Why banning books and people from your teen’s life does not make them more secure

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Life is Bigger than the Screen by Julia Shohbozian

Banning books is an irrational act based off of fear. Likewise, “banning” certain kids from your child’s life is fear-based restriction. The other day I learned that several of one of my favorite author’s novels was on the “banned list” for quite a few years. Now, Hemingway is a well known author who is mentioned and studied in English classes. Among his novels are satires on alcoholism in his own life. Now, we all know that there are people your child will encounter who are interested in or have experience with alcohol or other drugs. This really isn’t any different than them reading one of Hemingway’s novels.

Exposure is inevitable.

And trying to stop it, to “ban” it will only cause outcomes opposite of what was intended. Curiosity is an unstoppable human characteristic, so the best solution for protected your child from unwanted influences is to teach them how to approach things and to not take everything literally. Then, you must trust their judgment and their ability to keep an open mind and not be influenced too easily. Remember that these “trigger warning” kind of kids may turn out to be wonderful, insightful people. You may have told your child to not hang out with another child, but what if that other child went on to be a professional speaker or a novelist? Hemingway was scorned, now he is idolized as a great author. So, instead of banning books and/or people from your child’s life (which could lead to a culture shock when they grow up) teach them how to approach and analyze the things around them with an open, considerate mind.


Rocklin resident Julia Shohbozian blogs about a life that is bigger than the screen.

Rocklin resident Julia Shohbozian blogs about a life that is bigger than the screen.

A junior in high school, Julia Shohbozian left her traditional high school campus at the end of her sophomore year, and opted for an independent study program which gives her freedom to take more classes at Sierra College and engage in community work. She serves on the Placer County Youth Commission and the Leadership Committee for the Coalition for Placer Youth.

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.