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The book restriction punishment [Oct. 26th, 2015|10:15 am]

As a teen, my parents once grounded me by taking away all my books and not letting me read anything but school books for a month (or more?). The decision had some interesting effects...

It was highly devastating to my urge to read. I was a voracious reader of all types and genres beforehand. It was years before I read fiction books for pleasure again, and then, I only re-read my favorites in my favorite genre. Websites, nonfiction, and nonfiction magazines weren't affected as much. I realized much later on that this was a type of trauma reaction. I eventually resumed reading outside of those boxes, within the last 2 to 3 years.

It took my parents several hours and over a dozen boxes to box up my extensive collection of books.

I took possession of the boxes some months after the grounding. But, except for a few of my most prized books (first edition, first printings of books by my favorite author), I have never unboxed them. The punishment took place nearly 2 decades ago, now. And, sure, not all of them are useful now (child editions of encyclopedias, and the like), there is enough nostalgia that I should... But it just hurts too much.

I said all of that to say this... Drastic punishments of a child can have some unintended consequences. A similarly traumatic elimination of technology at the wrong age might limit his technological proficiency... A key enabler of middle-class and upper-middle-class jobs.


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