Why you should Read your Kid’s Books before Reading to him/her

Every night before bedtime I read a little book to Ahalya. She sits on my lap and we have a lot of fun doing this. Because I was only limiting her to English children’s books, I thought it was time to introduce illustrated Sinhalese (sadly I am not fluent in Tamil) story books too. And as a child I remembered enjoying Sibil Wettasinghe books with illustrations very much. So I was excited to read a few of her stories to my daughter. But as we started reading into a few pages of the book Kiriyata Lavariya, the protagonist begins to beat his wife simply because she says she can’t make the food he wants (and this is because he is unable to explain to her what it is and can’t remember its name which he forgot on his way home!). It was truly a WTF moment for me. I stopped dead in the middle of it. I wasn’t going to happily read aloud to my little girl an instance of domestic violence in a cheerful voice, making her believe (although she probably doesn’t understand what I’m saying just yet, thank god) that it was something normal and quite acceptable for a man to beat up a woman (a husband to beat his wife) like that. I wonder if I read these growing up too. It made me sad to see this in a kid’s story book. I’m so disappointed. I also made a note to review all reading material myself, before exposing baby to them.

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