6 Reasons Why Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid are Not Appropriate Kids Books

 Every mother's dream is to have a reader child, more so if she is an ardent reader herself. I have been a voracious reader whole my life but all my three kids possibly failed to inherit my love for readers. Having written about how to revive your reading, how to overcome readers' block, and many other posts, I used to wonder what went wrong in bringing my little ones close to the books. They say that you read so much that we lost the appetite to read. Well, jokes apart, when their ADHD diagnosis came out, I knew that I had to bring them to reading as their fast-moving brain also needed food. So I asked my oldest child, my daughter to get one book from the library. I asked her to take one book that she loved from the cover. And thus came the world of dork diaries and wimpy kids. Having seen the rage that these books have become I too wanted to see what's inside. I must say I was appalled beyond measure. I will tell you why?

Dork Diaries Wimpy Kid


Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid- Are they ideal kids books?

Here is why I no longer wish my kids to read any of these anymore.

1. Unrealistic Portrayal of Success

The protagonists of both books want to be successful while they are average themselves. The fact that the kids look or speak in a particular manner, makes the kids empathize with the characters but on a negative stereotypical tangent. An average child reading the book might develop the idea that I have to be popular to accomplish something. This is a problematic notion to instill in young kids, especially in an era when self-love and self-esteem are celebrated. 

2. Lack of respect

The book feeds on the 'bad parents' syndrome. Well, there is no medical term like this but you know what I mean. Lying to parents, being sneaky, etc has been depicted as the easy way out to be popular. The need to become popular has to be reinforced here. On one hand, experts cite examples of great personalities who had dyslexia, ADHD, etc, and have grown up to become immensely successful, these books feed on the insecurities of the kids and incite the need to be the popular child by hook or crook.'

3. Racism

The term racism raises a few eyebrows as the term is always associated with blacks. But the generalized stereotypes of white blonde vamps in the books and movies are flagrantly used here.

4. Name-calling

My kids started the name-calling business once they got into the book and movie adaptation along with the movies and videos in a similar genre made it all the worse. Why the entertainment arena makes sure to create the unrealistically twisted idea of friendship, success, and being 'good'.

5. Feeding jealousy

The protagonists in both books are jealous of the so-called popular person whom they hate for obvious reasons. This is a dangerous trend to create. If we closely observe the cyber bullies and trolls, they are all born out of these feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, and spite towards the successful people who live happy life. 

6. Protagonists that lie

We can see that the protagonist lies to get what is needed or to teach a lesson to the bully is a norm that is propogated in both the books. The spite that the child feels is ozzing out as a totally negative emotion. It gives an idea to the readers (who are young) that it is better to teach the bullies a lesson than report them

In short books like these create problematic ideas in kids which in turn end up skewed ideas of relationship and friendship. More so about success and failure. Dork diaries and Wimpy are fun reads as long as the child has the discretion to read it an process it as an imagination, which I doubt kids at this age would have.

Comments

  1. I second that Rakhi. I never understood why kids are crazy about Wimpy Kid books. We have so many good books. My daughter also gave it a try once. But she didn't like it. She is more into historical fiction.

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  2. Ohh I am little sad to know all these reasons. my both girls love dork diaries and wimpy kids book series and always praise the series a lot. now, I will discuss all the pointers with them which you have mentioned here to check their observation regarding these.

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  3. I am so happy to read someone who thinks like me, agree that lying to parents and disrespecting are something I hate and this is what these books teach kids.

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  4. I haven't read the Dork Diaries and Wimpy Kid books and will not be able to comment on them but if they are really giving out these subtle messages then we ought to watch what we give our kids to read.

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  5. Now, that I read your post I realise that Wimpy kid series in way sympathises with children and fills in some examples that we as parents do not wish to. And some times these books are read under peer pressure too.

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  6. Wow! Great catch here! We tend to judge much of YouTube/TV shows and even movies on teaching inappropriate values to our young ones and trust that giving them books will make a difference but hey! Truly, anything can be disguised to something good. As a mother, I really appreciate having read this article.-MommyWithAGoal

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  7. That’s a very informative post. I don’t know whether my nephew reads these books if he does I am going to tell my sister about this information.

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  8. You have valid points buddy and I am glad you did raise them appropriately, I can so relate with you

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  9. Thanks for the honest review ,I will definitely not introduce dork diaries to my little ones and would suggest the same to others.

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  10. Wow….so many negatives. How can such books be accessible to kids? Impressionable age should be nurtured with positivity all over

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  11. I have the same feelings about Dork Diaries you put my thoughts exactly in the sane words, I wasn't aware of about Wimpy Kid . Thank you for the information.

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  12. It gets so difficult when books become problematic. I would never choose a book for my child if it teaches disrespect of any kind! Good that this is out in the open.

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  13. My thoughts exactly when I read different art of a wimpy kid I thought this can’t be a childrens book
    Well put up
    Thank you for sharing

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  14. Thanks for reviewing this book . Seems like they are not ideal books for kids .

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  15. I guess you are right this book doesn't seem fit for kids . Thanks for reviewing

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  16. This was necessary. Often we come across books or cartoon shows that are made for kids, but actually convey a lot of wrong messages. It surely reminded me of the controversies around the popular cartoon show Shinchen.

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  17. I didn't know this books depicts wrong manners per se so I was really shocked reading this article. You really can't trust things right now to send good learnings to our children. Being alert and mindful is a must.-MommyWithAGoal

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  18. You have done a great job. Most of us want children to read books. But, we often forget the type of book they should actually choose. Thanks for sharing about these books and raising awareness about the same. Great work.

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  19. Diary of a wimpy kid was a child book but when I read it I had a similar reaction
    All your points are so true and valid
    Thanks for sharing this

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  20. The vulgar language found in the book is not suitable for these ages. The book has some passages which degrade women for their body shape, size, and sexuality; some statements in the book are racists.

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  21. Finally! someone said this.. I thought I was alone to feel like this about wimpy kid diary. Its a very good book but not for kids. after certain age when they are able to understand fiction and real life then they can pick this book.

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  22. All the points that you mentioned above can hamper kids mental health and my drive them on wrong path. So we must keep away these kind of books from kids

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  23. Thank you for sharing this article. I appreciate the effort you put into it. My son loves reading the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, but I will make sure he never reads books like that again because they can have a negative influence on his behavior.

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  24. Thanks for sharing this post Rakhi and write about this topic. Parents should be aware of these books . Your points are so practical to accept.

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  25. I find a lot of popular fairy tales not appropriate for kids too like Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the bean stalk and many more. If a story book is teaching racism then it better be avoided.

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