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Do you change words or miss parts of stories that you read to your children?

Occasionally I change or omit bits from stories. It's easy now because my daughter can't read. Two examples I can think of immediately are from a Busytown book and Franklin. In the Busytown stories, everyone has their own car. No one carpools. Right now we have a book from the library where Huckle talks about how happy that makes him. That's a lifestyle choice that we feel isn't sustainable so we change the words to share alternative modes of transportation with our daughter. In Franklin Goes the the Hospital, he claims to be dreaming coming out from anesthesia. You don't dream so that's factually incorrect. I just omit the line.

Part of me feels guilty for the censorship but that won't stop me right now.


Asked by Nonoluna at 11:48 AM on Feb. 25, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (9)
  • In the Three Billy Goats Gruff I use evil Corporate CEO troll and change the goats so one is a white collar, one a blue collar, and one a union goat. There are some books that have God in them and I change it to The Universe or God as we understand him or her. I often tell stories verbally and put a twist on the classics. In my Rapunzel she is black and her step mom wants to protect her beautiful daughter she builds a tall tower. The moral being not to be a helicopter parent. Generally I find no need to change most books. But we also are very specific and careful about the books we select and buy. Some books had "die" in them. While I don't have a problem with death and dying my son had some anxiety about death and at the time it would not have helped him to read about it so casually.  We also screen for adoption topics as well.  So go for it.


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:58 AM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • Yes, I used to do this all the time when my son was little, but in a different way.  I'd change words around, mix up names ... stuff like that.  I did it to encourage him to correct me, strengthen comprehension skills, and just add some fun to it, and also just because he thought it was so silly.


    Answer by CookieMom108 at 11:53 AM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • I'd read the story as-is and then give my opinion how it could be better/different. As DD gets older, you won't be able to do what you're doing. I know most stories show babies with bottles. My kids were breastfed and one never had a bottle. I sometimes point out how they had mommy milk instead of bottles. There will be many times in this life that you will not agree with the choices other people make, but in the USA they are allowed to make those choices. You free speech lets you comment about if you would make the same choice or not.


    Answer by JSD24 at 11:56 AM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • I change the words on the part of "Horton hears a who" that talks about tying and beating him. I read it as wriiten once, and my daughter got upset . . .now I just change the words.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 11:59 AM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • Holy Crap! I didn't know that about Horton Hears the Who. I would change that. I don't want my son to think violence is acceptable. Thank you for the tip. When many of these books were written, the classics, we didn't have such wide spread issues with bullying (the type of bullying) and other things we have now. And over time politics change. I like to pick books with female characters running for president or a Latino or black child being the smart science kid. That is what I mean by being very specific about what I pick.  I like his things to reflect the world I would like to help create as well as the kind of world I want him to continue to create. 


    Answer by frogdawg at 12:07 PM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • I have been guilty of using his name too! He loves it. But now that he recognizes his name at four years old he will ask if it really says that. I have to say no - but isn't it more fun this way? And he agrees that it is.

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:57 PM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • I do but not like that!!! I omit or change words I know my child cannot understand, to make it understandable, and I change names a lot to my childrens names.

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 12:23 PM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • As I read to my kids I like to use their own names in place of the character they seem to like that ;

    Answer by Butterfly1108 at 1:34 PM on Feb. 25, 2011

  • no not in that way.. when that comes up.. its a good way to start conversation of how/why we shouldnt do things in a certain way.

    When she was really small.. (2-).. Im terribly guilty of skipping a few pages all together on some Dr. Seuss books (hes genius because alot of his books are like this! They have no clear story line (go dog go))

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 4:41 PM on Feb. 25, 2011