover in the podcast is reading This is True stories to kids, and we did that early on. But when I took the first season offline, this is one of the episodes readers said I needed to reissue, so here it is in a tighter exploration that more closely follows the new podcast format.
I believe This is True stories are really instructive for kids. I found out — just by talking about this in the newsletter — that there are a lot of readers who get This is True that either read the stories to their kids, or let their children read the issues themselves and ask questions, or even lead discussions. I asked for parents to send me stories about it, and got too many to feature, but here are a few. Let’s dive right in.
Elizabeth in Detroit writes, “I’ve been reading all of the Zero Tolerance stories to our 10-year-old for a couple of years. I want to highlight the fact that, too often, educators seem incapable of rational behavior and decisions. This unfortunate tendency is also illuminated by our recent readings of the Free Range Kids blog. It’s one of the reasons she attends a small, private, parent-cooperative, multi-age-classroom school where we say that we teach children how to think, not what to think. You might say that being anti-ZT is one of our family values. And sometimes the dumb criminal stories, if they’re age appropriate and if they end in death, sometimes if it’s not too graphic and is a good illustration of a Darwin Award-type example. You know, they’re funny enough that Scholastic publishes tamer ones for school kids. Naturally, I skip stories that detail more sordid circumstances. We’ve gradually been increasing our daughter’s exposure to and awareness of the world, but since we don’t watch network television, except for some sports, where we pointedly discuss commercials that aren’t always family-friendly, we can monitor her Internet news consumption. For the moment, we’ll stick with teenagers behaving badly resulting in unintended pregnancies, rather than soldiers behaving badly or creepy Austrian dad pedophile kidnappers or whatever. Thanks for being a voice of reason.”
I looked and didn’t find any Austrian dad pedophile kidnaper stories, so I assume Elizabeth was speaking figuratively, or stories that weren’t in This is True. After all, being aware of these stories by reading TRUE gives you an eye for t...